The “Diary of Anne Frank” is the heroic and true story of a 15 year old Jewish girl’s struggle to survive the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. Anne and her family plus four others spend more than two years hiding from the Nazis in an upstairs office attic in Amsterdam.
The daily thoughts and interaction of those in hiding are vividly re-created on stage from the actual detailed entries Anne made in her own personal diary. Her last diary entry was in August, 1944 shortly before the family’s arrest by the Nazis. Anne later died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March, 1945.
The play was directed by Naarah McDonald and features Joseph Grant as Otto Frank, Charmae Beauclaire as Mrs. Frank and Kendra Phillips as Anne. Other cast members in hiding include Emily Olson as Anne’s older sister, Tom Birkeland as Mr. Van Daan, Dana Galagan as Mrs. Van Daan, Dixon King as Peter and John Kelly as Mr. Dussel. The Frank’s primary outside contacts for supplies and news are Alex Newman as Mieps and John Pfaffe as Mr. Kraler.
Opening weekend audience members had this to say about “Diary”:
“Very emotional and very well done. Imagine having to be silent for 8 to 10 hours per day”, said Marie Dudley, Washington State Patrol Chaplain and Pastor of the Renewed Life Community Church in Lakewood.
“Outstanding play with superb acting and wonderful set design. I felt I was actually living in the attic with the Franks. The use of actual World War II radio broadcasts added to the realism of the play”, said Judy Lawrence, elementary school teacher, Lakewood.
“Diary” runs through March 4 with curtain at 8 pm on Friday and Saturday. The Sunday matinee has a two pm curtain. The play is recommended for ages 13 and older. Reservations and information are available by calling the Lakewood Playhouse Box Office at 253-588-0042.
Story and photos by Phil Raschke