NEWPORT, R.I. – Salve Regina University’s theatre arts program will tell the story of Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan when they present William Gibson’s “The Miracle Worker,” which will run Dec. 1-4 at the historic Casino Theatre.
The production, directed by Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, will feature students and community actors. Performances will be given at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4.
Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for senior citizens and Salve Regina faculty, staff and alumni, and $7 for students. Tickets may be purchased by calling 401-341-2250 or online at www.tinyurl.com/salvecasino. The Casino Theatre is located at 9 Freebody St.
The Miracle Worker is a classic 1950’s three-act play that is based on Keller’s own account of learning to communicate through her teacher and lifelong friend Sullivan. Gibson used her autobiography, “The Story of My Life,” to craft his well-known drama, which was made popular in 1959 by the acclaimed Broadway production.
At Salve Regina, the production is being re-imagined by Pitts-Wiley to create an exciting new experience for audiences. Pitts-Wiley is serving as a guest director for the fall semester at Salve Regina. He is known in Rhode Island for being the founder and former artistic director of Mixed Magic Theatre in Pawtucket.
His acting, directing, and writing credits are extensive; he has performed with theatres across the country, such as The Actor’s Shakespeare Project in Boston, The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and Trinity Repertory Company in Providence. He has directed more than 70 plays and musicals, including his own adaptations and original scripts.
Lily Ferreira, an eighth grade student at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown, will play the role of Helen Keller. She began acting at age 8 with the Newport Children’s Theatre and since then has performed in 16 productions with the company. Last year, Ferreira received a PPAC Arts Scholarship and attended Shakespeare camp at St. Michael’s School where she performed in “A Winter’s Tale.” Her most recent role was in the Newport Children’s Theatre production of “The Secret Garden as Mary.”
Natalie Malizia, a senior theatre major and film minor at Salve Regina, will play the role of Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan. Previously at Salve Regina, Malizia was a tragedian in “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” and served as assistant stage manager for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” After spending a semester abroad in Italy, Malizia returned to the Casino Theatre stage. In January she will travel with other senior majors and minors to New Orleans to do animal rescue work in preparation for the senior thesis show, “Because They Have No Words.”
The production of “The Miracle Worker” is the second offering in the Salve Regina Theatre Arts Program’s “Reality Shows” season. For more information and tickets call 401-341-2250 or go online at www.tinyurl.com/salvecasino.