The classic story of The Miracle Worker tells the story of Annie Sullivan and her student, blind and mute Helen Keller. It dramatizes the volatile relationship between the lonely teacher and her charge. Trapped in a secret, silent world, unable to communicate, Helen is violent, spoiled, almost sub-human and treated by her family as such. Only Annie realizes that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark, tortured silence. With intense physical and emotional dynamism, Annie’s success with Helen finally comes with the utterance of a single, glorious word: “water”.
For most of us, Helen’s story ends with that image of a young deafblind girl and her teacher Anne Sullivan at a water pump. However, that transforming moment for Helen signified only the beginning of her new life - a life dedicated to tireless advocacy and fearless activism that opened wide the doors of possibility for people with disabilities.
Helen Keller’s improbable journey from a child unable to communicate due to her multiple disabilities, to her exalted place on the world stage as the famous global citizen she would become, is one of the greatest stories of the 20th century.
Helen Keller was a luminary who continues to transcend her historical era. Because she was a woman outspoken in her principles, she inspired changes in public attitudes about the capabilities of people with visual impairments. As she pushed for revolutionary changes in the law, people with disabilities were able to transition into mainstream education and employment. Helen Keller inspired future generations of people with disabilities to live life to the fullest.
“I will not just live my life. I will not just spend my life. I will invest my life.” Hellen Keller
Come to further appreciate the early journey of Helen and Annie at Camino Real Playhouse in Stage II.