About: Cast

Photo portrait of Howie Seago performing on stage

Howie Seago, On-Camera Narrator, a long time member of the National Theatre of the Deaf, began his career with a role in Peter Sellars's Ajax. He has appeared on television in HunterStar Trek: The Next Generation, and The Equalizer. A company member with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival since 2009, he’s played the Ghost in Hamlet, Poins in Henry IV, Parts I and II, Duke Senior in As You Like It, Cymbeline in Cymbeline. His many honors include the Helen Hayes Award. He directs as well. In 2016 he taught at Gallaudet University and began translating Titus Andronicus into ASL.

Photo portrait of actress Cherry Jones in modern dress

Cherry Jones presents the words of Helen Keller drawn from her letters, books, and writings. Jones is among America's most honored performers. A five-time Tony Award nominee, she won the Tony for the 1995 revival of The Heiress and then for the 2005 original production of Doubt. Her performance as Amanda Wingfield in Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie (2013–14) was hailed as innovative. She played Leslie in the TV series Transparent in 2015 and 2016 and was nominated for the Critic's Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in Comedy in 2015. She also won an Emmy for her role as President Taylor in 24. She's done audiobooks for many Laura Ingalls Wilder novels and in 2014 she was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

Photo portrait of actress Jayne Atkinson in 1930s period dress

Jayne Atkinson appears as Nella Braddy Henney, first biographer of Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller's editor at Doubleday and her devoted friend. Atkinson has twice been nominated for the Tony Award as Best Actress: as Lizzie in a revival of The Rainmaker (2000) and as Lottie Wilton in Enchanted April (2003). Her film credits include Free WillyThe Village, and Syriana. On TV she's been seen in The X-FilesLaw and OrderGossip Girl, Criminal Minds and White Collar. She was Karen Hayes on the award winning 24, and Secretary of State Catherine Durant on the Netflix series House of Cards.

Photo portrait of actress Katherine Waterston in 1890s period dress

Katherine Waterston appears as the young Anne Sullivan in the years when Helen Keller learned language, became famous, faced scandals, and went to college. Waterston's film roles include Sasha Fay Hepworth in Inherent Vice with Joaquin Phoenix (2014) and Chrisann Brennan in Steve Jobs.  She appeared with George Clooney in Michael Clayton (2007). She’ll star in the 2016 film of J.K. Rowling's book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and is slated to appear in Alien: Covenant, a prequel to Ridley Scott's Alien.

Photo portrait of actor Tom Mardirosian in 1890s period suit

Tom Mardirosian appears as Michael Anagnos, Director of the Perkins School for the Blind, who sent Anne Sullivan to Alabama, welcomed Helen to Perkins, but later broke with the duo. Mardirosian has been a mainstay of TV drama from Ryan's Hope (1980), then Law and OrderOzThe WireBlue Bloods, and on to the currently running Bosch. In film he's been in Woody Allen's New York Stories (2006), M. Knight Shyamalan's Lady in the Water (2010), and Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Of Armenian descent, Tom creates a variety of ethnic characters—such as Anagnos, a Greek immigrant.

Photo portrait of actor T. Ryder Smith in early 20th-century period suit

T. Ryder Smith appears as William Wade, heir of a Pittsburgh steel fortune, patron and friend for life of Keller and Sullivan who took a lifelong interest in deaf-blind students. Smith's Broadway career includes War Horse at Lincoln Center and the 2009 revival of Equus, opposite Daniel Radcliffe. Other work in NYC includes plays by Richard Foreman, David Greenspan, Anne Washburn, and Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play. His TV work includes appearances on The BlacklistElementaryNurse Jackie, and the PBS American Experience series The Abolitionists.

Photo portrait of actor Jon Patrick Walker in 19-teens period suit

Jon Patrick Walker appears as John Macy, who edited Helen Keller's first book, The Story of my Life, and married Anne Sullivan: the three lived together for several years. Walker appeared in The Secret Lives of Dentists (2002), and in The Winter's Tale (2014). His extensive TV work includes Walter Carrington in Rubicon (2010), The Knick (2014), Ed Greenfield in Blue BloodsLaw & Order: Special Victims Unit and others.

Photo portrait of actor Chandler Williams in c. 1905 period suit

Chandler Williams appears as Charles Campbell, lifelong advocate for blind causes and a friend and adviser of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. Williams made his Broadway debut in 2007, starring as Lt. Yolland in Garry Hynes's acclaimed revival of Brian Friel's Translations. He was Evan Belkin in The Good Wife and played FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover's longtime companion Clyde Tolson in Public Enemies (2009). He was in Heights (2005), and in Kinsey (2004), and is also a classical pianist.

Photo portrait of Lois Smith in 1930s period dress

Lois Smith appears as the older Anne Sullivan in the years when Keller worked as a fundraiser for the American Foundation for the Blind – and also a movie and Vaudeville star. Smith (born in 1930) has been in films since East of Eden in 1955:  Five Easy PiecesResurrectionFatal AttractionFried Green TomatoesDead Man Walking. Among many theater roles she starred as Carrie Watts in an acclaimed Off-Broadway revival of The Trip to Bountiful (2005) for which she received an Obie Best Actress Award and a Drama Desk Award. Smith was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2007. 

Photo portrait of David Chandler in 1930s period suit

David Chandler appears as Dr. Frederic Tilney, a neurologist who tested Helen Keller's senses of smell and taste. Chandler appeared as Mr. Watkins in Hide and Seek with Robert DeNiro (2005) and as Max Rosenthal in The Grey Zone (2001). He has appeared often in Law and Order and Law and Order: Criminal Intent.