Page last updated at 10:10 GMT, Thursday, 29 October 2009

Sunshine star in Broadway debut

Abigail Breslin
Breslin is currently starring in the comedy horror Zombieland

Little Miss Sunshine star Abigail Breslin is to make her Broadway debut playing Helen Keller in a revival of the hit play The Miracle Worker.

"I am so honoured," said the Oscar-nominated teenager. "It's always been something I wanted to play."

Blind and deaf, Keller learnt to communicate through the tireless efforts of teacher Annie Sullivan.

"Helen is a hero of mine — for so many reasons. She never gave up on herself," said Breslin. The play opens in March.

I have never met a young girl her age who is so clear-eyed and unstarry
Producer David Richenthal

Broadway regular Alison Pill will play Sullivan, a role made famous by the late Hollywood actress Anne Bancroft.

Bancroft starred opposite Patty Duke, as Keller, in the original 1959 production of The Miracle Worker on Broadway. Both actresses went on to win an Academy Award for their portrayals in the 1962 film of the same name.

"I think one always needs to find ways to reintroduce it," said producer David Richenthal. "I have been waiting for the right director and the right cast.

"I have never met a young girl her age who is so clear-eyed and unstarry," he said, of 13-year-old Breslin.

Courage

"Helen Keller was brilliant — an IQ of 150-something — and obviously a courageous person to overcome what she did. I see in Abigail those qualities."

Breslin made her film debut in the M Night Shyamalan film Signs, at the age of five - but it was her role as enthusiastic Olive Hoover in Little Miss Sunshine that thrust her into the spotlight.

Subsequent film work includes No Reservations, opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones, My Sister's Keeper with Cameron Diaz and current release Zombieland.

Previews for The Miracle Worker begin on 12 February 2010 at New York's Circle in the Square Theatre.



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