Center Stage Community Playhouse, a Bronx based theater company, is mounting an inventive production of the “Diary of Anne Frank” by Goodrich and Hackett, newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman, for its final show of the 42nd season.
In this production, Kesselman interweaves newly discovered writings from the diary of Anne Frank and survivor accounts to the original play created by Goodrich and Hackett. The result is a gripping, contemporary and impassioned story of the lives of people persecuted under Nazi rule. “The Diary of Anne Frank” captures the claustrophobic realities of their daily existence—their fear, their hope, their laughter, their grief. The story is given voice by the young Anne Frank, who emerges from history as a living, lyrical, intensely gifted young girl. She confronts her rapidly changing life and the increasing horror of her time with astonishing honesty, wit, and determination.
Ed Bartosik, the director, promises that this production will not be the traditional Anne Frank. “Not that there is anything wrong with the traditional telling. Through Anne we experience the suffering and violence heaped on persecuted people during Nazi rule. It’s a story that bears repeating, and a traditional stage telling of is a powerful method. But just as Anne’s diary makes real the experience of millions of Jews forced under Nazi rule during World War II, the story also reflects the experience of the millions of persecuted enduring the grief and horror imposed by oppressive governments past and present.” Mr. Bartosik is seeking to establish a global perspective by stripping the set elements to bare essentials and utilizing a diverse cast. He also uses the audience, which will sit on three sides of the stage, to create a claustrophobic feel. In fact, at times, it feels like the audience is an additional refugee in the Attic.
“Anne says that ‘Despite everything, I believe people are really good at heart.’ I think that’s an unbelievably powerful message from a girl wise beyond her years- from a child who did not live to see adulthood.” Remarks Mr. Bartosik, who goes on to say: “And I certainly think that it’s an important take home message. But, if we, as a global community, do not listen and act on the goodness in our hearts, then we risk a world were persecution and genocide continues. And we, as individuals, may find ourselves huddled in an attic.”
Preview on April 7, 2011
Performance Dates: April 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21 and 22, 2011. Evenings at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
Della Saba as Anne Frank
Larry Gutman as Mr. Frank
Sarah Giller as Mrs. Frank
Clemmie Evans as Margot Frank
Hank Sbrocco as Mr. VanDaan
Jill Conklin as Mrs. VanDaan
Joe Boover as Peter VanDann
Laurence Wallace as Mr. Drussel
Lucille P Loiselle as Miep Gies
Daniel W. Clark as Mr. Kraler
Donna Bellone, Artistic Director
Holland Renton, Managing Director
CSCP Board of Directors, Producers
Ed Bartosik, Director
Jacqui Casto, Assistant to the Director
Jason Bolen, Scenic Design
Christopher Weston, Lighting Design
German Bosquez, Sound Design
Tickets may be purchased online here or at the door. Tickets may be reserved by calling 347–789–7184. Prices are: $12.00 for Preview, $18.00 for General Admission, $15.00 for Student/Senior; $16 for Bronx Cultural Card. Please call to arrange group sales for groups of 10 or more.
Center Stage Community Playhouse is a non-profit organization, providing quality theatrical entertainment by local talent since 1969. The Theater consistently produces shows in the Bronx that rival those produced in the off-off Broadway theaters of Manhattan. CSCP is located at Foster Hall, 2474 Westchester Avenue, Bronx, New York, 10461 and may be reached by phone 347-789-7184 or through the website: CenterStagePlayhouse.org.