CRESTVIEW — "Hello Dolly" it ain't.
The View From the Stage community theatre troupe has chosen one of American theatre's most challenging shows for their fourth production.
"The Miracle Worker," William Gibson's inspirational 1959 drama, brings local audiences the story of Annie Sullivan, who is hired to tutor the near-feral Helen Keller.
It is a triumphant story of the human spirit.
It is also a risk.
Are local audiences ready for a meaty show without hummable tunes or madcap door-slamming?
Producer Berit Faust thinks both the company and its audience are ready for serious drama.
"We've had a lot of people interested in the play," including some who, like Keller, face the challenges of speech and hearing impairment, Faust said.
In fact, the Saturday evening performance will include a sign language interpreter "so people can see how far we have come in our awareness from the days of Helen Keller being almost institutionalized," Faust said.
Director Nancy Black believes audiences will find many relevancies in the show.
"'The Miracle Worker' ... is a prolonged glance at one family and their trials and triumphs; really no different than you or I," she said.
Black considers herself fortunate to have found an exceptional pool of talent from which to cast the production.
"I have been involved with theater, both acting and directing, for over 30 years," she said. "This cast and crew are by far the best with which I have ever worked."
Sarah Hawkins as Annie Sullivan and Brooklyn Onuffer as Helen Keller hadn't previously worked together, which Black said has added extra realism to their characters' initial tumultuous relationship.
"Through the brutal blocking that is required for several scenes, they have developed a trust in each other," she said. "This trust is evident in the fact that their movement on stage has become fluid and realistic."
The drama opens Friday evening. Curtain is 7 p.m.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: "The Miracle Worker," presented by View From the Stage
WHEN: 7 p.m. April 11 and 12; 2:30 p.m. April 12 and 13
WHERE: Warriors Hall, Whitehurst Municipal Building, Stillwell Avenue at Industrial Drive, Crestview
TICKETS: $12 each at the door or at Journey Java Connection, 269 N. Main St.