ASU to Perform “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Recognize Holocaust Remembrance Day

Published Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will perform next week the moving full-length play “The Diary of Anne Frank,” based on a young girl’s diary entries during a two-year span of time during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

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www.news.appstate.edu. Photo by Morganton Stewart. Senior Kimmy Fiorentino portrays the title role in the ASU Department of Theatre and Dance production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

The production will be performed in the intimate Valborg Theatre April 22-25 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance April 26 at 2 p.m. The play is also featured on the university’s APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series sponsored by the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs with two sold-out daytime school performances for students in the High Country.

Ticket prices to the public performances start at just $9 for Appalachian students and $16 for adults. For more information, visit http://theatre.appstate.edu or call the box office at 828-262-4046, or the toll-free number 800-841-ARTS (2787). There will be a talkback conversation with the director, cast and production team immediately following the opening night performance on Wednesday.

From 1942-44, the Frank family was in hiding in the upper rooms of a company building in Amsterdam. The powerful story of the brutal realities of the Holocaust is told through the enduring words of the witty teenager, Anne Frank. Under the direction of Anna Ward, a member of the Department of Theatre and Dance faculty, the touching story of these difficult years comes to life.

Through Anne’s eyes we are given the gift of youthful insight into the complicated layers of war, fear and love. The pivotal title role is double cast with students Raquelle “Rocky” Pollock and Kimmy Fiorentino. Pollock is a junior double majoring in dance studies and psychology, while senior Fiorentino is a theater and psychology double major.

The play coincides with Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and is being performed the week following the annual remembrance. The calendar year 2015 also marks the 70th anniversary of the death of Anne Frank from illness at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is produced by the Department of Theatre and Dance through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.

In her director’s note, Ward says that it’s highly unlikely that anyone comes to see “The Diary of Anne Frank” without having some knowledge of the young Jewish girl from the Netherlands.

“The diary, published in 1952, is listed as the most read book related to the Holocaust in the United States,” said Ward, noting that “the play, both the 1997 adaptation we will perform and the original from 1955, has been performed thousands of times, along with several movie versions.”

“I think Anne herself would approve; it was important to her that her story be known.”

That message is reinforced by a direct quote from Frank’s diary that reads, “I want to go on living, even after my death.”

Guest scenic designer Hannah Crowell joins Ward on the production’s creative team, along with two theatre faculty colleagues: costume designer Martha Marking and lighting designer John Marty. Students involved in the production include Jacob Crenshaw as sound designer, Jesslyn Wilson as dramaturg and David Sabbagh as stage manager.

“Anne Frank has arguably become an icon. History has chosen her to live on as a sacred representation of what happened to so many in the Holocaust,” Ward said. “Ultimately, I believe Anne Frank’s story has to be retold because it is the story of a tragedy that should never be repeated. This is a story worth telling again because, through her, we recognize our responsibility to all of humanity as active participants the prevention of racism and genocide so that we can realize her ideals.”

Valborg Theatre is located on the north side of Chapell Wilson Hall on Howard Street. The door faces the back of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on King Street. Parking is available after 5 p.m. on campus in faculty/staff lots and after 5:30 p.m. in the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons.

About the Department of Theatre and Dance

The Department of Theatre and Dance is housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to provide liberal arts educations for the B.S. degree in teaching theatre arts and the B.A. degrees in dance studies or theatre arts. The department also values the opportunity to offer coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Vital to the support of this mission is a dynamic co-curricular production program that provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. The departmental philosophy is to support the university’s liberal arts environment through a balanced and integrated emphasis on teaching, creative activity, scholarship and service.

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