The Fall and Fall of Helen Keller

In an amateur theater production of The Miracle Worker, a young actress playing Helen Keller is so method that at one point she falls off the stage, much to the horror of the cast and audience. You may laugh; you may gasp; you may applaud her for climbing back on stage and staying in character; but, damn it, you will not look away:

There are tons of lessons to be learned here—about safety, acting, resilience, theater, art, and every other subject imaginable. Ah, wisdom is everywhere.


  1. The real question that must be asked is-who knew they had TV trays in the late 1800s?

  2. In high school, we did a musical revue (I know - GRIPPING) in which someone had the bright idea to put me on roller skates. One performance, I skated right off the end of the stage. The crash, it was resounding.

  3. I've fallen during a performance, too. It was surreal--it was as if my belief system refused to accept that it was happening, causing me to feel like I was falling in slow motion, which my cast mates thought it looked like, too.
    This clip made me piss my pants, but good for the cast for staying in character and plowing forward.

  4. I love that TV tray!

    Moose and PV, you should be ashamed. You should only be prone to falling when there's a TV tray on stage.

  5. I thought I was going to be the first person to notice the use of a television tray in a play that's set a year or two before television was invented. I should not underestimate your readers.

    That's probably the only instance I've ever seen of an actor falling off the stage where it could be worked into the actual performance instead of treated as a mistake.

  6. what the FUCK IS A TV TRAY DOING THERE???

    where is the prop mistress?? beat her

    actually, we had a year where the set designer built the sets two feet off the ground.

    two feet.

    try moving those sets around....

    anyway, the night before, like a good production manager, i sent out emails to all the actors, telling them to 'break a leg, but, try not to do it falling off the front of the set! ha!ha!'

    yeah, well, our equity actor fell off the front of the set.


    thankfully, he was a great guy, and just crawled off stage.