Friday, November 24, 2006
'Diary of Anne Frank'
Steamboat Springs It amazed me that some people in the audience had not read "The Diary of Anne Frank." Her story was so powerful to me as a little girl. And, having visited two concentration camps and the attic in Amsterdam where Mr. Dussel and the Frank and Van Daan families hid, the words leapt off the pages for me.
Chula Walker's set accurately portrayed the feeling of entrapment I had felt in the actual attic. I was so impressed with the high school actors. You could tell they really took this play to heart. When I interviewed them, each student had found a way to relate the play to their lives, and they seemed to really grasp the universal messages of acceptance and tolerance interlaced in the story.
The best part of the performance was the actors' accents, which included German, Russian, British and American. The stage lights went dark twice, and Emily Stout (who played Anne Frank) incorporated a line about the unpredictable lighting in the attic. Nice save.
From the sound booth at Steamboat Mountain Theater, you could see how packed the theater was and how many young musicians they had to squeeze into folding chairs in front of the stage. More than 50 children and young adults from age six to 18 had a venue in which to perform Friday night, even if they needed their music teachers to complete a quartet or trio.
It makes me so happy to see young people studying classical music because it is an art form that is dwindling in popularity in our technology-obsessed society.
I was lucky. I grew up going to operas in Vienna and Frankfurt and was exposed to classical music at an early age. I can appreciate its evocative qualities. It is a time capsule of our history, and the thought of it getting lost amongst iPods and PlayStation 3s makes me panicky.
It was wonderful to see the classical musicians and audiences of tomorrow have an outlet to perform. And to see the adults in this community that are so instrumental in passing on their love for the timeless beauty of classical music.