I have been learning about this little girl named Anne Frank for over a year now. I've read many articles on her life, her writing and circumstances. I never read the actual diary nor saw any of the movie version of the play. I wanted the play to be completely original to our stage and not influenced by any other media. I do, however, know that the play is not completely historically accurate with Anne's writings, but rather a dramatic presentation of an instance in history and an example of what millions of people and families went through during the crazy and evil existence of the Nazi army. Most of us have no real-life situation that can even compare to what Anne and her fellow roommates went through, nor do I wish such circumstances. I do think that many, no, all of us take our blessings for granted.
Anne Frank's story is that of hope. A story of an optimistic dreamer who, at times, became overwhelmed with the people and situations she had been dealt. Anne knew what she had at one time and wanted more than anything to know where she was going. She knew that if given the second chance at life, she was going to live it. Unfortunately, she never got that second chance. But, how many of us have been given such an opportunity and thrown it to the side only to satisfy our own desires?
I spent the last year thinking and reading, but since August 18 I had been living with Anne. I looked at many, many pictures of the entire family and the others living the the loft with her. I looked at the loft, the area around business, the Holocaust, the victims and survivors. A lot of people asked if this show was depressing to work on. The answer, "no." It wasn't depressing, but you did want to work so hard to get it right. I can't say that you could ever get a show like this right because the script and characters have so many different layers, but you can put all your heart into it and the audience will hopefully be moved.
I think our audiences were moved. A lot of people said they cried. I don't judge a reaction to Anne's story by the tears- people cry at tv commercials at Christmas. I judge the reaction of the audience by the silence. There is so much to think about after the lights go down at the end of the story. If the audience is quiet at the end, then it proves they are still thinking.
Obviously, not everyone would be affected. Just like I don't get excited about Super Bowl Sunday. But I do wonder about the condition of their hearts. Even if you did not like our presentation of Anne's story, hopefully the realization that these were real people would get under your skin, if only slightly.
I completely appreciate the efforts of our cast and crew. The Diary of Anne Frank was a beautiful production that will live with me forever. I am never satisfied with a show, but with this one, I am truly happy. I am so proud to have experience this story with this cast. I will always look back to the past three weeks as a very special time for me as a person and me as a (and I use this term loosely) an artist.
There of course will be those who just don't get it and never will. To those who might say, the show or story was boring (don't get me wrong, I like glitter just as much or more than the other person) or uninteresting, then to them I say this- pick which one best suits you:
a) You are stupid.
b) We will wait till you mature and then let you have another opinion.
c) In terms of the theatre world, your artistic integrity is not up to par. In other words, get educated, get interested and stick to shows where the performers jeans are way too tight- that would seem to be more your speed.
Anne, I will miss you. I don't begrudge the many hours I sat in the pit waiting for a two minute moment on stage. It was my honor. Thank you.