meet the cast

MACY LADNER
(Annie Sullivan)

MACY LADNER is honored to be able to take on the role of Anne Sullivan for her fourth season. Macy began acting at the age of 6. Some of her favorite roles/experiences include: A Little Princess (NYC), Chris Hargenson in Carrie the Musical (Birmingham- Southern College), Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, and Natalie in Next to Normal. Macy is no new face to Ivy Green. Ivy Green is one of the most special places in the world to her. She played the role of Helen for three years as a young child, did stage crew for years, played Kate for one season, and is now getting to play her dream role being directed by her Anne Sullivan when she played Helen, Caroline Self. "This summer means more to me than any summer yet. This performance is dedicated to my dad, Mike Ladner, who passed away in 2016 and would’ve loved to have been watching. And also to my mom, Robin Ladner, who is my hero.”

NORAH MURPHY
(Helen Keller)

NORAH MURPHY is 10 years old and attends McBride Elementary School. She is passionate in both theater and film. She has begun commercial work recently including 3 commercial projects in Atlanta, Georgia. Her theatre credits include: Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (2018 and 2019); Gladys in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (2017 and 2018); Opal (Opal Whiteley); The Sound of Music (Gretl); and Miracle On 34th Street (Susan). Norah is honored to take the stage at Ivy Green for a 3rd year to help tell the story of the amazing Helen Keller. 

JONATHAN MOORE returns to The Miracle Worker at Ivy Green for his eighth season and is thrilled to be playing the role of Captain in this year’s production. Past credits include: Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park (Paul Bratter), The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Bob Bradley); To Kill a Mockingbird (Mr. Gilmer); and Radium Girls (C.B. Lee). Musical theatre credits include: The Christmas Shoes, Camel Lot, The Loaned Manger, and Opal. Jonathan serves as Worship Pastor at First Baptist Church of Colbert Heights in Tuscumbia, AL. He holds a B.S in music from the University of North Alabama. Jonathan would like to dedicate this season’s performance to his wife, Gina, his son, Grey, and twin daughters, Madelyn & Ellyn. “Love you to the moon and back!” Soli Deo gloria! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: jcrossleymoore

JONATHAN MOORE
(Captain Arthur Keller)

CHRISTIE CONNOLLY is the Program Director and Assistant Professor of Theatre at Union College in Barbourville, KY. She holds an MFA in Performance & Pedagogy from Texas Tech University and a BA in Theatre from Birmingham-Southern College. Her research focus is theatre for social change with populations in the Appalachian region, inner-city communities, and West Africa. Performance credits include Village Idiot/Violet in Passion Play by Sara Ruhl, Betsy/Lindsey in Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris, and Susan in the devised tour production, Remember This. Christie returns to Ivy Green after playing a Blind Child in 1998-2000, Helen Keller in 2001-2003, and Anne Sullivan in 2010. "Special thanks to my mom for inspiring me to pursue theatre, especially here at Ivy Green."

CHRISTIE CONNOLLY
(Kate Keller)

CHANCE RHODES is 28 years old, and has been heavily involved in local theater his entire life. A few of his notable roles include: Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Edgar in King Lear, and Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods. This is his first year on the Ivy Green stage, and he is excited to be welcomed to the family!

CHANCE RHODES
(James Keller)

ELIZABETH RAGSDALE is thrilled to return for a second year as Aunt Ev after playing Annie Sullivan over 30 years ago. "I am especially delighted to be a part of this year’s stellar cast under Caroline Self’s amazing direction. This is Caroline’s first year directing at Ivy Green and even in the middle of a Pandemic, we are being sublimely led to experience the 'Miracle' once again and bring it to life for you, here, where it actually happened. Caroline was “my” Helen when I played Annie Sullivan, she will always be my Helen.  Almost everyone in this cast has been a part of The Miracle Worker Family for many years and we hope you will soon agree that The Miracle Worker (Season 59) is not just another show."

ELIZABETH RAGSDALE
(Aunt Ev)

BRENDA REEDER is reprising her role as Viney for the second time in seventeen years. Her first appearance was in 2003. She has also appeared in the musicals Showboat and Tellulah and Hattie At The Pearly Gates.

BRENDA REEDER
(Viney)

TYLER HUDSON has been performing since he was a child. Recent credits include leading roles in SeussicalShrek, A Christmas Story, Radium Girls, Dial M for Murder, and Next To Normal. He has been a supporting actor in a host of theatrical productions as well as serving as actor and producer for several independent films. He served as music director for A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline and The Little Mermaid, and has performed as a professional vocalist in over 1000 concerts both nationally and internationally. Tyler is excited to take the stage as Doctor and Mr. Anagnos in his first production of The Miracle Worker. Tyler would like to thank the directors for allowing him this incredible opportunity.

TYLER HUDSON
(Doctor/Anagnos/
Captain Understudy)

MJ RUTLAND is 10 years old and a fifth grade student at Colbert Heights Elementary School in Tuscumbia. He is the son of Marcus and Crystal Rutland. MJ recently appeared in the Colbert Heights High School theatrical production of Big Fish (Boy Scout). He was also selected as a Colbert County Student Ambassador for the 2019-2020 school year. He attends Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Cherokee, AL where he actively serves as a drummer in the music ministry there. His interests and hobbies include riding his 4-Wheeler, playing football and basketball. MJ hopes you enjoy the show and would like to especially thank Caroline Self, the cast and crew, and the Helen Keller Foundation Board of Directors for allowIng him the opportunity to be part of this historic play.

MJ RUTLAND
(Percy)

ELLANORA SMITH is the six year old daughter of Kristin and Cody Powers, and Ferrin Smith. She participates in a variety of local pageants and is now jumping into theater. This year's production of The Miracle Worker will be her debut performance. She is over the moon to be a part of such an outstanding show!

ELLANORA SMITH
(Martha)

REBECCA TUMLINSON is 20 years old, and a special education assistant at Forest Hills elementary school. This is her first year as Anne; however, she played Helen in 2010 & 2011. Some of her recent roles include Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web, and Cordelia in King Lear. She is excited to return to Ivy Green, and incredibly grateful to work with this wonderful cast.

REBECCA TUMLINSON
(Understudy for Annie Sullivan)

CECILIA GOOCH is 11 years old and going into the 6th grade at Hibbett School. This is Cecilia’s second year to be part of The Miracle Worker cast. Cici loves being on stage and has been a part of Florence High Schools production of The Music Man as well as The Shoals Theatre’s productions of Pocahontas and The Many Disguises of Robin Hood. She feels honored to be the understudy for Helen in The Miracle Worker this year and thanks Ms. Caroline for the opportunity. She’s also incredibly thankful to her family, friends, The Miracle Worker cast and crew for all of their support as she experiences the joy of theater!

CECILIA GOOCH
(Understudy for Helen Keller)

GINGER LEWEYwas born in Long Beach California and is 9 years old, she is in the 3rd grade at Riverhill School and has 2 brothers, her twin brother, and a younger brother who is 5. Ginger began performing in plays in 2018 and it is safe to say that she has found a passion for theatre. Ginger enjoys acting, singing, dancing, slime making and being on stage. 

GINGER LEWEY
(Blind Child)

HARPER BERRYHILL is returning for her second year as a Blind Child in The Miracle Worker. Harper is a 5th grade student at L.E. Willson Elementary School in Sheffield. She is the youngest child of Thomas and Rachel Berryhill. Harper not only enjoys acting, but also expressing her creativity through participating with her school's show choir and church children's performances. In her free time, she enjoys drawing and playing basketball and softball with her friends. Harper is so excited to be part of this wonderful experience that is The Miracle Worker at Ivy Green. She wants to thank all of her family and friends who have come out to support her and helped foster her love of acting.

HARPER BERRYHILL
(Blind Child)

LILY BURLESON is thrilled to be performing in this year's production of The Miracle Worker at Ivy Green! Lily is 7 years old and has performed in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Ritz as well as All About that Baby and Little Drummer Dude at her church. Lily enjoys school, singing, acting, anything outside, and playing with her twin brother!

LILY BURLESON
(Blind Child))

BROOKE CARTONY Brooke is 11 years old and entering the 7th grade at Connections Academy. She has been performing in community theatre for 3 ½ years and has been involved with 15 shows including onstage and backstage work. This is Brooke’s 3rd season performing in The Miracle Worker.  She also enjoys spending time swimming, spending time with friends and taking care of her many rescue animals.  Some of Brooke’s favorite plays have included A Little Princess, Charlotte’s Web, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and, most recently, The Many Disguises of Robin Hood. Brooke would like to thank Caroline for this opportunity to be part of such an amazing show.

BROOKE CARTONY
(Blind Child)

AUDREY KATE RICKARD is delighted to be on the stage for the first time playing one of the blind children in The Miracle Worker. She is 9 years old and will be a 4th grader at Mars Hill Bible School in the fall.  Audrey enjoys dancing with her friends in ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical classes at Next Generation Dance. She also loves learning Bible lessons and participating in the Children’s Ministry program at Tuscumbia Church of Christ. Audrey has fun playing the piano, riding her bike, reading books, and taking care of her baby sister, Anna Katherine.

AUDREY KATE RICKARD
(Blind Child)

EVIE ROSE is thrilled to be at Ivy Green for her third year in The Miracle Worker. She has also appeared in Pocahontas, Enchanted Bookshop, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. She loves dancing, playing piano, Girl Scouts, reading, and cats.

EVIE ROSE
(Blind Child)

TESS STONE is delighted to appear on stage for the first time in this production of The Miracle Worker.  She is 10 years old and is going into the Sixth grade at Hibbett Middle School in Florence, AL.  After qualifying and participating in the State Swim meets for ages 6-18 for four years, she turned her focus and time to theater workshops, voice lessons, piano, and auditions. She would like to thank the cast and crew of The Miracle Worker, and to Caroline Self, for this wonderful opportunity. She is so excited that after many seasons of The Miracle Worker at Ivy Green, this year's production will still go on!

TESS STONE
(Blind Child)
MARLEE SULLIVAN
(Blind Child)

MARLEE SULLIVAN is pleased to be performing in The Miracle Worker for her second year. Other credits include: Charlotte’s Web (Lamb), Pocahontas (Jamestown Ensemble), and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Angel Choir) in 2018 and 2019.  She is a fifth grader at New Bethel Elementary School and enjoys acting, singing, and basketball. Marlee would like to thank Caroline Self, the cast and crew, and the Board of Directors of the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation for this wonderful opportunity.

WAKEFIELD SELF is making his theatrical debut in the 59th season of The Miracle Worker at Ivy Green as young Jimmie. He is the son of Wesley and Shea Self and lives in Killen. He will be a fourth grader this fall and has attended Riverhill School. Wakefield loves playing basketball and enjoys fishing, swimming, boating, golf and playing with his younger brother Doran.

WAKEFIELD SELF
(Jimmie Sullivan)
MICHAEL GREEN
(Tewksbury Doctor)

MICHAEL GREEN has worked in 170+ local/regional theatre productions. Some of his favorite acting roles are: Javert in Les Miserables, Tateh in Ragtime, Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, Ben in Death of a Salesman, Banquo in Macbeth, and Nixon in Frost/Nixon, to name a few. Among his many directing credits are: Next to Normal, Lend Me A Tenor, Of Mice and Men, Proof, Anne of Green Gables, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Glass Menagerie, and Oleanna. Michael is creator of Shakespeare at the Shoals, dedicated to bringing Shakespeare productions to local audiences. He is a graduate of the University of North Alabama with degrees in theatre and journalism.

LAUREN MERRITT has a BFA in theater from Stevens College. Lauren played Jingle Belle, the elf in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and national Christmas Tour 2010-2014. She played Helen in The Miracle Worker at Ivy Green in 1996 and played a blind child in 1995.

LAUREN MERRITT
(Crone)

NEIL SELF is the head women’s golf coach at the University of North Alabama. He last appeared on stage in the 1988 production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. .

NEIL SELF
(Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe)