Having been a teacher herself, the dramatic, inspiring story of pop culture icon Helen Keller spoke to Rachael Welsh.
“You want to be the one that gets through to your students, and Helen had the most outstanding odds against her,” the first-time director said. “She couldn’t hear, see, she was mute. That has always been interesting.”
Kicking off Brazosport Center Stages’ new season, “The Miracle Worker” starts at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Center for the Arts and Sciences, 400 College Blvd. The show is a three-act play based on Helen Keller’s autobiography “The Story of My Life,” which details Keller’s experiences as a blind, deaf and mute child.
Welsh, who has acted in and produced shows at the Center for the Arts and Sciences, has found managing the entire show to be an exciting position, she said.
“Having to make the decisions of what we want the set to look like, what the lights need to represent, the intermission music — everything plays a part,” she said. “As an actor you work on your character. So getting to talk with the actors and help them come up with their characters has been really fun.”
Keller’s father, Captain Keller, did not know how to fully come to terms with his child’s illness and he relates it to a parent finding out their child is gay, said actor Davis Gilbert who portrays him in “The Miracle Worker.”
“He really doesn’t know how to deal with it,” he said. “He has his moments.”
Given that the play is a late-1800s period piece, he is looking forward to sending audiences to a completely different time, Gilbert said.
“I am excited,” he said. “I think this is going to be a really good play.”
Welsh hopes Keller’s uphill battle will inspire people who come watch the show, she said.
“Helen ultimately wants to relate to somebody,” she said. “I think it is just a beautiful story. It is a classic. I think it is going to be a good one for our community.”
Shows continue Sept. 14, 15, 20, 21, 22. Tickets are $22 for adults and $16 for students. Call 979-265-7661 or visit bcfas.org for information and showtimes.