Anne Frank Theater Project
The Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center is proud to offer the Anne Frank Theater Project, an interactive experience that encourages critical thinking, compassion, and inquiry. The performances are appropriate for audiences ranging from 6th grade students to senior citizens. They are intended for use in public and private schools, youth groups, and religious schools of all denominations. The performances are curriculum appropriate for students learning about the Holocaust and World War II, those reading novels from or about that era, and for teaching about prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry while also heightening awareness that moral courage can move one to action and assist in improving the lives of others. These performances, with guided facilitated discussion, use the lessons of the Holocaust as a background to discuss current issues and make the Holocaust relevant to the world today.
Financial assistance may be available for your school.
We offer two professional plays:
The Diary of Anne Frank, is a 45 minute performance adaptation of the Broadway play, The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. This play portrays how the events of the Holocaust and the Final Solution affected a German-Jewish teenager, Anne Frank, and those living in hiding with her in a secret annex in the Netherlands. It chronicles the 25 months that her, and her family and friends hid in the attic above her father's office in Amsterdam.
A facilitated discussion with the audience follows the performance, highlighting Holocaust history and issues of bigotry, tolerance, as well as coming-of-age and family relationship issues described in Anne Frank's diary. This discussion also allows students to ask questions of the actors, often focusing on the characters they portray and the situation they found themselves in. The actors have read more background on the characters and the situation in the hiding place so they are able to field some historical questions as well.
The play itself takes approximately 45 minutes and the discussion can take up to 30 minutes. Therefore we ask for about an hour and a half for the entire program. The time can be revised slightly to meet a school assembly program schedule. This can be performed at your school or at the Museum.
Lida Stein and the Righteous Gentile, is a 55 minute play that follows “ordinary” people from “ordinary” families caught up in the extraordinary political and social upheaval of the Nazi era. It focuses on the relationship between Lida Stein, a Jewish teenage girl, and her best friend Dora Krause, a German teenage girl. Lida's parents are forced (by Nazi decrees which are announced throughout the play by a Nazi officer) to give up their daughter to the Krause family who have agreed to hide them. Lida continues to learn her school lessons from Dora's mother. Gradually Dora becomes a staunch Hitler supporter and becomes extremely racist and anti-Semitic against her once-best friend.
The play probes these issues from the perspective of teenagers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who are swept up in life-altering decisions about friendship, politics and family loyalty in difficult times.
The audience discussion that follows addresses two key aspects of the Holocaust era: the gradual intimidation and eventual segregation of the Jewish community from the larger society, and the characters, motivations and consequences of the decisions of friendly and non-friendly German adults and youth. The audience discussion focuses on peer pressure and its impact on decision-making, family loyalty, and personal responsibility and personal safety versus moral strength and commitment.
The play itself takes approximately 55 minutes and the discussion can take up to 30 minutes. Therefore we ask for about an hour and a half for the entire program. The time can be revised slightly to meet a school assembly program schedule. This can be performed at your school or at the Museum.