Fauquier Community Theatre The Diary of Anne FrankBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jan 19th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Fauquier Community Theatre
Fauquier Community Theatre, Warrenton, VA
Through January 30th
2:00 with one intermission
$15/$13 Seniors and Students
Reviewed January 16, 2011
The Diary of Anne Frank is a play written by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett, newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman. It tells the story of eight people hidden away from the Nazis in an attic apartment during World War II. They were eventually discovered and taken to concentration camps. All perished except for Otto Frank who returned after the war to the attic where he found and later published Anne’s diary.
No matter how you slice it, this is just not a show that gets a standing ovation at the curtain call. Most women (and even men) end up teary-eyed at Otto Frank’s closing monologue. Perhaps because we know how it will turn out, there is deep sorrow permeating the performance.
The youngest member of the group who had the most to say about everything was young Anne Frank, played with a reflective maturity by Mollie Rodgers. Even though she seemed to get on everyone’s nerves, her mother, the Van Daans, Peter, she tried to enjoy life. Her father was the only one that seemed to understand Anne and be her comfort. Rodgers was as outgoing as was possible in that time and made good use of the stage. Cast members excelled at expresing their frustrations in the cramped quarters of the annex, and generally never seemed comfortable with each other.
Carrie Parsons best personified the character of Edith Frank. Always anxious and worried, she seemed resigned to the fate she knew would come yet hoped would not. Her breaking point came towards the end of the play when two years of hiding in the annex almost proved too much. Her makeup made her look older and brought out the suffering in her eyes and reflected in her demeanor. Otto Frank played by Gary Parsons encountered some pacing issues, but was able to maintain an air of calmness as he tried to keep the peace among the people crammed in a tiny upstairs apartment.
Nancy Daugherty’s set design and Laurel VanLandingham’s light design made the space appear small, with the use of drab-colored painting and dim lighting making the annex as somber as the mood of its inhabitants. The costumes seemed appropriate for the time period. Susan Noe kept the colors simple and the designs tasteful for the 1940’s. Most of the clothing was brown or dark fabric. The one splash of color came when Miep brought Anne a pair of bright red shoes.
Though not a show with a happy ending, it was performed with sincerity and dedication to the life of a remarkable young woman.
I hope this show will educate, provoke thought and discussion and give the audience a chance to peek into a portion of history that helps define how people can overcome hardship and catastrophe. Though violence destruction, poverty and abuse ran rampant during the second World War, and still exists throughout various parts of the world today – this show will allow us to remember that with the support of loved ones and cherished friends, we can overcome even the most hopeless and difficult of times and lead ourselves to an existence in which all of our dreams come true. Anne Frank wanted to be immortal, to reach thousands with her writing. I am honored that I have the chance to allow this little girl’s thoughts and feelings to be heard. – Sarah LaFantasie
Photos by Hilary Tupper.
- Anne Frank: Mollie Rodgers
- Anne Frank Understudy: Hannah Sachs
- Margot Frank: Hannah Morris
- Margot Frank Understudy: Holly Tupper
- Mrs. Frank: Carrie Parsons
- Mr. Frank: Gary Parsons
- Miep: Caroline Clymer
- Peter Van Daan: Jacob Printz
- Mr. Kraler: Brandon Dawson
- Mr. Van Daan: Jack Seeley
- Mrs. Van Daan: Sherry Bendt
- Mr. Dussel: Joe Bersack
- Nazi Soldiers: Jeff Briner, Bob Jordan, Kirk Noe
- Director: Sarah LaFantasie
- Producer: Laurie Abeel
- Stage Manager: Nancy Daugherty
- Set Design: Nancy Daugherty
- Set Dressing: Deanna James, Nancy Daugherty
- Properties: Hilary Tupper
- Costume Design: Susan Noe
- Seamstress: Susan Noe, Hannah Ballinger, Katie Sachs
- Light Design: Laurel VanLandingham
- Light Design Assistant: Niel VanLandingham
- Sound Design: Laurel VanLandingham
- Makeup Design: Cast
- Hair Design: Teena Stevic
- Set Construction: Nancy Daugherty
- Set Painting: Nancy Daugherty, Gary Parsons, Carrie Parsons
- Light Operator: Laurel VanLandingham
- Sound Operator: Nancy Daugherty
- Stage Crew: Hannah Sachs, Holly Tupper
- Posters: Sarah Weathers
- House Manager: Laurie Abeel
- Programs: Laurie Abeel
- Photography: Hilary Tupper
- Opening Night Reception: Laurie Bersack
- Box Office Manager: Christie Clark
Disclaimer: Fauquier Community Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. Mike Clark was asked to stage manage this production.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/6086.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.