If a play opens at Gilbert’s Hale Centre Theatre and one of the characters can’t see or hear it, is it Tommy or The Miracle Worker? This summer, it’s the latter -- William Gibson’s award-gobbling 1959 teleplay/script/screenplay based on Helen Keller’s autobiography, which also catapulted Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke to stardom.
Born in 1880 and rendered blind, deaf, and mute by a childhood illness, Keller, who appeared impossible to socialize or educate before she met her teacher and companion Annie Sullivan, later earned the first bachelor’s degree conferred upon a blind and deaf student and worked as an activist for people with disabilities, as well as becoming an author (and a radical leftist). Sullivan and Keller are two of the most famous Americans ever.
Hale’s production continues through Saturday, July 5, at 50 West Page Avenue. Tickets are $16 to $26 at www.haletheatrearizona.com or 480-497-1181. Showtime Friday, May 23, is 7:30 p.m.