By Steve Twilley
Although still weeks away from opening night, the cast and crew of Second Street Players’ The Diary of Anne Frank are busy with rehearsals and set construction. The play opens at Riverfront Theatre on Sept. 21st and runs for two consecutive weekends.
Directed by Magnolia resident Ben Lonski, who also directed Second Street’s 2010 production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, this version of The Diary of Anne Frank uses Wendy Kesselman’s 1997 adaptation, which is more historically accurate and truer to Anne Frank’s writings than the original 1955 version of the play and later an Oscar-winning movie.
Set during World War II, the play is based on the actual diary of a young Jewish girl who comes of age while hiding from the Nazis in a tiny, overcrowded attic with her family for more than two years. During their confinement, Anne discovers herself as a beautiful, thoughtful, and extraordinary teenager.
“Even if you have read the diary, seen earlier versions of the play, or watched the movie, experiencing this live stage play will be a unique and moving experience,” Lonski said. “Anne Frank’s story still serves as a reminder to us all of the power of the human spirit.”
The Diary of Anne Frank will feature Second Street Players newcomer Abigail Davis of Lewes, DE as Anne Frank with Lenne Sirasky (from Ocean View, DE) and Carreen Kouts (Seaford, DE) as her parents, Otto and Edith Frank. Also in the cast are Libby Dissinger, Mark Dissinger and Lezlie Eustis (all from Milford, DE), Jeremy Clifton and Robbie Butler (both from Harrington, DE), Richard Huffman (Prime Hook Beach, DE), Samantha Simpson (Camden, DE), Curtis Howard (Houston, DE) and Patrick Lonski (Magnolia, DE).
Show dates for The Diary of Anne Frank are Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21, 22, 28 and 29 with curtain at 8 pm and Sunday matinees on Sept. 23 and 30 at 3 pm. All performances are at the Riverfront Theatre, 2 S. Walnut Street, Milford, Delaware.
Tickets are $17 with a one dollar discount for seniors, students, and military at the Sunday matinees. Reserved tickets are now available online at www.secondstreetplayers.com.
The Diary of Anne Frank is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowments of the Arts.