History, struggle and adversity in the face of extreme prejudice are all witnessed and documented in the diary of a thirteen-year-old girl. Come to witness a retelling of a timeless and heartbreaking tale. Adapted by Wendy Kesselman, “The Diary of Anne Frank” runs October 18-21 at the Metropolitan Theatre in downtown Morgantown.
The very real accounts of Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank, a world-famous German-born diarist and World War II Holocaust victim are brought to life by the students of the West Virginia University School of Theatre and Dance. She chronicled her experiences living in a secret annex in Amsterdam with her family and four other Jewish citizens trying to escape the Nazi regime. Her “Diary of a Young Girl” was published on June 25, 1947, two years after her death. Her father, Otto Frank, edited and released the version of the diary made famous today. Her diary was dramatized by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett in 1955 and then later adapted by Wendy Kesselman in 1997. Kesselman’s “The Diary of Anne Frank” paints a beautiful yet gut-wrenching account of eight human beings living under extreme circumstances. In this adaptation of the play the humanity of the characters shines through and reminds us all the power of hope.
"’The Diary of Anne Frank’ is a dramatic retelling of strength and family. It’s important to realize that this happened to people and we must be better as a society to prevent this from happening again,” said assistant stage manager, Tyler Roth, a freshman in the BFA design and technology with an emphasis in stage management and costuming. “Working on the show is amazing, one second you’re at a rehearsal and the next you’re really there with them in the Annex. Never have I worked on a show that was so intense so early in but so rewarding to tell.”
Olive Loy, assistant director and the dramaturg of the production said, “Wendy Kesselman holds nothing back in this adaptation of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’” Loy, a senior BA theatre major with an emphasis in strategic social media, thinks that it is “a privilege to study this period of time and have the ability to immerse myself in the culture.”
The show is directed by Jerry McGonigle, professor of acting and directing and director of graduate studies.
Scenic design is by Robert Klingelhoefer, professor of scene design; costume design by MFA costume design student Chloe Cappuccilli; lighting design by senior BFA design and technology student Marcus Giese; and sound design by MFA lighting design and technology student Justin Burns.
The cast features MFA acting students Krizia Berg, Cameron Khoshgam and Nicole Smith, BA theatre student Jacob Masters, BFA acting students Jordan Crow, Nick Graves, Emma Patterson and Josh Short, BFA musical theatre students Marissa Bailey, Edward Cyphert, Hannah Mort and Nash Dawson (double major in BFA dance).
“The Diary of Anne Frank” is part of WVU’s College of Creative Arts Curiosity Series, a sampling of the diverse art events that happen in the college each year. These events feature students, faculty and internationally acclaimed guest artists hosted by the School of Art & Design, School of Music and School of Theatre & Dance. Exhibitions at the Art Museum of WVU feature artists from West Virginia and around the world.
“The Diary of Anne Frank” will take the stage at the Metropolitan Theatre in downtown Morgantown. Tickets for “The Diary of Anne Frank” are available on campus at the Mountainlair and Creative Arts Center Box Office locations (Mon. - Fri. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. closed 12:30 – 1 p.m.), by calling 304.293.SHOW (7469) and online at ticketmaster.com.