Cinnaminson Actress Brings Helen Keller to Life
Anastasia Korbal has already been on three national tours.
A Cinnaminson actress is playing Helen Keller in the Miracle Worker, being shown at the Mainstage Center for the Arts at Camden County College now through Feb. 16.
The Miracle Worker tells the story of Keller, who lost her sight and hearing at 19 months due to illness, and Sullivan, the extraordinary teacher who taught her to communicate with the world. The 1960 Broadway production won five Tony Awards, including Best Play. It starred Patty Duke as Helen Keller and Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan. Both actresses also resumed their roles in the 1963 film version, earning Bancroft the Oscar for Best Actress and Duke the award for Best Supporting Actress.
Mainstage’s production will feature Casey Williams-Ficarra of Glendora as Annie Sullivan and Anastasia Korbal of Cinnaminson as Helen Keller.
The Miracle Worker brings back special memories for Williams-Facarra.
“The Miracle Worker was the very first play I saw. I was just five years old. Although I was too young to grasp most of the concepts in the piece, I was very engaged by the story, since so much of it is physical staging and easy for even a child to follow. I remember being very, very moved by the end of the play,” she said.
Williams-Facarra holds a degree in theatre arts from Rowan University and has performed in numerous local productions. She was nominated for a Perry Award for her role of Mayella in To Kill A Mockingbird, Broadway Theatre of Pitman in 2010.
At 12 years old, Korbal has already had a lot of acting experience. She’s been on three national tours: Les Misérables 25th Anniversary (Little Cosette); Little House on the Prairie (Carrie); and Annie, 30th Anniversary tour (Molly).
“Ever since I was three, I would watch movies like Annie, Mary Poppins, and Harry Potter and act out the characters. I couldn’t wait to start taking dance lessons and began those before I even turned three. Then, I auditioned for my first role as Molly in Annie when I was five. My mom told me we could leave if I was nervous, but I wasn’t, and I got the part,” said Korbal.
The Miracle Worker will be the first time Korbal portrays Helen Keller.
“I’m definitely excited for this show and to explore the role of someone who is blind, deaf, and mute. It will be different and a challenge for me,” she said
In addition, the cast includes: Shawn O’Brien (Captain Keller), Samantha Clarke of Philadelphia (Kate Keller), Eli Wood (James Keller) Chase Catling of Glendora (Jimmy), and Aleem Ogunsanya of Winslow/Sicklerville (Percy).
Perry award-winning director, Chris Melohn, will direct these actors. His most recent work with MCA was last year’s well-received To Kill A Mockingbird.
The Miracle Worker, sponsored by Comegno Law Group, P.C., runs Feb. 15, and 16, 7:30 p.m., in the newly renovated fully accessible Dennis Flyer Theatre, Lincoln Hall, Camden County College, Blackwood, NJ.
The Feb. 16 performance is sign-interpreted. Those interested in seats in the sign-interpreted section should select ASL seating on the online ticketing page at www.mainstage.org Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $14 for senior citizens, and $12 students 18 and under. For tickets, visit www.mainstage.org, or call 856-302-6485.