Behind the Scenes of “the Miracle Worker”

The Room’s a Wreck, But Her Napkin is Folded: The Incredible Amount of Patience That Went into Producing the “Miracle Worker”

By Madison Holman and Emma Holm-Olsen

Let’s face it. You probably struggle to even walk up the stairs without tripping over your own feet in the dark. But if you thought that was hard, try adding a blindfold that would completely handicap your eyes. And might as well add a pair of ear plugs in there too, while we’re at it. Now I know you’re probably thinking – I thought we were talking about the play, not role-playing being blind and deaf. Welcome to the world of method acting – a world where if it’s written you’re blind, you bet your eyes will be of no use. Or welcome to the world of the four girls that are casted as Helen Keller, a blind and deaf girl in the late 1800s of America that learned how to speak, in EAB’s production of “Miracle Worker.”

When asked what the hardest thing about the play has been so far, director Kate Riley answered: “I wanted to give as many people as possible the opportunity to play a giant leading role, so I double-cast, but then I cast 4 Helens. So we’re going to have four productions, with one Helen [Keller] for each cast … We need about 480 hours of rehearsing that we have to fit into somewhere around 120-130 hours of rehearsal.”

Sure enough she was right; this play has been incredibly time-consuming and tiring. Eleventh grader Thomas Brassanini playing Captain Keller, Helen’s father, told us that memorizing lines was especially difficult.

It was hard because Keller’s lines are pretty wordy, very long, and very specific, so to actually get it word for word was very tough.

But aside from the difficult lines written in “old-timey” language that many of the cast members have been struggling with, we also all had to learn accents for the show- southern accents for most of us- while the girls playing Annie Sullivan had to pull out an Irish accent.

So then there was learning the accents, which range from a mild Greek, to an Irish to an Alabamian southern accent. Ninth grader Abe Barlow, playing James Keller, Helen’s brother, said:

You can start by trying to learn the accent, but what’s hard is getting into the rhythm to be able to switch back and forth between your normal voice and the accent you’re trying to portray.

But even though this is a pretty difficult production to put on, co-director and former EAB student Jader Neto says he is incredibly proud of the work that has been put into this show: “Well, I’m proud because this is my first time directing anything, and I’m proud to see all of my friends who have been acting mates in the past getting this play, [which is] not an easy play by any account … The play’s coming through really nicely, and it’s really good to see all the effort everyone is putting in is coming together into this, like, piece of art, that will definitely touch people.”

The cast couldn’t agree more. We’ve all had so much fun working on this show, and we hope that the audience gets as rich an experience out of seeing it as we got working on it. The story of Helen Keller is unbelievably important, especially nowadays when people have started to forget her life’s accomplishments. I think the two of us speak for everyone when we say we feel incredibly grateful to be a part of the retelling of this amazing story.

 

Come see the “Miracle Worker” on Thursday November 8 at 7:30 pm, Friday November 9 at 4 pm and 7:30 pm, and Saturday November 10 at 3pm. We hope to see you all there and we can’t wait to share with you all of our hard work!

Why I Chose to Perform

By Alma Sato 

This is my first time participating in the Talent Show and I’m pretty excited about it! One of the reasons I’m participating in the Talent Show is to create a nice memory with my father, who loves music and likes to perform in front of an audience. Since I will be graduating soon and leaving the house, I thought this would be a great opportunity where I could sing with my father on a stage. The Talent Show has also allowed me to spend time together with my father while we were practicing our song. I really enjoyed this time with him, since both of us are usually busy and don’t have much time to be together.

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Aside from performing with my father, I will be playing violin by myself. I wanted to do this because I have never performed the violin alone before. The song is usually played together with the piano but I really wanted to try out a solo performance. I worked really hard to put emotion into the piece while also applying different tones. I hope the audience enjoys the melody and rhythm of the song!

Even though I’m nervous about playing in front of so many people, I want to show other people what I’m passionate about and provide an entertaining moment for them.

EAB’s Got Talent!

By Yasmin Abbas

EAB brings together community members from all corners of the globe, thus also bringing together a great assemblage of different experiences, perspectives, understandings, and also talents. As students gather the courage to stand on stage and face a 400-person capacity auditorium, they might find their talent ordinary, but the audience will be astounded by a display of magic, or a simply enchanting voice. Last Monday and Wednesday, auditions were held at the EAB auditorium (led by Mr. Vezzoli) as part of the process of selecting the acts that will make up both the upper and lower school talent shows.

A student who auditioned for the talent show, Leon Naves, provided me with some insight as to why one might want to participate in the EAB Talent Show:

Well, the simple answer is: because it sounds fun. But if I had to think more about it I would say that it’s because it’s my senior year and I don’t want to regret missing out on any experiences, especially since it’s my last chance to do this.

For seniors, Leon’s statement stands bold and true. As the last time we dare to make ourselves vulnerable by sharing a passion or ability of ours that makes us proud, this Talent Show will be one to remember. On that matter, I’ve heard rumors and speculations that the seniors will be tackling the concept of talent in this year’s Upper School Talent Show– could that be true? I’ll refrain from saying: “come and find out” but you will only will know if you come and see for yourself! For all other students, this opportunity is just as important, as they similarly have the opportunity to exhibit something personal that they are proud of. By doing so, students become more confident in their abilities and strengths, learning that what they personally value in themselves is given equal or greater value in the eyes of others, regardless of the talent they choose to express.

 

The Upper School Talent Show will take place October 6th from 5:30 to 7 following the Lower School Show starting at 3:00 pm. 

A Look Back at the Bulls Invitational

Game #1: EAB 33-31 PACA

For the first game of Bulls Invitational EAB played against PACA. The starters for this game where are Hendrik Stotz, Diogo Matos, Lucas Dalva, Ryan Sayah and Andre Parola making for a great team to begin the Bulls Invitational! EAB started off extremely strong with Andre Parola scoring the first basket of the game. In the first half of the game EAB scored 18 points while PACA scored 20. In the end EAB won 33-31.

by Luna Barron

Game #2: EAB 17-28 EARJ

In the Bulls’ second game of the day against EARJ they sadly weren’t able to secure another win. EARJ started off strong and were able to gain a lead of 9 points by the end of the first half, leaving the score at 13-4. Our team had time to regroup and focus more in the second half, in which they scored close to 3 times as many points as they scored in the first half. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough for the Bulls to win. EARJ won 28-17

By Braeden Heidemann

Game #3: EAB 48-33 Renata Ribeiro

EAB was able to redeem themselves, after their loss on the previous day! EAB played against Renata Ribeiro; throughout the game EAB consistently played better and their passes were amazing! The other team struggled to catch up with EAB, as the Bulls demonstrated themselves to be very focused and strong. With that, EAB proved they were the stronger team, and won 48 to 33.

By Luna Barron

Game #4: EAB 47-49 PACA

 

What an intense match! Fresh off their first victory of the day the Bulls came in motivated to win. With great ball handling and offense the Bulls were able to bring the score to 19-12 by the end of the first half. However, the match became more difficult after two of their starters fouled out and one starter couldn’t play due to an injury sustained the prior day. The game quickly became a back and forth for points just to stay in the lead. With EAB ahead by three points, at the end of the second half PACA scored a last second three-pointer which tied the game, sending them into overtime. Both teams tried their hardest in overtime but PACA was able to secure the win 49-47.

By Braeden Heidemann

My experience at SPMUN

By Chloé Posthuma

As the clock ticked on indicating the closer we were to beginning the conferences, my heartbeat raced as fast as a race car. I was welled up with emotions: excited, nervous, anxious, curious and most of all, fascinated. Numerous thoughts raced through my mind: “What if I mess up?”, “What if I don’t get an award?”, “What if I provide the crowd with incorrect information and somebody corrects me, leaving me in a deep well of embarrassment?”, and the worst one yet,”what if I don’t get an award?” These reflections always come to a delegate in the initiation of the meetings. However, these actions only help you throughout the course of the trip since you grow out of them. In other words, you develop into a different person in just a couple of days causing each day, hour, minute, second causing them to be significant and that is why every day of the trip will be discussed in this article (in the eyes of a timid person).

On the first day, I glanced at the clock for the thousandth time, awaiting for the opening ceremony that never started. I spot all the new people approaching my eyesight: new delegates, experienced delegates, freshmen, senior etc. After a decade of awaiting, the most amazing, motivational speeches were given to boost confidence in each and every delegate. Afterwards, lobbying session began; not only did this period of the meeting spark new knowledge towards the topic at hand but also friendships with intriguing people from all over Brazil in schools such as Graded, Chapel, PASME, EAB, EABH, EAC, St Paul’s, EARJ and more. Furthermore, instead of just discovering your allies in the conflict, you detect allies for the entire trip and maybe in another period in life. This can be proven by the delegate Jader Barbalho who said,”I loved everyone there, especially my fellow delegates! Everyone was just so nice and caring. It was my first time and I instantly made lots of friends with the other delegates and the chairs, I think I will keep these friends for some time as I can always meet them in MUN and NR. I also really liked my chairs who were serious but also funny! And that is how we terminated our day; a day full of acquaintances.

“Rosy- fingered dawn appeared” marking the second day; the day of debates. Just thinking about it would give me chills since it is so nerve wrecking in the start. However, I was not the only one who felt this apprehension; all of those who spoke would stutter causing a feeling of proximity with delegates I had just met. Though the monster we call fright was strongly present in the dawn of our growth, it gradually decreased throughout the course of only a couple of hours shown by the quantity of times numerous delegations who developed confidence by asking points of information and, through baby steps, going to the podium to answer the points of information. By the end of the day, every single delegation could already classify each other as allies though in the view of the modeled United Nations they were not. In other words, as the closing of the afternoon arrived and the youth of the night replaced it, everyone could consider their peers more as friends. Anyhow, not only had the members of  the American School of Brasilia gotten closer to foreign schools but also developed tight bonds with other EAB members; I met freshmen and seniors I expected I would never share a word with while I reached devoted connections with people I had previously known. Even though we arrived in the city of São Paulo as only acquaintances or friends, we definitely left as a family. In other words, the students of the American School of Brasilia flourished together.

A gloomy thought bloomed in my mind as my body awoke on day three: it was the last day. I had gone through so much with these people in such a short amount of time. Additionally, it was time to see if the hours spent working on the position papers and resolutions were worth it by receiving a prize- the award. As the delegates of our school approached their seats for the general assembly, a tension in the room was felt. Common thoughts pass through every student present, “Who will get the award?” “Will it be fair?” The first minutes were skipped on the clock…  eventually turning into hours. During those hours, one main topic was discussed in the general assembly. Numerous delegates were focused, curious, participating meanwhile others were sending notes to provoke the delegations present. These events helped swallow down the anxiety we all felt, until its conclusion; once the word “awards” was mentioned, every delegation glimpsed at one another displaying apprehension in their eyes. However this action did not stop the handing out of the awards. These prizes provoked the following events such as people crying of joy and sadness. Another event that also followed the awards was the closure of the trip. It felt like it had been a century we had remained in São Paulo, but it also felt like an hour. On the way back to Brasilia, I contemplated at how grateful I was for receiving a prodigious experience with such compelling people because these are one of the various things EAB gives their students.