A demonstration of the Anne Frank Theater Project’s 45 minute adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank emotionally moved a packed audience at the Polansky Theater, JCC Klein Branch in Philadelphia, Sunday March 21, 2010. Sobs could be heard in the audience that included educators, students, holocaust survivors, and dignitaries.
The play was presented by the Holocaust Awareness Museum, which now sponsors the Project, bringing it to schools and organizations throughout the Delaware Valley. The adaptation of the original Broadway play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett was performed by six exceptionally talented actors, directed by Carla Childs and produced by Sharon Geller. The play focused on Anne Frank, a gifted writer and not always likable teenager, as she, her family and another family hid from the Nazis to save their own lives during the Holocaust.
After the performance, producer Geller demonstrated how she would facilitate a discussion of the issues brought up in the play with students and others. Members of the audience identified acts of kindness that occurred between the characters in the play, despite the harsh circumstances in which they found themselves. Other topics often discussed after the play is staged include tolerance and diversity, bullying, and consequences of actions. Audience members were also able to question the actors about their roles and how they felt about playing these complicated characters.