In THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, Anne emerges from history a living, lyrical, intensely gifted young girl, who confronts her rapidly changing life and the increasing horror of her time with astonishing honesty, wit, and determination. An impassioned drama about the lives of eight people hiding from the Nazis in a concealed storage attic,
It captures the claustrophobic realities of their daily existence—their fear, their hope, their laughter, their grief. Each day of these two dark years, Anne’s voice shines through: “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!” This is a new adaptation for a new generation.Directed and Produced by Felicia Pfluger. Adapted for Stage by Wendy Kesselman,
- $5 Students/Seniors/Military/First Responders
- $15 Adults
- 7 pm, Friday, November 9th
- 2* pm and 7 pm Saturday, November 10th *Actor Talkback
- Plymouth Place Auditorium
- 315 N La Grange Road, La Grange Park
- 2 Hour Run Time including 10 Minute Intermission
- Educational Materials Available
- Presale Tickets will be available at Tate’s Ice Cream, La Grange
Anne Frank’s story is, at its core is about a normal teenager trying to understand and define her place in an ever-changing world. We hear her developing her own voice in her diary as she stretches for autonomy. She is human. She teases a boy… and later develops a crush on him. She fights PTSD and traumatic nightmares. She is a Daddy’s girl. She worries about her friends and is processing her body changing. She gets angsty for absolutely no reason toward her mother. She is a prankster and loves to laugh. She desperately seeks validation and yearns to make a difference in this world. She is unfiltered, sublimely candid, and quite human.
The Annex family are perfectly imperfect people with their own personalities, as do their families. They are fun and amusing, with own strengths and Achilles heels. They attempt to create normalcy and dignity in the claustrophobic, pressure cooker of living together in hiding… and just when things couldn’t get more stressful, they selflessly take in quirky dentist to save his life. And somehow, unite as family.
The fact this true story happened when the family are fighting for their lives ~ as Jews are being exterminated in Nazi occupied Amsterdam, adds an intense added layer of the story… These nine voices reach out to us vibrantly, yet hauntingly from the past. Ever so quickly, we feel like they are our friends. Yet these bright voices are but a few in the sea of six million individuals whose voices were silenced so horribly.
I have a deep reverence that I have been able to produce and direct Anne Frank. It shares history, life, resilience, and so many heartwarming moments… The teens have crafted rich and beautiful characters that pay homage to their real-life counterparts, and attack head on the issues of hatred that resonate deeply still today.
The tale is jarringly relatable. Though in America we are not facing genocide, we are face terror attacks, mass shootings, particularly at schools. Last year at once of our rehearsals, three students from three different schools tearfully shared that they all had been in separate lockdowns, afraid for their lives. Bullying, and hate speech are mainstream. We seem more polarized than ever. The echoes of the past still resound. Yet, there is hope for us, together. We can find serenity and strength in not giving into a culture of fear and hatred. We can unite in our humanity to find hope amidst adversity. Against hatred. We can create a climate of contagious kindness and give each other the benefit of the doubt… and heal together.
Scattered throughout the playbill, you will find letters from different social justice groups and world religions with a similar hope. You can add your voice to peace. We hope that you will leave inspired to make a difference, as well. Together we can establish a climate of peace amidst adversity that is desperately needed. As a student once said to me, “Many hands make light work”. To quote Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” And to quote Anne, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
~ Felicia Pfluger, Producer and Artistic Director, LATTE Theater
After the show, you will have an incredible opportunity to be part of a panel discussion, created in partnership with the Illinois Holocaust Museum, Hitzeman’s Funeral home, and LATTE Theater. You have the chance to interact with the cast, this director, and a second-generation holocaust survivor, Steve Koek.
Steve family’s story of tragedy, survival, and triumph hold remarkably similarities to that of Anne Frank and her family. Joe and his two sisters, Eva and Henny, were among the Hidden Children of Holland after the Nazi invasion in World War II. After giving their three children over to resistance fighters, their parents, were betrayed, captured, and taken away to Auschwitz.
In hiding, Joe was separated from his sisters, all three of them escaping capture and death at every turn. Against the odds, all three siblings survived the war.
“Undeniably moving. It shatters the heart. The evening never lets us forget the inhuman darkness waiting to claim its incandescently human heroine.” —The New York Times. “An extraordinary theatrical adventure! Go and remember.” —The New York Post. “…new DIARY is chillingly honest about the Holocaust. Wendy Kesselman’s work has restored the terror.” —The New York Daily News. “Wendy Kesselman’s finely textured new DIARY tells a deeper story. A sensitive, stirring and thoroughly engaging new adaptation.” —New York Newsday. “A powerful new version that moves the audience to gasp, then tears.” —Associated Press. “One of the year’s ten best.” —Time Magazine.
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