Page 1


S

2010 / 2011 EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH SPONSORS

yracuse Stage is committed to providing students with rich theatre experiences that explore and examine what it is to be human. Research shows that children who participate in or are exposed to the arts show higher academic achievement, stronger self-esteem, and improved ability to plan and work toward a future goal. Many students in our community have their first taste of live theatre through Syracuse Stage’s outreach programs. Last season more than 30,000 students from across New York State attended or participated in the Bank of America Children’s Tour, Backstory performances, artsEmerging, the Young Playwrights Festival, and our Student Matinee Program. We gratefully acknowledge the corporations and foundations who support our commitment to in-depth arts education for our community. Student Matinee Series

Backstory Program

Sponsor

Sponsored by

supported in part by

supported in part by

ArtsEmerging Sponsored by

John Ben Snow Foundation, Inc.

supported in part by

General Supporters

Educational Outreach

The Golub Foundation

Children’s Tour Kathy & Dan Mezzalingua

The Kochian Family The Bass Family

Naming Sponsor

Lori Pasqualino as “Annabel” in the 2010 Bank of America Children’s Tour: Annabel Drudge... and the Second Day of School. Photo by Michael Davis


09/10 SEASON CLASSROOM STUDY GUIDE Content Written and Collected by Len Fonte Editing, Layout & Design by Michelle Scully

CONTENTS Timothy Bond

Producing Artistic Director Syracuse Stage & SU Drama

820 E Genesee Street Syracuse, NY 13210 www.SyracuseStage.org Director of

4. Introduction & Planning Your Visit 5. Teaching Theatre 7. Title Page/Credits 8. About the Author 9. About the Play 10. Context 14. Sources & Resources 15. Syracuse Stage Season 2010-11

Educational Outreach

Lauren Unbekant (315) 443-1150 Manager of Educational Outreach

Michelle Scully (315) 442-7755

STUDENT MATINEE CORPORATE SPONSOR

Group Sales & Student Matinees

Tracey White (315) 443-9844

Since 1849 National Grid and its predecessor companies have been part of the Syracuse community, helping to meet the energy needs of over two million Upstate New York customers. We are proud to contribute to the quality of life through the energy we deliver and through the many ways we give back to the communities we serve.

Box Office

with additional support by

(315) 443-3275 Syracuse Stage is Central New York’s premiere professional theatre. Founded in 1974, Stage has produced more than 230 plays in 37 seasons including numerous world and American premieres. Each season, upwards of 90,000 patrons enjoy an exciting mix of comedies, dramas and musicals featuring leading designers, directors and performers from New York and across the country, supported by a full-time and seasonal staff of artisans, technicians and administrators.

EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH AT SYRACUSE STAGE The Bank of America CHILDREN’S TOUR brings high-energy, interactive, and culturally diverse performances to elementary school audiences. The BACKSTORY Program brings history to life, as professional actors portray historical figures in classrooms and other venues. artsEMERGING takes students on an in-depth exploration of our mainstage season using a multi-cultural, multi-arts lens. The YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL challenges students to submit original tenminute plays for a chance to see their work performed at Syracuse Stage.

Find us on: 3


Intro

W

hen the first cave-dweller got up to tell a story, theatre began. Almost every culture has some sort of live performance tradition to tell stories. Television and film may have diminished the desire for access to theatre, but they have not diminished the importance.

Live theatre gives each audience member an opportunity to connect with the performers in a way he/she never could with actors on a television or movie screen. The emotions can be more intense because the events are happening right in front of the audience. In the classroom, theatre can be an effective teaching tool. The NY State Teaching Standards value students’ observation of and participation in theatrical performances, both in traditional settings and classroom exercises. We at Syracuse Stage hope that our Study Guides will help you discover a multitude of possibilities for integrating this season’s productions into your lesson plans. We encourage you to delve deeply into our plays with your students and examine not just the story and its themes, but also the manner in which it is told — the casting, visual design, sound design, movement and choreography, and dialogue. If we can be of any further assistance toward this end, please feel free to call our Education Department at (315) 4431150.

SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

“Theatre brings life to life.”

Zelda Fichandler

Founding Artistic Director Arena Stage, Washington DC

PROMPT ARRIVAL gives your students plenty of time to arrive, find their seats, and get situated. We ask that you arrive 30 minutes prior to the performance.

BUSSES should load and unload students on E. Genesee

St., where red cones will indicate bus-only parking. Please do not block the Centro Bus Stop at the corner.

USHERS will escort you to your seats. We request that

teachers and chaperones distribute themselves among the students, and help us to keep students in their seats once seated.

BACKPACKS, cameras, food, and drink are not

allowed into the theatre, nor can we store them. Please leave these items at school or on the bus.

PHOTOGRAPHY and video recording per-

formances is illegal, disruptive, and sometimes dangerous. Cameras and other recording devices, including cell phones, will be confiscated.

SNACKS & SODA, whenever possible, will be available during intermission for $1. These are to be consumed in the lobby only.

RESTROOMS are located in the main lobby, but

please only allow students to exit during a performance in the case of an emergency.

GOOD NOISE, BAD NOISE

Instead of instructing students to remain totally silent, please discuss the difference between appropriate responses (laughter, applause, participation when requested) and inappropriate noise (talking, texting, etc). 4


T

A heatre

SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

of

rt

Any piece of theatre comprises multiple art forms. As you explore the play with your students, examine the use of: WRITING

VISUAL ART/DESIGN MUSIC/SOUND

Teaching Theatre

The

DANCE/MOVEMENT

Most (but not all) plays begin with a script — a story to be told and a blueprint of how to tell it. In his famous treatise, The Poetics, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle outlined

SIX ELEMENTS OF DRAMA

Plot What

that playwrights are mindful of to this day:

is the story line? What happened before the play started? What does each character want? What do they do to achieve their goals? What do they stand to gain/lose?

Language What do the characters say? How do they say it? When do they say it? Do they speak to one character differently than another? Why?

M

usic How do music and What ideas are sound help to tell this story? wrestled with in the play? What quespectacle What vitions does the play pose? Does it pressual elements support the play? This ent an opinion on those questions, or could include: puppets, scenery, cosleave it to the audience to decide? tumes, dance, movement, and more.

Theme

S

Character

Who are the people in the story? What is their relationship to one another? Why do they do what they do? How do their ages/status/etc affect them?

Other Elements: Conflict/Resolution, Action, Improvisation, Non-verbal communication, Staging, Humor, Realism and other styles, Metaphor, Language, Tone, Pattern and repetition, Emotion, Point of view.

At its core, drama is about characters working toward goals and overcoming obstacles. Ask students to use their bodies and voices to create characters who are: very old, very young, very strong, very weak, very tired, very energetic, very cold, very warm. Have their characters interact with one another. Give them an objective to fulfil despite their environmental obstacles. Later, recap by asking how these obstacles affected their character and the pursuit of his/her objectives. 5


Teaching Theatre

SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

Most plays utilize designers to create the visual world of the play through scenery, costumes, lighting, and more. These artists use

ELEMENTS OF DESIGN

to communicate information about the world within the play and its characters. Have students discuss these elements BEFORE attending the performance and ask them to pay special attention to how these elements are used in the production’s design. Whether your students are observing a piece of visual art like a painting or a piece of performance art like a play, allow them first to notice the basic elements, then encourage them to look deeper into why these elements are used the way they are.

LINE can have length, width, texture, direc-

tion and curve. There are 5 basic varieties: verticle, horizontal, diagonal, curved, and zig-zag.

SHAPE is two-dimensional

and encloses space. It can be geometric (eg. squares and circles), man-made, or free-form.

FORM is three-dimensional. It encloses

space and fills space. It, too, can be geometric (eg. cubes and cylinders), man-made, or free-form.

SPACE

is defined and determined by shapes and forms. Positive space is enclosed by shapes and forms, while negative space exists around them.

COLOR

has three basic properties: HUE is the name of the color (eg. red, blue, green), INTENSITY is the strength of the color (bright or dull), VALUE is the range of lightness to darkness.

TEXTURE

refers to the “feel” of an object’s surface. It can be smooth, rough, soft, etc. Textures may be ACTUAL (able to be felt) or IMPLIED (suggested visually through the artist’s technique). 6


SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

Timothy Bond

Jeffrey Woodward

Producing Artistic Director

Managing Director

PRESENTS

By William Gibson Directed by Paul Barnes

March 23 - April 23 "Once I knew only darkness and stillness... my life was without past or future... but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.” In her own words, Helen Keller captures the inspirational heart of William Gibson’s classic American play. Between the emptiness and the rapture, though, came a fierce struggle of wills, with Helen, in her darkness and stillness, on one side, and the determined Annie Sullivan on the other, a young woman who had endured a lifetime of pain in just twenty years. Gibson’s text is unsparing and unflinching in its depiction of their confrontation and mutual triumph. The hearts that will be leaping will be ours. “A stirring piece of theatrical storytelling.” – The Wall Street Journal Set in the American South in the 1880s, The Miracle Worker tells the story of real-life Medal of Freedom winner Helen Keller, who suddenly lost her sight and hearing at the age of 19 months, and the extraordinary teacher who taught her to communicate with the world, Annie Sullivan. The 1960 Broadway premiere won four Tony Awards including Best Play, and starred Patty Duke as Helen Keller and Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan. 7


the

About

AUTHOR

SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

WILLIAM GIBSON playwright ( born 1914 in New York, NY, USA )

After a slow-burning start, William Gibson, who died at age 94, found worldwide success in his forties. He did so with two plays The Miracle Worker (1957) and Two for a Seesaw (1958) - which both have women at their centre, and made a star of Anne Bancroft. These followed a bestselling novel, The Cobweb (1954), so scandalous that Gibson’s widowed mother Florence confessed to her priest after reading it.

Of Irish, French, German, Dutch and Russian ancestry, Gibson was born and grew up in the Bronx, the teeming, dramatic New York neighbourhood later brilliantly evoked in his substantial, unusual memoir A Mass for the Dead (1968). His father, Irv, was a Protestant, and in that era his decision to marry a Catholic, Florence, after a five-year engagement, was rather bold. They wed nine months and 19 days before their son’s birth - Florence said, “Thank goodness for the 19 days!”. His mother encouraged William’s writing and music, and the local library was addictive - “an opium den”, he said later. In the Thirties, Gibson began to write seriously, at the City College of New York and in Greenwich Village. He joined a government programme for writers, and was set the menial task of tabulating old garbage-collection records, and also played the piano in bars at night to make ends meet. Although he managed to sell a story for $150, after his marriage to Margaret Bremnan in 1940 it was his wife’s income as a psychiatrist which sustained them, while he wrote verse, in 1948 publishing Winter Crook. With an emphasis upon nature, it also gave a candid depiction of his wife: “as inviting as valley/or wanton hills, whose thighs/are my earth”. The arrival of two sons necessitated a turn to more profitable prose. The engrossing The Cobweb (1954), with its charged, small-town shenanigans, was inspired by a stint working at a psychiatric home, and was published two years before the notorious Peyton Place. Brought in to bolster a troubled fictional psychiatric home, its central character “Dr Stewart McIver” neglects his wife, “Karen,” while tending patients, becomes embroiled with his assistant, “Meg,” and is at loggerheads with a colleague. There are also disputes over new curtains for the patients’ sitting-room. Vincente Minnelli’s enjoyable 1955 film of the book featured Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer, Lillian Gish and Oscar Levant. Gibson netted $40,000 for script polishing but was unnerved by the glamour of Hollywood (in photographs, publicists airbrushed his eyebrows, which met in the middle, to make them tidier), and he returned home. Although, Gibson said, “my conscience kept nagging me that writing dialogue was not real work”, he was encouraged by the director Arthur Penn, and their collaboration produced the first TV version of The Miracle Worker (1957). After the successes of the 1950s, Gibson’s subsequent career was erratic. His musical based on Clifford Odets’s boxing play Golden Boy (1964), with Sammy Davis Jr, has become a cult as a result of Charles Strouse and Lee Adams’s unusual score. Gibson revived an early, effective play about Shakespeare, A Cry of Players - again with Bancroft - while his literary criticism includes A Season in Heaven (1974) and Shakespeare’s Game (1978). Bancroft also took the lead role in his play Golda (1977). Its large cast, however, did not make the politician’s life dramatic, and in 2002 Gibson reduced it to a monologue, Golda’s Balcony. A sequel to The Miracle Worker, Monday After the Miracle (1982), did not have the dramatic urgency of the original. 8


across a book of Annie Sullivan's letters in the Stockbridge Library in Massachusetts. The letters detailed some of her experiences in the late 1800's when, as a young woman fresh from her training at the Perkins Institute in Boston, she went down to Alabama to work with a child named Helen Keller. […] He called his friend, director Arthur Penn, who was working in television. Gibson sent him some quotes from Sullivan’s letters and a day or two later, Penn said he had sold the idea and asked, “How soon can you write it?” It took Gibson three weeks to write the teleplay, although he had no clue how to write for television. The teleplay appeared on the series “Playhouse 90” in February 1957. Starring Teresa Wright as Annie and Patty McCormack as Helen, it was a huge success. Soon after, […]Gibson wanted to bring The Miracle Worker to the stage. Before he did, he sent the script, in Braille, to Helen Keller, who at the time was 79 years old. […]The Miracle Worker opened on Broadway at the Playhouse Theatre on October 19, 1959, starring Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan, Patricia Neal as Helen's mother Kate, and Patty Duke as Helen. The show became one of the biggest hits of the 1959 -1960 theater season. It went on to win six Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Actress (Anne Bancroft). The play was turned into a feature film in 1962 by Arthur Penn and William Gibson. Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke reprised their roles in the movie and both carried home Oscars for their work. The Miracle Worker was re-done for television in 1979 and 2000. The 1979 version also featured Patty Duke, this time playing Annie Sullivan. […] Today, this play is produced across the nation and in many countries around the world. There is an annual outdoor production on the grounds of Ivy Green, the Keller home in Tuscumbia, Alabama, which is now a museum. In 1982 Gibson wrote a sequel titled Monday After the Miracle, which detailed the lives of Annie and Helen after Helen reached adulthood and Sullivan married. The play starred Karen Allen as Helen and Jane Alexander as Annie, but it was not a success, closing on Broadway after only nine previews and eight regular performances.

Rare photo captures Hellen Keller, with doll, and teacher Anne Sullivan. Associated Press

9

the

In the mid 1950s, playwright William Gibson had run

About Play

SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

"The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me." — Helen Keller


Context

Helen Adams Keller

SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

Helen Keller was born at an estate called Ivy Green in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on June 27, 1880, to Captain Arthur H. Keller, a former officer of the Confederate Army, and Kate Adams Keller, a cousin of Robert E. Lee and daughter of Charles W. Adams, a former Confederate general. […]She was not born blind and deaf; it was not until nineteen months of age that she came down with an illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain”, which could have possibly been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her deaf and blind. At that time her only communication partner was Martha Washington, the six-year-old daughter of the family cook, who was able to create a sign language with her; by age seven, she had over 60 ‘home signs’ to communicate with her family. In 1886, her mother was inspired by an account in Charles Dickens’ American Notes of the successful education of another deafblind child, Laura Bridgman, and traveled to a specialist doctor in Baltimore for advice. He put her in touch with Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at the time. Bell advised the couple to contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school where Bridgman had been educated, which was then located in South Boston. The school delegated teacher and former student Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired and then only 20 years old, to become Keller’s instructor. It was the beginning of a 49-year-long relationship, eventually evolving into governess and companion. […]Sullivan taught her charge to speak using the Tadoma method of touching the lips and throat of others as they speak, combined with fingerspelling letters on the palm of the child’s hand. Later Keller learned Braille, and used it to read not only English but also French, German, Greek, and Latin[….] In 1904, at the age of 24, Keller graduated from Radcliffe [College] magna cum laude, becoming the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Keller went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. She is remembered as an advocate for people with disabilities amid numerous other causes[….]At the age of 23, Keller published her autobiography, The Story of My Life (1903), with help from Sullivan and Sullivan’s husband, John Macy. It includes letters that Keller wrote and the story of her life up to age 21, and was written during her time in college. Helen wrote “The World I Live In” in 1908 giving readers an insight into how she felt about the world. In total, she wrote 12 books and numerous articles. 10


Context

SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

Anne Sullivan stayed as a companion to Helen Keller long after she taught her. Anne married John Macy in 1905, and her health started failing around 1914. Polly Thompson was hired to keep house. […]She progressed to working as a secretary as well, and eventually became a constant companion to Helen. After Anne died in 1936, Helen and Polly moved to Connecticut. They travelled worldwide raising funding for the blind. Polly had a stroke in 1957 from which she never fully recovered, and died in 1960. Winnie Corbally was Helen’s companion for the rest of her life. Keller also suffered a series of strokes in 1961 and spent the last years of her life at her home. On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded Helen Keller the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the United States’ highest two civilian honors. In 1965 she was elected to the Women’s Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair. Keller devoted much of her later life to raise funds for the American Foundation for the Blind. She died in her sleep on June 1, 1968, passing away 26 days before her 88th birthday, at her home in Arcan Ridge near Westport, Connecticut. A service was held in her honor at the National Cathedral in Washington,

Anne Mansfield Sullivan

Annie Sullivan was born in Feeding Hills, a subsection of the town of Agawam, Massachusetts, in 1866. Her parents, Thomas Sullivan and Alice Clohessy, were impoverished cooks who left Ireland in 1847 because of the Potato Famine. Sullivan’s father taught her Irish tradition and folklore. Her mother suffered from tuberculosis and died when she was nine. When she was ten, Anne had to move in with a relative, who later sent her and her brother to the Tewksbury Almshouse, an orphanage for poor children. […]When Sullivan was three she began having trouble with her eyesight; at age five, she contracted the eye disease trachoma, a bacterial infection that often causes blindness by scarring. Sullivan underwent a long string of surgeries. Doctors in Tewksbury had made a few vain attempts to clean her eyelids. Later, Father Barbara, the chaplain of the nearest hospital, took it upon himself to arrange a procedure. This operation failed to correct her vision. Still more attempts were made. Father Barbara took her to the Boston City Infirmary this time, where she had two more operations. Even after this attempt her vision remained blurry. Sullivan returned to Tewksbury, against her will. After four years there, in 1880, she entered the Perkins School for the Blind where she underwent surgery and regained some of her sight. After regaining her eyesight and graduating as class valedictorian in 1886, the director of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, Dr. Michael Anagnos, encouraged her to teach Helen Keller. In 1905, Sullivan married a Harvard University professor, John Albert Macy, who had helped Keller with her autobiography. Macy died at the age of 55 in 1932. Sullivan stayed with Keller at her home and joined her on tours. In 1935, she became completely blind. She died in Forest Hills, New York, on October 20, 1936. 11


The braille system

Context

SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

, devised in 1821 by Frenchman Louis Braille, is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write. Each braille character or cell is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two columns of three dots each. A dot may be raised at any of the six positions to form sixtyfour permutations, including the arrangement in which no dots are raised. The braille system was based on a method of communication originally developed by Charles Barbier in response to Napoleon's demand for a code that soldiers could use to communicate silently and without light at night called “night writing.” Barbier's system was too complex for soldiers to learn, and was rejected by the military; in 1821 he visited the National Institute for the Blind in Paris, France, where he met Louis Braille. Braille identified the major failing of the code, which was that the human finger could not encompass the whole symbol without moving, and so could not move rapidly from one symbol to another. His modification was to use a 6 dot cell — the braille system — which revolutionized written communication for the blind.

Every character in the braille code is based on an arrangement of one to six raised dots. Each dot has a numbered position in the braille cell. These characters make up the letters of the alphabet, punctuation marks, numbers, and everything else you can do in print. The picture to the right shows you how the dots are arranged in the braille cell for each letter of the alphabet. See if you can find the letters in your name and tell the dot numbers for each one. Other Types of Communication...

Hands-on Signing is used by British Sign Language users whose vision no longer allows them to see sign language and they therefore ‘feel’ sign language by resting their hands on the communicator’s hand.

Sign Language Some deaf/blind people were deaf from birth and became blind as teen-agers or

adults. They may prefer the sign language used by deaf people. Instead of watching the hands and arms of friends, they touch the hands of the person making the signs to learn what is being said.

Tadoma

is tactile lip reading (or tactile speech reading). The Tadoma user feels the vibrations of the throat and face and jaw positions of the speaker as he/she speaks.

Visual Frame Signing is a way of modifying

and using sign language in a restricted space to suit the visual needs of the individual receiving it.

American Sign Language (ASL)

For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, but not also blind, a system of finger signs corresponding to letters, words and concepts. The finger alphabet is shown to the left.

12


ASK KELLER Keller Johnson-Thompson,

Helen’s great-grandniece, writes a monthly column for the American Federation for the Blind website. Visit “Ask Keller” at www.afb.org/braillebug/askkeller.asp

Context

SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

Q: After Helen Keller learned what the letters W-A-T-E-R stood for, how did Anne Sullivan go about teaching her other words? To understand a new word, Helen would place her hand lightly on one of Annie’s hands and she would feel Annie’s finger positions change as Annie spelled individual letters to Helen using the finger spelling method. Annie could spell the letters very fast. So, constant practice made Helen so proficient at interpreting what Annie was spelling, she did not need to feel each letter of a word, she simply could guess what the word was by picking up the meaning of the first few letters. Annie treated Helen just like a hearing child acquiring language. She would finger spell complete sentences into Helen’s hand, and then filled in the meaning with gestures and descriptive signs. Helen wanted to know the names of everything. Annie and Helen spent their days outdoors in the small town of Tuscumbia, Alabama, on the banks of the mighty Tennessee River. Helen and her teacher dug dams using pebbles and made islands of sand to study geography. They used shells and fossils to investigate botany and tadpoles to study biography. Helen’s word mastery was amazing. By September 1887, Helen’s vocabulary had increased to six hundred words. Although she did not always use words correctly, they were very powerful to Helen and her learning.

Q: How did Anne Sullivan teach Helen Keller verbs? Helen Keller learned the word "water," on April 5, 1887. By May 22nd, she knew over 300 words. Nouns were easy to teach. Anne Sullivan would let Helen Keller feel an object, and then she finger-spelled the word to the object into Helen's eager hands. A few repetitions were usually enough for Helen to learn the word. But verbs were not as easy for Helen to learn or for Annie to teach. Words like "walk," and "run," were easy enough because they could be taught by some action, but when it came to words like "think," and "laugh," Anne Sullivan had to use her imagination. Every time Anne Sullivan spelled a sentence with the word "laugh," Helen wanted to know what it meant. She asked over and over again. Annie tried to explain, but Helen did not understand. Finally Annie laughed and put Helen's hands on her face as she did so. Then she tickled Helen until she laughed and spelled the letters "l-a-u-g-h," into Helen's hand. She did this over and over again until both teacher and student lay in the floor laughing hysterically. Some words were easier to teach than others. Annie taught Helen the word "in," by spelling "Helen in the wardrobe," and then she put Helen in the wardrobe. However, the word "think" was more difficult. One day, as Helen was counting beads, Anne let her know that she had made a mistake. As Helen sat with the beads in her hand trying to decide what to do next, Annie touch her forehead, and then she spelled into her hand, "t-h-i-n-k." Helen soon learned her first abstract word. Of course, this was only the beginning. Helen would go on to learn many more words in this same manner.

In the Classroom:

Using the following excerpt from the essay “Three Days to See” by Helen Keller as a guide, consider what you would want to do if you had just three days to see.

Essay

“I who am blind can give one hint to those who see - one admonition to those who would make full use of the gift of sight: Use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind. And the same method can be applied to other senses. Hear the music of voices, the song of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra, as if you would be stricken deaf to-morrow. Touch each object you want to touch as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never smell and taste again. Make the most of every sense; glory in all the facets of pleasure and beauty which the world reveals to you through the several means of contact which Nature provides. But of all the senses, I am sure that sight must be the most delightful.”

The above topics address New York State ELA Standard 2.

13


SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

ReSources

LEARN MORE... TEACHING THEATRE/ARTS

ArtsWork.com

http://artswork.asu.edu/arts/teachers/resources/theatre1.htm

ChildDrama.com

http://www.childdrama.com/lessons.html

Educational Theatre Association

http://www.edta.org/publications/teaching.aspx

Kennedy Center

http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/teach/hto.cfm

Viola Spolin

http://www.spolin.com/

INFORMATION SOURCES & RESOURCES Material on pg. 8-13 was written and compiled for Paper Mill Playhouse from original writings of Andrew Lowy and Michael Mooney as well as significant contributions from www.wikipedia.com, www.afb.org and Keller Johnson-Thompson, www.imbd.com, www.officialpattyduke.com, www.classzone.com, www.npr.org, and www.theatrebristol.org. “Three Days to See,” by Helen Keller http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=1&TopicID=193&SubTopicID=17&Docu mentID=1215) Visit “Ask Keller” at www.afb.org/braillebug/askkeller.asp

14


SYRACUSE STAGE 2010-2011 SEASON STUDENT STUDY GUIDE

15

The Miracle Worker  

The Miracle Worker-Study Guide

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you