A mere two months ago, we had our first read through of The Diary of Anne Frank. It was clear from the beginning that bringing this emotional and harrowing play to the stage was going to be a challenging journey.
Fortunately, I have a cast of committed and passionate young actors ready to do exactly that. We met three times a week, giving up afternoons, evenings and weekends in order to prepare for our production. During our time together, the cast of 10 were joined by a violinist, a couple of Math Department props wizards, a hair and make-up team, two newcomers to play officers, and, finally, a new home at the Metro Studio Theatre.
The first time we rehearsed and ran the final scenes of the play proved emotional for everyone; the close connections made to the characters became quite apparent as their tragic fates were revealed. It is a truly powerful story, given new life by a new generation.
This new adaptation was first performed on Broadway in 1997 and starred Natalie Portman in the title role. This version brings in previously excised material from Anne’s diary and incorporates more historical context for the atrocities of the Holocaust.
As Anne writes about the two years she spends hiding from the Nazis, she captures the lives of those around her, from a young love interest to her own family. The story comes to life through her honest and witty recording of a simple existence in a dangerous time.
She writes: “When I write I shake off all my cares. But I want to achieve more than that. I want to be useful and bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!”
The Diary of Anne Frank
November 21-23 at 7:30pm
Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra St.
Tickets: $12/$15 at the door or online