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The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne FrankOctober 9 & November 4
A Play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
Based upon Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Newly Adapted By Wendy Kesselman

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Adapted from The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, this Pulitzer Prize winning Drama tells the story the Franks, a Jewish family who spent two years in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.  The diary was retrieved by Miep Gies, who gave it to Anne’s father, Otto Frank, the only known survivor of the family.  The diary has now been published in over 60 languages.  The play opened on Broadway in 1955 receiving the Tony Award for Best Play and a nomination for its star, Susan Strasberg.  The show revived in 1997, in an adaptation by Wendy Kesselman, starring Natalie Portman as Anne, and Broadway juggernaut George Hearn, and received two nominations for 1998 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

 

Scenes
Cast Bios
Production Staff Bios
Creative Team Bios

 


 

The Diary of Anne Frank Cast

 

Anne Frank

Joelle Rassi

Otto Frank

Ryan A. Schisler

Edith Frank

MoMo Lamping

Margot Frank

Jocelyn Lonquist

Miep Gies

Katherine Yacko

Peter Van Daan

Justin Williams

Mrs. Van Daan

Sarah Philabaum

Mr. Van Daan

Travis Bird

Mr. Dussel

T.J. Besler

 

The Diary of Anne Frank Staff

 

Executive Producer

Richard Pletcher

Director

Jeremy Littlejohn

Production Stage Manager

Timothy James

Technical Director

Tom Slavey

ASM / Sound

Bradley M. Waelbroeck

Set Designer

Richard Pletcher

Costume Designer

Amber Burgess

Lighting Designer

Jeremy Littlejohn

Properties Master

Timothy James

Box Office Manager

Jennifer Scheffer

Legal Representation

Dumler & Giroux, NYC

Archive Videographer

Steve Jones

 

Setting: The play takes place in the top floors of the annex to an office building in Amsterdam, Holland, during the years of World War II.



The Diary of Anne Frank Cast Bios

T.J. BeslerT.J. Besler (Mr. Dussel) comes to you from the small town of Manchester, Iowa.  Having received the actor bug at the young age of six there has never been anything else he can imagine himself doing.  After attending the University of Iowa, graduating with a degree in theatre as well as minors in dance and music, Besler continued to pursue his dream; performing all over the country, including N.Y.C., Los Angeles, Birmingham, and Nashville, among many others.  Some of his favorite roles include Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, Seymour Krelborne in Little Shop of Horrors, and Elliot Garfield in The Goodbye Girl.  He would like to thank all those who have and continue to love and support him, especially his sister Tanya, without whom he would not be where or who he is today. 
Enjoy the show!


Travis BirdTravis Bird (Mr. Van Daan) When I was growing up I did not enjoy reading as much as I do now. In school, we learned about the Holocaust and read the The Diary of Anne Frank. After watching the movie in class, I remember wanting to be apart of the stage show someday. I enjoy a variety of genres, but my favorite is when they turn a book into a movie. Thank you for joining us today to watch such an important story.





MoMo LampingMoMo Lamping (Edith Frank) Hey guys! The Holocaust has always been a topic I've found extremely interesting to study. In elementary school I read The Diary of Anne Frank, then in middle school I read Night by Elie Wiesel and had the opportunity to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. To be able to spend time looking at, touching, and really diving into the history in person was absolutely amazing. Even now thinking about my trip years later, I still get goose bumps. I am so honored to get to tell the story of someone who actually lived during this intense moment in history.



Jocelyn LonquistJocelyn Lonquist (Margot) Hi, I’m Jocelyn, and I’m from the sunny beaches of Pensacola, Florida!  I went to college at Samford University in Alabama, where I studied music, theatre, and dance!  Like Margot, I am also the oldest in my family, and I have two younger sisters. Anne Frank was always one of my favorite books growing up, because I so admired Anne’s strength and courage. Last year, when I was teaching theater in Charleston, South Carolina, my students and I got to work on our own production of The Diary of Anne Frank! This story always shows me something new, and I hope you find something new today too!



Sarah PhilabaumSarah Philabaum (Mrs. Van Daan) is thrilled to return for her fifth season at The Round Barn Theatre! You may remember her previously as Doralee in 9 to 5, Mavis in Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping or as Betty Jean in the Spring production of The Marvelous Wonderettes. She was also responsible for the choreography in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Shrek. Sarah returns to Nappanee directly from her second season with Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, where she was featured in 42nd Street, The Addams Family and All Shook Up.
Much love to Jeremy Littlejohn for being wonderful!


Joelle RassiJoelle Rassi (Anne Frank) is from Milford, IN and is so pleased to be returning for her fourth season at the Round Barn.  She loved being Gingy in Shrek and Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank.  She will be a freshman in Show Choir this coming fall.  She loves singing, dancing, acting, and she spends all of her spare time song writing.

 

 

 




Ryan A. SchislerRyan A. Schisler (Otto Frank) is very excited to be returning to the Round Barn stage for another terrific season!  He is a graduate of Murray State University in KY, where he studied Theatre & Television Production.  You may have seen Ryan as the Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors or Rev. Shaw Moore in Footloose last season.  He was recently in Minnesota working for Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre playing The Huntsman in Snow White.
I would like to thank my family and friends for their love and continuous support.


Justin WilliamsJustin Williams (Peter Van Daan) is thrilled to be back at the Round Barn Theatre for the holiday season! He was last seen on the mainstage all throughout last year where he played Peter Reber, Laurie Laurence, and Pinocchio. He would like to thank Jeremy for the opportunity to spend his holiday here.
Much love to Mom, Grandma, Jessi, Poppo, and Hannah!

 




Katherine YackoKatherine Yacko (Miep Gies) is honored to be sharing such a powerful story in this stage adaptation for young people. She remembers reading this play/book in 5th grade along with other memorable written works about this era in world history like Number the Stars and The Devil's Arithmetic. Also, one of her all-time favorite quotes comes from the wise mind of Anne Frank, "in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." She is thankful to portray the remarkable Miep Gies and she wants to thank all of you for taking time to experience the magic of live theatre!








The Diary of Anne Frank Staff Biographies

Amber Burgess (Costume Designer) is pleased to be back at the Round Barn Theater for the 2015 season.  She has been involved in theater (acting, costuming, and directing) since 1988.  Amber studied musical theater at Millikin University in Decatur, IL and also has a BA in Social Sciences (with an emphasis in theater research) from Ashford University.  Amber has formerly worked as a costume designer with the Cincinnati Costume Company, Top Hat Productions (Marshall, MI), Cincinnati Landmark Productions, The Little Theater (Jamestown, ND), Millikin University (Decatur, IL), LaMoure County Theater (ND), and The Joseph Jefferson Playmakers (Jamestown, ND).  She was taught to sew as a child by her grandmother Jan Christopherson, and was taught dress making by her aunts Betsy Davis and Susan Ely.  When not at work she enjoys quilting, running, writing, and reading. To view a portforlio, or inquire about costume rentals, visit www.amberburgess.com.

Timothy James (Production Stage Manager) is happy to be returning to The Round Barn Theatre for another fantastic season. Timothy is from Anderson, South Carolina, where he earned a BA in Theatre with a Concentration in Theatrical Design. Although his love for theatre is vast, his focus remains in Stage Management. Some of his favorite credits include A Raisin in the SunThe MisanthropeJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Shrek the Musical. He is blessed to have such a loving a supportive family, and without them he would not be here today. 
Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Jeremy Littlejohn (Director) grew up right down the road in Elkhart, Indiana, and came to work at Amish Acres for the first time in 1997. Since becoming Artistic Director in 2007, he has supervised over sixty productions in seven seasons. Some of his recent favorites include Rodgers & Hammerstein’s State Fair, Driving Miss Daisy, Nunsense A-Men, The Wizard of Oz, Little Shop of Horrors and Doubt. Jeremy created the Second Stage Series located down the hall in the Locke Township Meeting House. The program brought plays to Amish Acres for the first time in 2004 and recently added musicals to its repertoire in 2014. He also enjoys working on the Theater for Young Audience series, and he has shed light on more than thirty RBT productions. He loves his lady, his family, his kitty, and he is so pleased to be spending another season in Nappanee! 

Richard Pletcher (Executive Producer) founded Amish Acres with his father, LaVern in 1968. The Amish farm was preserved and restored, and is now listed in The National Register of Historic Places. Following a one year experiment with dinner theatre in 1971, he added musical theatre to the farm's historic interpretation by producing Plain and Fancy in the Locke Township Meeting House in 1986. It moved to its permanent residence in The Round Barn Theatre in 1992. The musical has been running for 28 consecutive years, having surpassed 3,700 performances in front of over 355,000 audience members. Plain and Fancy's Tony Award® winning author Joseph Stein and Tony Award® winning composer Albert Hague have attended Plain and Fancy at Amish Acres.

At Joseph Stein’s urging, Amish Acres became a regional musical repertory theatre in 1996 with the addition of five shows in rotating repertory with Plain and Fancy each season. Amish Acres has now produced over 100 Broadway musicals and The Round Barn Theatre stage is named for and dedicated to Joseph Stein. Seven of Mr. Stein’s musicals have been produced at The Round Barn Theatre, including Plain and Fancy, Fiddler on the Roof, The Baker’s Wife, and Zorba, plus staged readings of Take Me Along, Rags, Carmelina and a Second Stage production of Enter Laughing.

In October of 2006, Dick and his wife Susan were guests of Joseph and Elisa Stein in New York City for the York Theatre’s Mufti Series production of Plain and Fancy, the last in a month long, three show festival of Stein’s work that included Take Me Along and Carmelina. Artistic Director James Morgan recognized Amish Acres’ 20 year production of Plain and Fancy in the program and in his introductions from the stage. The Pletchers’ and Jeremy Littlejohn attended the Oscar Hammerstein Lifetime Achievement Award in Musical Theatre for Joseph Stein at the York Theatre in 2007. Stein was further inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in February of 2008. He passed away in 2010 and the Joseph Stein Memorial Fund was created to provide free season tickets for children.

Tom Slavey (Technical Director) was born and raised in Bremen, Indiana.  Upon graduation from Bremen High School, Tom moved to Los Angeles to pursue and enhance his love of music.  While in California, he learned carpentry, and started his own Construction business, while playing his music at night in the clubs of Hollywood and Orange County.  He moved back to Indiana to be of service to his immediate family, and to start his own.

Bradley M. Waelbroeck (ASM / Sound) recently graduated from University of Memphis with a BFA in Theatre with a concentration in Musical Theatre. He has been involved in theatre at various capacities both onstage and backstage. He was recently Assistant Stage Manager for The Wedding Singer at University of Memphis. He has also been seen onstage as Young Katurian in The Pillowman, Chip Tolentino in 25th...Spelling Bee, and in Chess as Ensemble.

 

The Diary of Anne Frank Creative Team

Frances GoodrichFrances Goodrich (Author) (December 21, 1890 – January 29, 1984) was an  American  dramatist and screenwriter, best known for her collaborations with her partner and husband Albert Hackett.  Goodrich was born in Belleville, New Jersey, the daughter of Madeleine Christy (née Lloyd) and Henry Wickes Goodrich. The family moved to nearby Nutley when Goodrich was two. She attended Collegiate School in Passaic, New Jersey, and graduated from Vassar College in 1912, and went on to the New York School of Social Work from 1912 to 1913.   Not long after marrying screenwriter Albert Hackett, the couple went to Hollywood in the late 1920s to write the screenplay for their stage success Up Pops the Devil for Paramount Pictures. In 1933 they signed a contract with MGM and remained with them until 1939. Among their earliest assignments was writing the screenplay for The Thin Man (1934). They were encouraged by the director W. S. Van Dyke to use the writing of Dashiell Hammett as a basis only, and to concentrate on providing witty exchanges for the principal characters, Nick and Nora Charles (played by William Powell and Myrna Loy). The resulting film was one of the major hits of the year, and the script, considered to show a modern relationship in a realistic manner for the first time, was considered to be groundbreaking. However this is only because it was written and released before the enactment of the Hollywood Production Code, which strictly censored movies from mid-1934 until the early 1960s (see Pre-Code). The other Nick and Nora films show a steep decline regarding the "groundbreaking maturity" of the Charles' marriage. They received Academy Award for Screenplay nominations for The Thin ManAfter the Thin Man (1936), Father of the Bride (1950) and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1955). They won Writers Guild of America awards for Easter Parade (1949), Father's Little Dividend (1951), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), as well as nominations for In the Good Old Summertime (1949), Father of the Bride (1950) and The Long, Long Trailer (1954). They also won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for their original play The Diary of Anne Frank. Some of their other films include: Another Thin Man (1939) and It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Frances Goodrich Hackett died from lung cancer, at the age of 93.  Source: Wikipedia.org

Albert HackettAlbert Hackett (Author) (February 16, 1900 – March 16, 1995) was an American dramatist  and screenwriter most noted for his collaborations with his partner and wife Frances Goodrich. Hackett was born in New York City, New York, the son of actress Florence Hackett (née Hart) and Maurice Hackett. He attended Professional Children's School and started out as a child actor, appearing on stage and in films. His brother was the actor Raymond Hackett. Their stepfather was the early film actor Arthur V. Johnson who married their mother Florence circa 1910. His sister-in-law was Blanche Sweet who was Raymond's wife for a time. Not long after marrying screenwriter Frances Goodrich, the couple went to Hollywood in the late 1920s to write the screenplay for their stage success Up Pops the Devil for Paramount Pictures. In 1933 they signed a contract with MGM and remained with them until 1939. Among their earliest assignments was writing the screenplay for The Thin Man (1934). They were encouraged by the director W. S. Van Dyke to use the writing of Dashiell Hammett as a basis only, and to concentrate on providing witty exchanges for the principal characters, Nick and Nora Charles(played by William Powell and Myrna Loy). The resulting film was one of the major hits of the year, and the script, considered to show a modern relationship in a realistic manner for the first time, was considered to be groundbreaking. However this is only because it was written and released before the enactment of the Hollywood Production Code, which strictly censored movies from mid-1934 until the early 1960s (see Pre-Code). The other Nick and Nora films show a steep decline regarding the "groundbreaking maturity" of the Charles' marriage. They received Academy Award for Screenplay nominations for The Thin ManAfter the Thin Man (1936), Father of the Bride (1950) and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1955). They won Writers Guild of America awards for Easter Parade (1949), Father's Little Dividend (1951), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), as well as nominations for In the Good Old Summertime (1949), Father of the Bride (1950) and The Long, Long Trailer (1954). They also won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle award for their original play The Diary of Anne Frank. Some of their other films include: Another Thin Man (1939) and It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Source: Wikipedia.org
Amish Acres 
Wendy KesselmanWendy Kesselman (New Adaptation) was born as Wendy Ann Kesselman.  She is a writer, known for Sister My Sister (1994), I Love You, I Love You Not (1996), The Diary of Anne Frank (1997) and A Separate Peace (2004).  Wendy Kesselman came to the Actors Theater of Louisville in 1980. She lives in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.  She won the 1981 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, for My Sister in this HouseSource: imdb.com