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Stratford Girl Takes Lead Role In 'Miracle Worker' In Westport

Nora Watson, Dene Whitacker and Emma LaPlace in the Westport Community Theatre production of "The Miracle Worker." Photo Credit: Contributed
Emma LaPlace as Annie Sullivan and Nora Watson as Helen Keller in the Westport Community Theatre production of "The Miracle Worker." Photo Credit: Contributed

STRATFORD, Conn. -- As the Westport Community Theatre presents the Tony Award-winning play "The Miracle Worker," a preteen from Stratford plays the lead role.

"The Miracle Worker" is the dramatic story of a young Helen Keller, who became blind, deaf and mute from an illness when she was 19 months old. It plays weekends through Sunday, Dec. 13.

Keller overcame her disabilities and went on to become a respected and world-renowned author, educator, lecturer, political activist and humanitarian. She lived the latter part of her life in nearby Easton, near the Westport town line.

Stratford’s Richard Mancini and Nora Watson are part of the cast and crew who bring this triumphant story of the human spirit to life. Mancini directs the play, which was written by William Gibson, and cast Watson as Helen Keller.

“We are excited to produce this family-oriented show during the holidays,” Mancini said. “Audiences will be inspired by this powerful story that tugs at one’s heartstrings.”

The play premiered on Broadway in 1959 with Patty Duke as Helen Keller and Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan. It won the Tony Award for Best Play and was later made into a film adaptation in 1962.

Watson, a fourth-grader and student of dance and voice, is making her debut as Helen Keller. She has enjoyed roles in "Oliver," "Annie," "A Christmas Carol" and "Gypsy."

Emma LaPlace, a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, is cast as Annie Sullivan. She has performed in "Rabbit Hole" and "Arcadia" with WCT and is a member of Downtown Cabaret Theatre’s Main Stage/Children’s Companies and Fairfield Teen Theatre.

Mancini returns to WCT after directing last season’s "It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" and previously "The Crucible," "The Woman In Black," "Broadway Bound," "The Man Who Came to Dinner" and "Lost in Yonkers," among others.

The performances are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are $23 or $21 for seniors and students; they can be purchased at or by calling (203) 226-1983.

Westport Community Theatre is at 110 Myrtle Ave., Westport.

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