Patty Duke May Stage The Miracle Worker for Des Plaines Theatre

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12 May 2014

Patty Duke
Patty Duke

Academy Award-winning "Miracle Worker" star Patty Duke may stage a production of the inspiration William Gibson drama for Illinois' Des Plaines Theatre, according to the Daily Herald.

Duke's involvement is aimed at re-energizing the now-shuttered historic playhouse – originally built as a Vaudeville theatre – which was closed earlier this year due to code violations. Funds are currently being raised to help the playhouse re-open its doors

Duke, who had been considering staging a production of the play that made her a star, recently toured the theatre and stated that the location would make an ideal venue for The Miracle Worker

"I would love to be able to bring in the funding that it needs," Duke told the Daily Herald. "It doesn't need a giant facelift. But a little nip and tuck wouldn't be bad."

"(Helen Keller) and Anne Sullivan have been a part of my life - my daily life - for 60 years," she added.

The original 1959 Broadway production of The Miracle Worker famously starred Anne Bancroft as Irish-American Annie and young Duke as Helen. It won six Tony Awards, including Best Play in 1960. They repeated their work for the film version, each winning an Academy Award. Duke later played Annie in a TV film of the work, with Melissa Gilbert as Helen. A theatrical sequel, Monday After the Miracle, also by Gibson, showed Helen and Annie as adults, dealing with very different issues. Gibson died in 2008.