Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Review: The Diary of Anne Frank

By • Feb 20th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Read or listen to our review of The Diary of Anne Frank, performed by Stage Door Productions. [MP3 4:47 4.4MB]

Mike: And we saw The Diary of Anne Frank performed by Stage Door Productions in Fredericksburg, Virginia today.

Laura: The Diary of Anne Frank is the story written by Anne Frank. It’s the story of two families and a single gentleman who go into hiding because they’re Jewish to escape the Nazi’s.

Mike: It’s a very touching story.

Laura: Yes, it’s very powerful.

Mike: It’s been done a lot. It’s a fairly popular show to do. The basic story is one that nobody can imagine themselves being in. Having to live in an attic for a year and a half. Knowing that if you get discovered up there you’re going to be killed. It’s a small area. You hear sirens, and you hear screams, and gunshots, and the country’s at war. Nobody can identify with that. Well, maybe not nobody, but most of us can’t identify with that so it’s a pretty powerful show to do. I think Stage Door did a pretty good job with it.

Laura: I think they did really well with it. It takes place in an attic. I liked the secret bookcase because that is what kept them in hiding and the rest of the world out.

Mike: The set was really well done when you first get to the theater. They don’t have a curtain and you get to see the set. It’s pretty simple. Two by fours represent the walls. There are some beds. There’s a central area that’s the dining area and the kitchen. There’s a small area off to the back that’s the water closet or bathroom. And that’s the whole place where these people are going to live for a year and a half. They take you through the year and a half pretty well. Stage Door did pretty well with the time sequencing.

Laura: Yes, they did a Hanukah celebration.

Mike: Anne Frank is played by Sarah Stepahin. She did a really good job with it. I assume she’s in high school somewhere down in Fredericksburg. There were points where she had a voice over. Her voice was pre-recorded her reading from her diary. But most of it was on stage action and she did really well.

Laura: I think they all kept in character really well. No one ever went off stage because of course they couldn’t because they were in hiding. So any kind of prop change or scene changes were all done on stage.

Mike: It was all done with lighting. The lighting was really effective. They had separate lights aimed at separate sections of the staging area. If Anne was in her bedroom writing in her diary, the light was just on her. When it was a time to be quiet, the lights were on the entire stage and everyone was sitting in place without their shoes on reading or writing or whatever they could do to be quiet. The other thing that was really cool was during the intermission a year passed. When they came back on stage, Anne had aged. She had a different outfit on.

Laura: Her hair was no longer in pigtails. It was down.

Mike: She definitely loooked a year older and that was a really good effect that they got away with on that. The one comment I had was at the end of the play, three men come in to the hiding place and arrest the family and the people. It was kind of anti climatic in that they just kind of appeared. There was no screaming. Everyone was kind of in shock. It didn’t feel like the right fear they had. Maybe they were really worn down after a year and a half of being up there. That was one nit pick.

Laura: I thought Anne and her sister Margot and their friend Peter played it petty well. They weren’t overly surprised, but they were taken aback.

Mike: So all in all it was a good show.

Laura: Yes, I definitely recommend it.

Mike: It will make you think and be thankful for what we have. It’s amazing that people went through that and much worse. At the end of the play Otto Frank who was played by Roy Jarnecke gave a summary of what happened after their arrests. It was sobering at the end. You didn’t quite want to clap once they came out and took their bows because it felt funny to applaud. But you’re applauding their effort not what happened to the family and the people.

Laura: The Diary of Anne Frank is playing next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday by Stage Door Productions down in Fredericksburg. I recommend seeing it.

Mike: Definitely would go see it. it’s at Massaponax High School. And now, on with the show.


  • Anne Frank: Sarah Stepahin
  • Otto Frank: Roy Jarnecke
  • Edith Frank: Kimberly Kemp
  • Margot Frank: Kaitlin Kemp
  • Miep Gies: Sarah Headley
  • Peter van Daan: Martin Wetterauer
  • Mr. Kraler: Jeff Small
  • Mrs. Van Daan: Charlotte Fields
  • Mr. Van Daan: Gene Nesbitt
  • Mr. Dussel: Todd Blose
  • First Man: Andrew Jarnecke
  • Second Man: Robert Maness
  • Third Man: Michael Foreman


  • Director: Susan Ingebretsen
  • Stage Manager: Kristin Keveney
  • Sound: Carla Joseph
  • Lights: Christopher Armentrout
  • Costumes: Charlotte Fields
  • Props: Sue Sargeant
  • Set Design: Sean Kemp
  • Publicity: Susan Ingebretsen, Lynn McFaddden
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One Response »

  1. as a jew ijust finished reading anne frank the diary of a young girl and cried and cried i visited the anne frank annex in holland and cried there too and i wondered whydid this happen to such a young sweet girl and her family may her memory live in our hearts forever shalom and shana tovah.