Arizona Theatre Company to present ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’

Artistic Director Emeritus David Ira Goldstein makes his return to Arizona Theatre Company to direct the final show of the 2017-18 season “The Diary of Anne Frank” from May 17 to June 3 at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St. in Phoenix.

(Submitted Photo)

Mr. Goldstein will also direct the show from April 21 to May 12 at the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson, according to a press release.

The Arizona Theatre Company-Geva Theatre co-production features Ann Arvia as Mrs. Van Daan; Gus Cuddy as Peter Van Daan; Steve Hendrickson as Otto Frank; Anna Lentz as Anne Frank; Naama Potok as Edith Frank; Kit Prelewitz as Miep Gies; John Preston as Mr. Van Daan; Devon Prokopek as Margot Frank; Michael Santo as Mr. Dussel and Dick St. George as Mr. Kraler. Jake Dion, William McDonough, Kevin Plinzke and Tyler Wolff.

Single ticket prices range from $25-$80 in Phoenix and are available at the box office of the Herberger Theater Center or online.

“The Diary of Anne Frank,” by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman, is a co-production with the Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, N.Y., a release states.

Marcia Morphy wrote in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that the show “doesn’t try to recreate the past but brings it to life in a way that embraces morals, stereotypes, ideals, fears and aspirations, offering an oral history that clings to our memories like scar tissue and speaks for all those who are no longer among us.”

In this new adaptation, Anne Frank emerges from history a bright and talented young girl with the aspirations of any teenager. This drama about the lives of eight people in hiding from the Nazis in a concealed Amsterdam attic captures the claustrophobic reality of their daily existence.

Ms. Frank’s story of love, hope, courage and triumph of the human spirit has captivated audiences with its message for more than 70 years, a release states.

Ms. Goodrich and Mr. Hackett began their joint career as Broadway playwrights in the 1920s. The success of their comedy “Up Pops the Devil” brought them to Hollywood to work on the 1931 screen version.

They went on to write some of films during the 1930s and 1940s, including “Easter Parade;” “The Thin Man” and its sequel, “After the Thin Man;” “Father of the Bride;” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (all of which were nominated for Academy Awards for screenwriting); and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” among others.

Their adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank” premiered at the Cort Theatre on Broadway in 1955 and received the Tony Award for Best Play, the NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play and Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Playwright Kesselman, whose other plays include “The Executioners Daughter,” “The Notebook” and “The Foggy Foggy Dew,” adapted the Ms. Goodrich and Mr. Hackett script to include newly discovered writings from the diary of Anne Frank as well a survivor accounts.

This new version premiered in Boston before opening at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway in 1997. The production was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and received two Drama Desk Award Nominations.

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