Central Park Players will be closing its final show of their 2015-16 mainstage season, “The Diary of Anne Frank” April 29-30 at the Lakeshore Middle School auditorium, 900 Cutler St. in Grand Haven. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play is based on the diary kept by Anne Frank, the posthumously famous writer and teenage victim of the Holocaust.
The action of the play follows the well-known story of a young Jewish girl’s harrowing account of hiding with her family from the Nazis in the hidden annex of her father’s business in Amsterdam. Anne Frank receives a diary for her thirteenth birthday in 1942, where she ultimately records her thoughts, hopes and dreams. Not long after, she and her family are forced to go into hiding to escape imprisonment in Nazi work camps. Anne captures the details of daily life for the family, and others who join them in hiding, along with the growing pains that come with being a teenager. From the constant fear of detection, to grasping at small moments of happiness, this play captures the best and the worst of humanity and our unbreakable will to survive.
“The Diary of Anne Frank” is directed by a well-known area thespian, Diane Van Wesep, who has performed two times in the play herself. In this production, Anne is being portrayed by Mona Shores student Emily Mann, who was also featured last season as the character Puck in Central Park Players’ production of “Midsummer Jersey.”
Other youth players include Grand Haven High School students Kennedy Quirin as Margot Frank and Dimitri Tullock as Peter Van Daan. Adult actors include Steve Dzwonkowski and Marilisa Sachteleben as Mr. and Mrs. Frank, Lisa Smith and Mike Vogas as Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan, along with Bruce Baker, Adrian Lopez, Shelby Courtois, Chip Bohnhoff, Brian Bialowis and Harold Husted.
The script is written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, based on the Dutch language diary kept by Anne Frank. Central Park Players will be performing the newer adaptation of the work by Wendy Kesselman which restores deleted passages from the diary, offering the audience a richer look into this extraordinary young woman’s coming of age.
“The Diary of Anne Frank” is recommended for children 10 and older. Tickets may be purchased in-person at the door or in advance on the Players’ website at http://www.centralparkplayers.org . Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors. For more information, follow Central Park Players on Facebook or contact the box office at 616-850-6566.