Homes broken, lives destroyed, and a people of faith in peril.
It was the 1940s in Western Europe, the time of Hitler, bomb raids, and the Gestapo. In Amsterdam, a young girl and her family, another family, and a local dentist, are forced into hiding in the top floors of a building's annex for over two years.
The actual diary of Anne Frank, translated into 67 languages, is one of the most widely read books in the world. The tragedy and truth of this incredible story is adapted well by Wendy Kesselman. The play explores discrimination and emotions in a dynamic manner.
Bishop Ireton's treatment of this tension-filled work seemed very realistic, thanks to its impressive set designed by Gaia Chu, David Ford , Brian Hickey , and Kerry Stinson .
The set divided the annex into three levels, pulled in separate directions, rather than stacked. This gave the annex an authentic feel.
The lighting was very natural, consisting of a number of lighting fixtureswithin the set, lending the space warmth and realism.
THE PLAY REQUIRES amazing talent from a solid cast, and proved to be a little too ambitious for many of the actors. Several lacked the intimate understanding required to reveal the incredible transformation among the characters from their first day in hiding to two years later. The subtler emotions of the characters were often ignored and led to contrived acting, inappropriate inflection, and hackneyed movements.
Fortunately, KC Wright's performance of Anne Frank did not show a trace of these mistakes. Her posture and facial expressions were incredible. Her voice and movements convinced everyone of her childish attitudes and character. Her development of relationships with each character sometimes defined the other characters better than the performers themselves.
Alex Storz as Peter Van Daan, was no less amazing. His acting seemed completely natural. His changing relationship with Anne was gradual and realistic, and his was the only character other than Anne's to show a clear change over time. These two actors created the most memorable moments in the show. Smaller roles such as that of Margot Frank, played by Caroline Schrieber, and the couple hiding Anne, played by Christian Deegan and Brigid Prescott, were solid and realistic performances. The cast and crew combined for a powerful emotional effect. Anne Frank would be pleased.