The Diary of Anne Frank Review

Kirsten Ebenezer and Michelle Madlansacay, Staff Writer and Arts and Entertainment Editor

The Berkeley Carroll production of The Diary of Anne Frank, directed by Mr. Justin Indovina, along with student director Miranda Cornell, junior, was phenomenal. Set from June 4, 1942 – August 1, 1944 , The Diary of Anne Frank follows the secluded life of the youthful Jewish teenager Anne, as she and her family struggle to survive during the Nazi era. Throughout the play, Anne’s thoughts on the events in her life are presented through her diary entries. From sharing her teenage thoughts about boys to voicing her desires to return home to her normal lifestyle, this powerful story gives the audience an insight into what it was like to be a Jew in hiding during that era.

The play began in a unique way: six actors (freshman Rocco Blum, junior Anja Boltz, freshman Julia Longo, senior Eleanor Pearson, sophomore Jake Simpson, and freshman Avery Smith) appeared on stage to give monologues about the different experiences of real people during the Holocaust; the monologues ranged from a young girl recounting her experiences during Kristallnacht to a Nazi Officer to a boy in a concentration camp.  This opening started the play on a serious and sorrowful note.

What made the play so interesting is that it did not focus solely on the story of Anne, but provided the audience with more insight about the millions of people who experienced the Holocaust; this insight was presented through the nameless soliloquies. The learning aspect of the play not only benefited the audience, but the actors as well. Julia Longo, a freshman who performed one of the soliloquies in the beginning, described her learning experience from the play: “I had a lot of fun working on the play. After visiting the Holocaust museum [with the rest of the cast] and reading many articles about it, I realized that I learned a lot more than I thought I already knew.”

Anne (played by senior Lucie Allouche) was introduced to the audience as a playful daddy’s girl. Lucie did a wonderful job in bringing this cheerful character to life, and because of that the audience immediately fell in love with the character of Anne Frank. In her final monologue, Anne expresses the pain she feels about the Jews in the concentration camps and says, “I feel the suffering of millions”. It was a beautiful line that showed the audience the true altruistic character of Anne. Through the play, the young protagonist becomes a symbol of the suffering of the Jews.

Anne’s childish behavior around her mother Edith (played by senior Julia Lisi), father Otto (played by senior Cooper Lippert), sister Margo (played by junior Emma Newbery), and local dentist Albert Dussel (played by junior Myles Zavelo), as well as the fraught relationship between husband and wife Hermann and Petronella van Daan (played by juniors Andrew Keenan and Tristan Gillia) provided the humor in the play. The innocent romance between Anne and the character Peter van Daan (played by sophomore Will Pigott), served as a distraction to both Anne and the audience from the horrific events occurring outside the small flat the Frank and van Daan families were hiding in. The fact that the play combined history with the life of a teenager not so different from an Upper School student at BC, made it both unique and captivating.

Every single student involved in BC’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank, from those working backstage to the actors onstage, did an amazing job in telling the story of such an awful event in history. It is not the easiest task to tell such a tale, and to be able to portray the actual characters who were forced to experience such terror, so the entire cast and crew of the production truly deserve much praise in doing just that. Mr. Kent, the set designer of the play, commented on the production of the play, saying that it was “one was the most satisfying creative endeavors he’s ever participated in at Berkeley Carroll.” He went on to comment on the cast, stating that they all “worked as an ensemble.” Mr. Kent then gave much credit to Mr. Indovina, as he “fostered a sense of ownership and respect for the text, and this was clearly reflected in the performances.” The play had an impact on everyone who was watching; the tragic ending left many with broken hearts, but also more knowledge on the event and human behavior. Ms. Clapps, who went to see the show, found it “amazing how the students took it (the play) seriously and did their best to pay tribute to the story.” Anne’s story is just one of millions of victims, and the Berkeley Carroll community had the opportunity to educate students, teachers and parents about the Holocaust. Anne Frank’s voice is conveyed beautifully in this stage adaptation of her diaries, and we were extremely lucky to see it.

                           THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

Anne Frank                                                                            Lucie Allouche

Otto Frank                                                                              Cooper Lippert

Edith Frank                                                                             Julia Lisi

Margo Frank                                                                           Emma Newbery

Hermann van Daan                                                                 Andrew Keenan

Petronella van Daan                                                                Tristan Gillia

Peter van Daan                                                                        Will Pigott

Albert Dussel                                                                            Myles Zavelo

Miep Gies                                                                                 Julia Pike

Victor Kraler                                                                              Henry Pearson

Karl Silberbauer/Rauter                                                            Caleb Gordon

Officer 1/Broadcast Reporter                                                    Callie Goodin

 Officer 2/Broadcast Reporter                                                   Sarah Holsberg

 Officer 3/Bolkenstein/ ”All I Know” Monologue                         Rocco Blum

 “Glass Like Jewels” Monologue                                               Julia Longo

“Old Traditions, New Dreams” Monologue                               Avery Smith

“In Hiding” Monologue                                                              Eleanor Pearson

“Trains” Monologue                                                                  Jake Simpson

“Crust of Bread” Monologue                                                     Anja Boltz