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August 04, 2005|By J. Wynn Rousuck

A classic returns

When actress Carolyn Pasquantonio's Helen Keller speaks her legendary character's first words in William Gibson's The Miracle Worker at Olney Theatre Center on Tuesday, they will be among the first words ever spoken on the company's brand new Mainstage. Director Jim Petosa has said he deliberately chose a familiar American classic to inaugurate the $8.5 million, 429-seat theater.

Also familiar will be the many Olney regulars in the cast. In addition to Pasquantonio, these include Marybeth Wise as Keller's teacher, Annie Sullivan, and Helen Hedman and James Slaughter as Keller's parents. The primarily black set design, by James Kronzer, and the variously textured gray costumes, by Pei Lee, will attempt to replicate the way Keller experienced the world.

Showtimes at Olney, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, are 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays and 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and most Sundays; with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Sept. 1 and Sept. 8, through Sept. 11. Tickets are $29-$39 (except the pay-what-you-can-preview Aug. 9 ). Call 301-924-3400 or visit

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