The Miracle Worker Shows Impressive Middle School Talent - Kingswood Oxford

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June 02, 2023

The Miracle Worker Shows Impressive Middle School Talent

The 16 students in Form 2 semester-long drama class are rehearsing for the upcoming performance of The Miracle Worker. The three principal roles will have two sets of lead actors in the performances held on June 2 while the same caste will play the balance of the roles. Three students chose to be part of the artistic crew as stage managers, costumer, and hair stylists.


To acclimate the students, the first half of the class is technique driven. Drama teacher Matthew Wiggin said they looked at various styles, improvisation, setting goals and intentions, and then put the theory into practice during the rehearsal and performance.”In the prep work in a couple of months leading up to rehearsals, I get them to trust one another,” Wiggin said. “Theater is a collaborative art form that you have to build trust because if they don’t trust one another, there is no way that they will be vulnerable with each other. In this show and many shows, you have to be vulnerable; you have to be able to share vulnerability.”


Wiggins helps the students emote by suggesting different settings and scenarios. He uses the Meisner technique’s mantra of “actions cause emotions.” For instance, Wiggin will present the scenario: imagine when you walk into a house and smell chocolate chip cookies to lead the student to uncover those feelings inside them. He tries to reverse the young thespians’ mindset, who often attempt to act sad or happy. Instead, Wiggin will ask them, ” Why are you sad?” “Rather than choosing to play sadness,” he said. “We don’t play emotions. We pick something action. As an audience, we want to see the actor actively pursuing something.”


Wiggins feels that The Miracle Worker resonates with the students in an educational setting. Like Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher and advocate, KO teachers seek to find the key that releases students’ potential. Wiggin said, “What opens the door for students? That’s our job as educators. When you are at a school, your job as an educator is to figure out how to unlock the door for the kids. And that’s what Annie did for Helen, a person many thought couldn’t speak or write.”


The two performances were highly impressive, showing great talent and maturity. 


The cast:

Sarah Balog: Production Stage Manager

Taylor Benavides: Doctor, school child, ensemble

Ella Brown: Martha, ensemble, costumes

Ida Chapman: Aunt Ev

Ellory Goodhue: Assistant director, Jane, ensemble

Henry Jacobs: James

Lila Klinzman: Viney, school child, hair design,

Sophia Lazor: Professor Anagnos

Saaya Maru: Helen Cast B

Logan Michalak: Annie Cast B

Annie O’Connor: Kate Cast A

Molly Palmer: Annie Cast A

Marco Ramirez: Captain Keller

Aliza Rashid: Kate Cast B

Sierra Wells: Percy, school child, ensemble

Molly Wiggenhauser: Helen Cast A


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