Sunday, November 1, 2009

Working Miracles with Sight and Hearing

As the parent of a deafblind child, I guess I should be angry that Abigail Breslin has been cast to play the role of Helen Keller in the Broadway show The Miracle Worker. At least that is what the group, Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, is telling me. AIA wants a deafblind actress cast in the role, saying that a deaf or blind actress would be able to imbue the role of Helen with her experience.

But isn't that what actresses do? Ms. Breslin is an accomplished actress. I would expect that she would thoroughly research her role, and I believe would do a fine job of portraying Helen Keller. In fact, one of my favorite versions of The Miracle Worker has Hallie Kate Eisenberg as Helen. I liked that version even better than the one with Patty Duke, who as we know is not deaf or blind.

I'm amazed at how many news stories I have run across in the last week about the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts and their vehement objections. I'm all for diversity in every aspect of life but really, aren't there more important things going on in the world right now?


Corrie Howe said...

Interesting. I agree with you. I've seen some good versions of movies with deaf and blind and deafblind.

Marla said...

I don't know. This is a tough one. I wonder how many deaf blind actresses there are? If the individuals tried out and did not make the cut then that would make sense. I hope the people were at least given the chance to try out.