Langley’s Jessica Garden is directing Gallery 7’s production of The Miracle Worker starting this weekend in Abbotsford. The play features actors Rebecca Laurenti and Meghan Hanet. (Dianna Lewis Photography)

Langley thespian brings Helen Keller story to life on Abby stage

A TWU theatre grad turned producers is bringing The Miracle Worker to the Gallery 7 stage this week.

TWU alumnus Jessica Garden, now an associate producer with Langley’s Dark Glass Theatre, is directing a play on an Abbotsford stage starting this week.

Jessica Garden has spent months working with the cast and crew with the goal of raising the curtain on Gallery 7 Theatre’s production The Miracle Worker on Friday.

The Miracle Worker was the first play that I saw as an undergraduate,” she said.

“I was mesmerized by the compelling performances and deeply moved to learn more about the story. In the same way that Helen’s mind and soul are awakened through the discovery of language and her own personhood, I felt as though I too were being awakened.”

Garden is the associate producer of Dark Glass Theatre, and is an artist, administrator, and describes herself as a passionate social justice advocate.

She studied theatre and literature at Trinity Western University and recently directed the premiere of Throne for the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

In The Miracle Worker, deaf, blind and mute Helen Keller lives out a dark and silent existence that expresses itself only through violent and spoiled behaviour.

As a last resort, her family hires a young teacher, Anne Sullivan, to help.

Discovering a mind and spirit waiting to be released, Anne sets forth against all odds to help Helen break through her physical barriers and become the powerful person she truly is.

“This play emphasizes the importance of finding hope in the face of trauma and retaining that hope by connecting with others,” Garden said.

“The play so beautifully emphasizes the importance of spiritual connection and is especially relevant in a time where matters of the soul are often ignored in favour of political gain, social media popularity, and status.”

The Miracle Worker runs April 6 and 7, and April 11 to 14 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre. Information: online.

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