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Monday, 14 December 2009 17:12

THE MIRACLE WORKER Announces Modine, Morrison Franz









Producers David Richenthal, Eric Falkenstein and Randall Wreghitt are pleased to announce that Golden Globe® and Emmy Award® nominee Matthew Modine (“And the Band Played On,” Short Cuts), Jennifer Morrison (Fox series “House M.D.,” the film Star Trek) and Tony Award® winner Elizabeth Franz (Death of a Salesman) have joined the cast of the first revival of William Gibson’s THE MIRACLE WORKER as the Tony Award® winning play celebrates its 50th Anniversary of opening on Broadway.

As previously announced, THE MIRACLE WORKER, directed by Kate Whoriskey (Ruined), will star Academy Award® nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Tony Award® nominee Alison Pill (The Lieutenant of Inishmore) as Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, iconic roles made famous by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in the Tony Award® winning play and landmark feature film adaptation.

A veteran of over 50 feature films Matthew Modine will make his Broadway debut in The Miracle Worker. He starred in Birdy, Married to the Mob, Vision Quest, Full Metal Jacket, Orphans, Pacific Heights and On Any Given Sunday. He earned Golden Globe® and Emmy Award® nominations for his performance in HBO's critically acclaimed and Emmy Award® winning drama “And the Band Played On.” On stage he starred in the critically acclaimed Hartford Stage production of To Kill a Mockingbird and in the world premiere of Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas at the Geffen Playhouse, a satire about the film industry. 

Jennifer Morrison will make her Broadway debut in The Miracle Worker. She is best known for her role as “Dr. Allison Cameron” on the critically acclaimed television series “House M.D.” She recently appeared in the feature film Star Trek as “Captain James Kirk’s” mother “Winona.” Following making her film debut opposite Richard Gere and Sharon Stone in Intersection she has appeared in the feature films Stir of Echoes, Grind, Surviving Christmas and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Morrison studied with the celebrated Steppenwolf Theatre Company and earned a theater degree from Loyola University. 

Tony Award® winner Elizabeth Franz returns to Broadway for the first time since starring in the 2002 Tony Award® nominated production of Morning’s at Seven for which was nominated for Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. She is best known for her Tony Award® winning performance as “Linda Loman” in the 1999 production of Death of a Salesman.

THE MIRACLE WORKER will be staged in the round for the first time at Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50 Street). Previews will begin on Friday, February 12, 2010 toward an officially opening Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Additional casting will be announced shortly.

Set in the South in the 1880s, THE MIRACLE WORKER tells the story of real-life blind and deaf 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 MIRACLE WORKER originally opened at The Playhouse Theatre on October 19, 1959 and was awarded the 1960 Tony Award® for Best Play in addition to garnering leading lady Anne Bancroft a Tony Award® for Best Actress in a Play for the role of Annie Sullivan and a Theatre World Award for newcomer Patty Duke for her portrayal of Helen Keller. Both actresses received Academy Awards® for their work in the feature film adaptation.


MATTHEW MODINE (Captain Keller). A veteran of over 50 films, Modine has starred in Alan Parker's Birdy, Jonathan Demme's Married to the Mob, Harold Becker's Vision Quest, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, Alan J. Pakula's Orphans, John Schlesinger's Pacific Heights and Oliver Stone's On Any Given Sunday to name a few. In 1984, he was recognized by the Venice Film Festival for his work in Robert Altman's Streamers, while he and his cast mates received an unprecedented Best Actor Golden Lion Award. In 1993 he received a second award from the Venice Film Festival - a Volpi Cup for Best Ensemble Cast in Robert Altman's Golden Lion Award winning Shortcuts with the cast winning the Golden Globe® for Best Ensemble. Matthew earned Golden Globe® and Emmy Award® nominations for his performance in HBO's critically acclaimed, Emmy Award® winning drama “And the Band Played On.” Modine received a Golden Globe® nomination for his performance in the 1998 Hallmark Entertainment production “What the Deaf Man Heard” (CBS), the highest rated television movie at that time on any network since 1991. Matthew also appeared in the Emmy Award® nominated CBS miniseries “Hitler: The Rise of Evil.” Recently, Matthew starred in the feature film Opa! and just completed filming The Trial.  Three of his short films, When I Was a Boy (co-directed with Todd Field), Smoking and Ecce Pirate debuted at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. When I Was a Boy also premiered at the prestigious New Directors/New Films at New York's Museum of Modern Art. I Think I Thought had its North American premiere at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. Cowboy premiered at the 2008 Los Angeles United Film Festival. Each of these films have since played major film festivals throughout the world. Modine's first feature, If…Doug…Rabbit starred John Hurt, Kevin J. O'Connor, Bruce Dern, Lisa Marie and David Keith. On stage he starred in the critically acclaimed Hartford Stage production of To Kill a Mockingbird and in the world premiere of Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas at the Geffen Playhouse, a satire about the film industry. Modine directed the play 12 Angry Men starring F. Murray Abraham, Wallace Shawn and Seymour Cassel at the New Mercury Theater co-founded by Matthew and Todd Field in Beverly Hills, California. The Miracle Worker marks Modine’s Broadway debut.

JENNIFER MORRISON (Kate Keller) will make her Broadway debut in The Miracle Worker. She can currently be seen as “Dr. Allison Cameron” on Fox’s critically acclaimed drama "House MD," which has received nominations for the 2009 Screen Actors Guild Award, Primetime Emmy Award® for Outstanding Drama Series in 2008, 2007 and 2006 and a 2008 Golden Globe Award®.  She was recently nominated for a 2008 WIN Award for Outstanding Actress Drama Series for her performance on the hit show. This fall she can be seen in the upcoming Lion’s Gate feature film Warrior directed by Gavin O’Conner starring opposite Nick Nolte and Joel Egerton. This summer she appeared in J.J. Abrams’ film Star Trek as “Captain James Kirk’s” mother “Winona.”   She was recently seen in 20th Century Fox’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith opposite Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Dreamworks’ Surviving Christmas starring Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate, the independent film Flourish in which she stars in and produced and in the Lifetime feature “The Murder of Princess Diana” based on the fictional novel by Noel Botham. Other film credits include Grind, Urban Legends: Final Cut and the Kevin Bacon thriller Stir of Echoes. On television she played a recurring role on "Dawson's Creek" and appeared in the series "Any Day Now" and "The Chronicle.” Morrison studied with the celebrated Steppenwolf Theatre Company and earned a theater degree from Loyola University. 

ELIZABETH FRANZ (Aunt Ev) made her Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.  Since then she has appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs (Tony® and Drama Desk Award nominations), The Cherry Orchard, The Octette Bridge Club, The Cemetery Club, Getting Married, Uncle Vanya. Ms. Franz is best known for her powerful interpretation of “Linda Loman” in the 1999 production of Death of a Salesman (Tony Award®, Chicago’s Jefferson Award, Boston’s Eliot Norton Award, Los Angeles’ Ovation Award, New York’s Fany Award, Drama Desk Award nomination and Outer Critics Circle Nomination) opposite Brian Dennehy.  Her performance was recorded for television and she was nominated for Screen Actors Guild and Emmy Awards®.  She and Sam Waterston starred in an acclaimed New York production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night before she returned to Broadway in the multiple Tony® nominated production of Morning’s At Seven for which was nominated for Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.  Off Broadway: originated the title role in Christopher Durang’s Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination), world premiere of Kelly Masterson’s Against the Rising Sea at Queens Theater in The Park and The Piano Teacher at The Vineyard Theatre (2008 Lucille Lortel Award). Other performances include The Cripple of Inishman, The Comedy of Errors, Minutes from the Blue Route and Madwoman of Chaillot.  Regional credits include Lion in Winter, The Glass Menagerie, A View from the Bridge, The Matchmaker, The Wizard of Oz, Great Expectations, Model Apartment, Woman in Mind.  In 2003 she was awarded the Dramatist’s Guild Sidney Kingsley and Madge Evans Lifetime Achievement in the Theater Award.  Film: Christmas with the Kranks, The Substance of Fire, Sabrina, The Pallbearer, Stephen King’s Thinner, Fish in a Bathtub, Secret of My Success, School Ties and Jacknife.  Television movies “A Town’s Revenge”(Emmy® nomination), “A Girl Thing,”“The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket” “Dottie,” “Love and Other Sorrows” and “House of Mirth.”  Numerous television series including “Law & Order: Cold Case,” “Judging Amy,” “Roseanne” and “The Gilmore Girls.”

ABIGAIL BRESLIN (Helen Keller)made her breakthrough film appearance as Mel Gibson’s leading lady at the tender age of five in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2002 film Signs. She is perhaps best known for her critically-acclaimed title role performance in the runaway hit comedy Little Miss Sunshine. Abigail received Academy Award, SAG and BAFTA best supporting actress nominations and was honored with a best actress award from the Tokyo International Film Festival as well as being named ShoWest’s “Female Star of Tomorrow” in 2008.  Other film credits include Raising Helen, No Reservations, Definitely Maybe, Nim’s Island and Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.  This summer, she starred opposite Cameron Diaz in the Warner Brother’s film My Sister’s Keeper and can currently be seen starring in Columbia’s hit horror comedy Zombieland opposite Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Emma Stone. Abigail can next be seen opposite Johnny Depp in Rango, Gore Verbinski’s animated adventure film for Paramount Pictures. 

ALISON PILL (Annie Sullivan) most recently starred on Broadway in Mauritiusand in the Off-Broadway hits reasons to be pretty and Blackbird, for which she received Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League nominations. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in The Lieutenant of Inishmore and for a Lucille Lortel Award for On the Mountain. She won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble in the U.S. premiere of The Distance from Here and starred in an Off-Broadway run of None of the Above. Film work includes Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Milk, Dan in Real Life, Dear Wendy, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Pieces of April. Television includes “In Treatment” (HBO), "The Book of Daniel" (NBC), "Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows,” and the upcoming miniseries “The Pillars of the Earth.”

KATE WHORISKEY (Director) was recently represented Off-Broadway with Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre’s acclaimed co-production of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Ruined for which she earned Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel and Jeff Award (excellence in Chicago Theatre) nominations. New York credits include The Piano Teacher by Julia Cho at the Vineyard Theatre, Last Tree in Antartica by Julia Cho at Ensemble Studio Theatre, the world premiere of Fabulation by Lynn Nottage at Playwrights Horizons and Massacre by Jose Rivera at the Labyrinth Theatre Company of which she is a member. She also directed The Tempest at Shakespeare Theatre, the world premiere of Vigils, The Rose Tattoo and Heartbreak House at the Goodman theatre, the world premiere of Intimate Apparel, The Piano Teacher, Life is a Dream, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antigone, and Clean House at South Coast Repertory, Master Builder at the American Repertory Theatre, and Blue/Orange, Lady from the Sea and The Chairs at the Intiman Theatre. She has worked with writers Nilo Cruz, Sarah Ruhl, Michael Oondaatje, Regina Taylor and Said Sayrefezadieh. Other theatres where she has directed include Theatre for a New Audience, Baltimore Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Sundance Theatre Lab, The Fisher Center, The Eugene O’Neill Center and Geva Theatre. A graduate of NYU and the ART Institute at Harvard, she is currently a visiting lecturer at Princeton University and an associate artist at South Coast Rep. She was recently named the Artistic Director of the Intiman Theatre.

WILLIAM GIBSON (Playwright) was most recently represented on Broadway in 2003 with the production of Golda’s Balcony.  Born in 1914 in New York City, he has written poetry, fiction and scripts for stage, television and films. His plays include The Miracle Worker (Tony Award®, Best Play 1960), which was originally produced for television’s Playhouse 90; Two for the Seesaw; A Cry of Players; Golda; The Butterfingers Angel; Monday After the Miracle; Goodly Creatures; and Handy Dandy. He is the author of a novel, The Cobweb, as well as the musical version of Clifford Odets' Golden Boy. His several books include The Seesaw Log, A Mass for the Dead - a study of his family - and a volume of poetry entitled Winter Crook. Mr. Gibson's book, A Season in Heaven, takes a look at metaphysics and the creative process. His most recent book is Shakespeare's Game, a critical study. He was married to the psychoanalyst Margaret Brenman-Gibson, whose biography, Clifford Odets, American Playwright, was release in 1982.

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