Lessons from the attic

'Diary of Anne Frank' play has universal messages

Advertisement

Past Event

High school performance of "Diary of Anne Frank"

  • Saturday, November 18, 2006, 7 p.m.
  • Steamboat Springs High School, 45 Maple St., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / $10

More

Past Event

High school performance of "Diary of Anne Frank"

  • Friday, November 17, 2006, 7 p.m.
  • Steamboat Springs High School, 45 Maple St., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / $10

More

Past Event

High school performance of "Diary of Anne Frank"

  • Thursday, November 16, 2006, 7 p.m.
  • Steamboat Springs High School, 45 Maple St., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / $10

More

The set for Steamboat Springs High School's production of "Diary of Anne Frank" is eerie for its realism.

"It has the feeling of entrapment and crowdedness," director Rusty deLucia said. "Although these people were running away from their lives to avoid prison, they were in prison."

The play is based on the true story of the Frank and Van Daan families and Mr. Dussel, who hid out in the attic of Mr. Frank's spice factory in Amsterdam during the Holocaust.

It carries an important and universal message.

"It is about man's inhumanity to man. It used the Holocaust but could be repeated in Iraq," deLucia said. "Hopefully, if even one person can get the message to be human to other human beings, maybe we can see our way to peace in the world."

DeLucia is of Jewish lineage, and because her family was unable to trace their German-Jewish relatives, it was assumed they died in the Holocaust.

"But the play means so much to me because I just want the wars to stop," she said. "It is so important for me and people in the cast to get the message across to people who are so far removed from war."

One of the biggest challenges for the high school cast members was to not act and look like privileged teenagers.

"They are all healthy and athletic kids and needed to learn how to walk like they would after two years in an attic without being able to move," deLucia said.

But the cast members have learned much more from their characters than just their physical characteristics.

"When reading the book, these people seemed like superheroes. I discovered that they are just like us," said Emily Stout, who plays Anne Frank. "And they missed the simple things people can do everyday, like laugh 'til your belly aches."

Acceptance is one of the biggest lessons of the production.

"The play says a lot about tolerance," said Marilyn Harris, who plays Mrs. Van Daan. "We need to respect diversity. That's the universal message."

"Any race or religion could be put in this position," added Sean Hill, who plays Peter Van Daan. "The Nazis could have picked anyone."

The experience of producing this play has brought the tragedy of the Holocaust to a personal level.

"In our generation nowadays, no one connects to reading books. We just watch the movie," stage manager Morgan Dingle said. "But this play brings the book alive so you can feel it."

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.