Silverthorne Theater presents ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’

  • "The Diary of Anne Frank" Contributed photo—

Staff Writer
Published: 10/18/2019 7:11:37 PM
Modified: 10/18/2019 7:11:23 PM

Against the background of impending death, “The Diary of Anne Frank” will be produced by Silverthorne Theater as the last performance of its 2019 season.

The play, which follows the diary of Anne Frank, a German-born Jew who died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, was written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. it premiered on Broadway in 1955 and won the Pulitzer Prize. Locally, Silverthorne Theater’s production will be directed by Keith Langsdale.

Anne and her family are Jews living in the Netherlands in 1942 during World War II. Persecuted and stripped of their livelihood, they flee to the Annex of the father’s business for survival, according to a press statement about the play. The young Frank wrote daily of her fears, longings and the squabbles generated by eight people living in four small rooms over two years. Though she did not survive their discovery and deportation, Anne’s diary bears witness to her family’s trials and fate.

Dates for the production are Oct. 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. A Sunday matinee will be held on Oct. 20 beginning at 2 p.m. There will be a pre-show talk by history scholars Bernard Baker and Ted Thornton on Thursday, Oct. 17, beginning at 7 p.m in the theater. Each subsequent performance will be followed by facilitated audience discussion.

Langsdale, the director, worked with Silverthorne Theater in 2018 on Steve Henderson’s piece, “White, Black & Blue.” Previously, he directed for The Majestic in West Springfield, New Century Theatre in Northampton, and in theaters in Los Angeles and New Hampshire, among others. He is also an accomplished actor and performed the solo role in Silverthorne Theater’s production of “The Tattooed Man Tells All.”

The cast features Frank Aronson, of Whately, as Otto Frank and Stephanie Carlson, of Easthampton, as Mrs. Frank. Both actors starred in Silverthorne’s spring production of “Tales of the Lost Formicans,” and Carlson appeared as Bellamy in Silverthorne Theater’s musical, “The Fantasticks,” which opened in June. Samantha Choquette, of Longmeadow, appears in the key role of Anne Frank, while Chris Demerski, of West Springfield, plays Peter Van Daan. Molly MacLeod, of Holyoke, plays Anne’s older sister, Margot. She appeared last spring in Silverthorne Theater’s “Tales of the Lost Formicans.”

Michael Budnick, of Easthampton, appears as Mr. Van Daan, while Kimberly Salditt-Poulin plays his wife, Mrs. Van Daan. Salditt-Poulin returns to Silverthorne Theater after her fall 2018 performance in our “Delectable Durang.” The role of Mr. Dussel will be performed by Stuart Gamble, of Westfield; Mary Elizabeth Kearney appears as Mr. Frank’s employee, Miep; and Ted Trobaugh, of Amherst, plays Mr. Kraler, another employee. Trobaugh was music director for Silverthorne Theater’s production of “The Fantasticks,” and performed in the 2018 season’s original musical, “Tar2F!”

Carly DellaPenna (Westfield) joins the local theater company for the first time as stage manager. Tech Director John Iverson will return to design and execute the production’s sets and lighting. Kelly Culver, of New Hampshire, will create costumes for the show. Carmela Lanza-Weil, of Shelburne Falls, and Rebecca Daniels, of Turners Falls, are co-producers for the show.

Silverthorne Theater is the resident company at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center.

Tickets for the Thursdays or Sunday shows are $20 general admission, $18 for students and seniors. Tickets for the Friday and Saturday night shows are $25 for general admission, $20 for students and seniors. Tickets are available through eventbrite.com or by calling the box office at 413-768-7514. Patrons can use credit cards at the door or over the phone. For more information, visit silverthornetheater.org.

Andy Castillo is the features editor at the Greenfield Recorder. He can be reached at acastillo@recorder.com.


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