Riverland to perform ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’

Published 9:17 am Monday, November 17, 2008

Riverland Theatre takes on a serious tone in its next production, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” the true story of a Jewish girl and her family’s experience hiding from the Nazis during World War II.

The play, which debuts Wednesday and runs through Sunday, features a 10-member cast starring Kelsey Seifert as “Anne Frank.”

Frank, a Germany-born Jewish girl, gained fame when her diary — an account of her family’s experience hiding during the German occupation in the Netherlands during the Holocaust — was published. She died at age 15 of typhus in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s all taken right out of the diary,” director Jerry Girton said of the production. “We try to do a good variety of shows for our students as well as our audience.

The script follows the “conflicts they had while they were living … in this really small area for two years,” Girton said. “We sometimes forget what some people have had to go through in history for freedom.”

Girton said the overall theme of the story, through the eyes of Frank during her experience, is that “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are good at heart.”

Other players in the two-hour show include Shane May as “Otto Frank,” Anne’s father; Jessica Beske as “Edith Frank,” the mother; and Rebecca Seifert as “Margot Frank,” Anne’s older sister.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. each night at Frank W. Bridges Theatre, Riverland Community College. Tickets are $10; RCC students are free.

Riverland will also present matinees for high school students, Girton said.

The play is recommended for audiences age 12 and older.