The casting of child star Abigail Breslin as a deaf and blind girl in a Broadway revival of THE MIRACLE WORKER has been met with disapproval by an advocacy group for impaired actors.
The Oscar-nominated Little Miss Sunshine star, 13, is set to make her Broadway debut as Helen Keller in the William Gibson play, about a youngster who is taught how to communicate by her instructor.
But campaigners for impaired actors have hit out at Breslin's appointment, insisting one of their own should have been considered for the starring role.
Sharon Jensen, executive director of the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, insists a genuinely deaf and blind actress would have been able to bring her own experience to the part and make it more believable.
The show's producer, David Richenthal, has responded to the claims, stating the production's $3 million (£1.88 million) investment hinged on landing a big star for the key role.
He tells the New York Times, "It's simply naive to think that in this day and age you'll be able to sell tickets to a play revival solely on the potential of a production to be a great show."
However, Richenthal admits he would be open to casting a deaf or blind actress as Breslin's understudy.
The Miracle Worker is set to open on 3 March (10), marking the 50th anniversary of the show's Broadway debut.