‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ steals the show

The+playbill+for+The+Diary+of+Anne+Frank
The playbill for The Diary of Anne Frank

The playbill for The Diary of Anne Frank

Milford Performing Arts website

Milford Performing Arts website

The playbill for The Diary of Anne Frank

Rebecca Loncar, Staff Writer

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The Milford Theatre Company put on a haunting show of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ on March 2nd and 3rd. This play described the day-to-day life of those who lived in the secret annex during World War II, and it was shown amazingly through a 10 person cast, and 40 person crew.

These sound like large numbers but compared to previous shows, the crew number is smaller than normal and the cast number is far smaller. The cast and crew put on this drama in to remember and honor Anne Frank, and the millions others who had their lives affected by the horrors of the Holocaust.

This play was different than others that I had seen by the MTC, and there are several reasons for that.

First, there were only two acts with an intermission in between. During the intermission, the cast stayed on stage in character, to show the passage of time. There were no closed curtains, or crew moving sets around. Everything you saw in the first ten minutes of the play was everything that was there, besides for cast members going on and off stage.

The first act of this play set the mood and tone for eight people living together in a small area. Fights often occurred and the actors and actresses portrayed their characters so well that when you were meant to dislike a character, you really started to dislike them.

One example of this is with Tyler Capra’s performance of Mr. Dussel. Mr. Dussel at the beginning of his entrance, (he didn’t start in that annex. He was brought in part of the way through to escape the persecution.) Mr. Dussel got into an argument after Anne has a nightmare. After that point I found it hard to forgive him for being rude and he really got on my nerves after that. You could feel the passion of all those involved put into the show. Everyone involved put effort behind what character they portrayed and you can see that in their performances.

Lilly Niehaus did an incredible job of playing Anne Frank. As she was telling the stories from her diary, I felt as though she had actually lived through it. When Anne was upset, I felt myself getting upset with her. When she was beyond happy, I felt like it was one of my best friends being happy. She really helped me connect with Anne in a way I never had before.

Every person in the play did an incredible job, and their parts all really stuck with me. They showed how hard it was to be in their situation and it really made me feel as though I knew every person in the annex like they were family.

Every one of the cast did an incredible job of telling this important story of Anne Frank and the annex. The crew shouldn’t be forgotten however, because the lighting and sounds played just as an important role as the acting involved.

The crew ran all the lights and sounds smoothly, and it all went together amazingly.  When Anne was writing in her diary, the lights dimmed around and there was a spotlight right on Anne. It really helped clear up what was written in the diary and what wasn’t. At some points you could hear gunshots and shouts on the streets thanks to the audio recording being played. There was blue lights when things were drearier and sadder, but most of the time the stage was lit up and able to show what everyone was doing.

The first act was important in setting up the plot, and the characters set themselves up well. I felt I could connect the characters if I had actually met those people, and I could start to feel my blood boil when certain characters talked.

The second act started to show tensions rising, which I had been waiting to see how they portrayed the anger and frustration of eight people living together.

There were so many important scenes throughout the play. One of my favorites was a  scene where Anne has a nightmare. This showed the bond between Mr. Frank and Anne and how everyone was scared and tormented by nightmares.

Another important scene that left everyone shaking was when the Nazis had found the annex. The lights went out and the cast’s screams were so realistic. The last scream that was heard was a girls scream that we can only assume to be Anne’s.

Miles Morris, who portrayed Mr. Frank, came out as the last living member of the annex. He informed the audience of the fate of everyone else, and sniffles were sounding through the audience. I was in shock at Miles’ performance and I mean that in the best way possible. He sent chills through my body and it left the audience speechless.

The theatre program shows how important the arts are for not only entertainment but remembering and honoring the past through telling stories of those who are no longer able to tell their own stories. The next program that the Milford Performing Arts put on was POPS 2018: Light Up The Night on March 23rd and 24th.

 

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