Gina Wilhelm Actress: Actress Search Update on The Miracle Worker
A nationwide search has yielded a disabled actress to understudy Abigail Breslin in the upcoming revival of “The Miracle Worker” to go up on Broadway.
Advocates for the disabled had been upset that Breslin was playing the role of Helen Keller, rather than an actress with vision or hearing disabilities.
The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts had said a blind or deaf actress would make the portrayal of Keller, who was herself blind and deaf, more authentic.
In response, producer David Richenthal had pledged to make an effort to find a disabled actress to understudy Breslin in the play, but that in the end, the role would be cast based on acting ability.
The understudy position will be filled by 10-year-old Kyra Siegel, of Eugene, Oregon. Siegel has limited vision in her right eye and finds it challenging to use both eyes together.
She’ll be one of the few disabled actresses working on Broadway this season.
“Performing on Broadway was one of my dreams, but I never thought it would come true,” Siegel wrote in an e-mail to a New York Times interviewer.