We have been working on Anne Frank for only about two and a half weeks and we open in less than a week. That's fast in show world. Everyone is doing a great job- it is going to be a very moving show. At the beginning of this whole experience, the day the cast list was posted people had a cocked eyebrow at some of the choices I made. There were no doubts in the ability of performers, however, from looking at past characters some folks, I'm sure, thought Rachel as Anne Frank? Rachel? The girl who is always the twitchy, elastic faced nerd? Yes, that girl.
Rachel is amazing me at every rehearsal. In the beginning, she was falling into old habits. Over the top spasms and ski jump stances. But in less than two weeks, she as gained so much control in the physical, vocal and emotional aspects of the character. We have talked a lot about what Anne is going through. There is no way any of us can understand what any of these people went through, so we have talked about situations in their own lives that could hold a similar emotional association. The girl "performer" that makes everyone laugh because of her goofy gestures has become a full on "actress" with control, emotion, interest, and (hold on), subtlety and grace. This show is not to be missed, not only because it is such an important story, but because all the performances are a thrill to experience. And, how often do you get to see a self proclaimed nerd become a swan?