Wilsonville High School’s Black Box Theatre, a small, versatile theatre space that has housed several “small-scale” productions over the past few years will now house the ever-compelling story of Anne Frank. Anne’s original diary chronicled her days living in “the secret annex,” where her family was in hiding from the Nazis for two years. The diary was published as a book by the sole survivor of the family, Anne’s father, Otto Frank, three years after the family was discovered by the Nazis and sent to concentration camps.
The stage version of The Diary of Anne Frank was written by Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett, a married pair of Hollywood screenwriters who co-wrote It’s a Wonderful Life with Frank Capra in the 1940’s. This stage version highlights the struggles Anne endures both with her parents and the others she has to live with in cramped conditions. These folks include the vain Mrs. Van Daan, who seems to care more about her fur coat than her son or husband, the boorish Mr. Van Daan, whose constant craving for cigarettes makes him perpetually irritable, and the fuss-budget of a dentist, Mr. Dussel, with whom Anne has to share a bedroom.
Anne starts out in the play as an excitable thirteen-year-old child but grows into a young lady toward the end of the play, who is full of hopes, dreams, and a realistic, forgiving attitude towards life. Part of Anne’s transformation has to do with her relationship with Peter Van Daan, the shy, introspective sixteen-year old son of the Van Daans, and the growth of their relationship over their two years living in the secret annex.
Freshman Hayden Wilde plays the irrepressible Anne. Junior Cameron Worth plays Anne’s father, senior Delane Cunningham plays Anne’s mother, Edith Frank, and freshman Izzy Ochocki plays Anne’s sister, Margot.
Senior Aaron Gilbert plays Peter, and senior Madison Pintar and junior Daniel McKennie play his parents, Mrs. and Mr. Van Daan. Freshman Steve Prescott plays Mr. Dussel, and senior Paige Peterson and junior Andy Williams play Miep Gies and Mr. Kraler, the families’ Dutch protectors who bring them food and news while they wait for the war to end.
Directed by Jason Katz, The Diary Of Anne Frank opens in the Black Box Theatre, which is adjacent to the auditorium, at Wilsonville High School on Thursday, February 27th at 7pm.
The production runs February 28th, March 1st, and March 6th, 7th, and 8th at 7pm. There will also be a 2pm matinee on Saturday, March 8th. Tickets can be purchased through the theatre department website, www.wildcatdrama.com or at the door the night of the show. Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults. The box office now accepts cash, checks, debit and credit cards. However, seating is more limited than usual. Advance ticket purchase is recommended.