Theater Info for the Washington DC region

The Diary of Anne Frank: Don’t Forget Anne’s Message

By • May 28th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of The Diary of Anne Frank, performed by The Silver Spring Stage [MP3 4:13 1.2MB].

Laura: Tonight we saw The Diary of Anne Frank performed by The Silver Spring Stage at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Mike: The Diary of Anne Frank is a dramatization of the diary that Anne Frank, a 12 year old girl kept while she was in hiding with her family and some friends during World War 2. This is the story that many people know the basics of. It’s the story of Anne Frank who got stuck with her family in the attic of a factory. They lived there for a couple of years before being discovered by the Nazi’s and were arrested and sent to the concentration camps. That’s probably what most people remember. So when you actually see this little space that’s at the front of the Gaithersburg Arts Barn, it’s not a large area. The Director’s Notes in the playbill mentions that this area was actually smaller than the original area that they were living in. The visuals and the blah that they had to live with for a couple of years as well as being with these people they don’t know. Basically having to live in a handful of rooms, you can’t go anywhere. You can’t make noise. I think most of us couldn’t do that for more than a couple of days. Think of what happens in a snow storm and you’re stuck at home for a couple of days while they clear the roads. Can you imagine doing that for two years with people you don’t know?

Laura: The Silver Spring Stage performers were able to convey that message to the audience really well.

Mike: This is a performance that you really need to see. The show was almost sold out. It’s not a large venue so if you do want to go see it, you need to call and get your name on the list now.

Laura: The character of Anne Frank was played by Arielle Goldman. I really liked her. She had a lot of spunk. When Anne and her family and the Van Dans moved into the attic, I believe she was 13 and lived there for two years. We saw a change in her. She kept the action lively. She was the one who had a lot to say and wasn’t afraid to say it. I enjoyed watching her reactions to her mother, father, and the other people in thee attic.

Mike: Her father, Otto Frank was played by Mark Shullenbarger. He did a good job. He was the steady force of the family. He kept everyone calm and focused. He had a monologue at the end of the show and did really well. He even looked like, in my mind, what Otto Frank looked like. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but all the actors looked like how I would picture them to look.

Laura: In live theater if someone gets sick, there’s no one to replace them. Unfortunately tonight the actress who played Edith Frank got sick and Sonya Okin filled in. She did a good job.

Mike: Considering she had not rehearsed at all. We assume she got the call tonight or today to step in and was able to. She did a good job with it.

Laura: The Gaithersburg Arts Barn is a small stage , but they used it very effectively. You had a common eating/living area. And then you had beds set up for the various sleeping areas.

Mike: The auditorium is in the top level of the Arts Barn. They actually removed the back wall of the stage so you can see the roof of the barn, that is under the eves where they put some of the bedrooms. It was a really good use of space. I would think that area is normally not used for anything. So it helped them to have a fairly deep stage.

Laura: The Diary of Anne Frank is playing through June 4th at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Mike: And if you’ve seen The Diary of Anne Frank, please feel free to leave comments on our website:

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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