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Friday, October 16, 2015

‘Diary of Anne Frank’ now at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

Anne Frank

Now on the Main Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is presenting Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s drama, The Diary of Anne Frank, adapted by Wendy Kesselman and directed by Joseph Discher. Nearly 75 years ago in the Netherlands, a young girl received a diary for her 13th birthday. Today, Anne Frank’s humor, strength, and innate goodness continue to shine forth from her words to inspire readers and audiences of all ages. The powerful story of her family’s will to survive comes to unforgettable life for a new generation in this adaptation of the Pulitzer, Tony, and NY Drama Critic’s Circle Award-winning play.

Performances began Wednesday, October 14th and continue through Saturday, November 21st at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road) in Madison. Individual tickets and subscriptions can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or by visiting ShakespeareNJ.org.

The Playwrights: Written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, the original Broadway production received the 1956 Tony Award for Best Play, and the script received the 1956 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Goodrich and Hackett also adapted the play for the screen in 1959. Nearly 40 years later, Wendy Kesselman was commissioned to create an adaptation of Goodrich and Hackett’s original play, which debuted in 1997.  Kesselman drew from the newly restored version of Anne’s diary, reincorporating the passages about her Jewish identity that had been previously omitted and downplayed in earlier versions. In addition, she eliminated the flashback-like feeling of the original – opting instead for a straightforward, chronological retelling. Variety called the play “one of the 20th century’s most remarkable and enduring pieces of literature.”

Kesselman’s adaptation was nominated for the 1998 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play, and starred George Hearn, Linda Lavin, Harris Yulin, and served as the Broadway debut of Natalie Portman.

Additional Programs and Partnerships:
In an effort to reach as many young people and families as possible, discount $20 student tickets may be purchased in advance online, at the box office or by calling
973-408-5600. Student rush tickets may still be purchased for $15 one half-hour before the show in person at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, but availability may be limited.

The Shakespeare Theatre has also partnered with the College of Saint Elizabeth Center for
Holocaust and Genocide Education.  The center’s Week of Holocaust Remembrance begins on November 9th with its 25th annual Kristallnacht Commemoration and events continue through November 13th.  For a full list of events and more information visit
http://www.CSE.edu/HolocaustCenter. All events are free and open to the public.

In conjunction with The Diary of Anne Frank, the Drew University Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study will present a free showing of No. 4 Street of Our Lady, a film about Fran Malkin, a child hidden  during the Holocaust.  The film will be shown at the Drew University Learning Center, room 28.  On October 21st beginning at 6:30 p.m., the Center will host a panel featuring Selma Rossen, a hidden child from Poland.  This event will be held on the Drew University campus in Brothers College, room 101.

Finally, The Shakespeare Theatre has joined with The Anne Frank Center USA for further educational opportunities.  All patrons who attend a performance of The Diary of Anne Frank will receive a voucher for a 50% discount to The Anne Frank Center, located at 44 Park Place, in New York City.

The Cast:

Emmanuelle Nadeau Emmanuelle Nadeau returns to The Shakespeare Theatre for her second season as Anne Frank. A native of Westfield, NJ, she was previously seen in the Theatre’s 2011 production of To Kill A Mockingbird. Regional credits include Puck in NYJT’s 29 Hour Reading musical comedy Midnight Madness, Paper Mill Playhouse’s New Voices Concert I’ll Take Manhattan (2011), Stuart Little at Cranford Dramatic Club, and Maurice Sendak and Carole King’s Really Rosie.

Sean Hudock is in his eighth season with The Shakespeare Theatre and will be taking the part of Peter Van Daan. Company credits include The Lion in Winter, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and Life of Galileo on the Main Stage; The Comedy of Errors on the Outdoor Stage; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet and Nevermore with Shakespeare LIVE!.  He recently tackled 16 roles in Titan Theatre’s critically acclaimed New York run of A Midsummer Night’s Dream where audiences drew actor roles from Puck’s hat each night. Sean is a creative producer for The Wild Root Company, a non-profit endeavor that champions new work from trailblazing playmakers and filmmakers.

Jacqueline Antaramian returns for her fourth season with The Shakespeare Theatre as Edith Frank. Company credits include Pericles, Othello, and Hamlet. Most recently, she appeared in Doctor Zhivago on Broadway. Additional Broadway credits include Soul Doctor, Master Class, Mary Stuart, Coram Boy, and Julius Caesar, alongside Denzel Washington. At the MET Opera, Ms. Antaramian has performed as Andromache in Les Troyens and Clytemnestre in Iphegenie en Tauride. Other New York credits include Urge for Going (Public Lab), The Immigrant and Prides Crossing (Lincoln Center), and The Seagull in the Hamptons (McCarter).  Film and TV credits include work in The Siege, Fringe, Lipstick Jungle, Third Watch, The Sopranos, and Law & Order.

Bryan Scott Johnson will play Otto Frank in his second season with The Shakespeare Theatre. He was previously seen in the Theatre’s 2003 production of A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Most recently, he appeared in Mamma Mia on Broadway, and in Orange Is The New Black. New York theatre credits also include Philemon, The End of Civilization, and the original shows I Want My Token Back, and Max & Maxine: Together Again. Bryan made his professional debut at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre in the original production of the late Larry Shue's hit comedy The Foreigner.

Lauriel Friedman will play Margot Frank in her debut with The Shakespeare Theatre. She understudied at the Pearl Theatre Company in Winter’s Tale directed by Michael Sexton and at the Guthrie Theater in Pride and Prejudice directed by Joe Dowling. She has also worked Off-Off-Broadway at the Workshop Theater Company, Drilling Company, TheaterLab, Gene Frankel Theatre, 13th Street Repertory, Occupy Verona, Producer’s Club, 45th Street Theater, and the Times Square Arts Center.

Carol Halstead makes her debut with The Shakespeare Theatre in the role of Mrs. Van Daan. Carol has been seen on Broadway in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, and off-Broadway in The Duchess of Malfi, Pericles, Walking Down Broadway, Easter Candy, Urgent Fury, The Mask, and Alan Ball’s The Amazing Adventures of Tense Guy. She has also worked at CENTERSTAGE, Denver Center Theatre Company, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Cleveland Play House, Merrimack Rep, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre (West Coast premiere of Teresa Rebeck's Bad Dates, 2004 Dean Goodman Choice Award for Best Solo Performance).

Anthony Cochrane, in his second season with The Shakespeare Theatre, will take the stage as Mr. Van Daan. Previously, he appeared in 2013’s Tovarich. On Broadway, Mr. Cochrane has appeared in War Horse, Cymbeline, and The Coast of Utopia (at Lincoln Center Theatre), and off-Broadway in Nikolai and the Others and eighteen productions with the Aquila Theatre Company. Other regional credits include work at BAM, the Old Globe, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and La Jolla Playhouse. Film and TV credits: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Law & Order: SVU, Benjamin Franklin (PBS), and Neverwhere (BBC).

Shana Wiersum makes her Shakespeare Theatre debut as Miep Gies. In New York she has appeared in The Assistant at Treehouse Theater, The Actors Studio & Columbia University; Books On Tape, The Drunken City, & Dead White Males for Tongue In Cheek and co-produced and performed in Marion Bridge at The Directors Company directed by Laila Robins. Film credits include Silver Tongues and All Your Faults Are in Me (Selection - LA Shorts Festival).

Patrick Toon is currently in his ninth season with The Shakespeare Theatre and returns to the stage to play Mr. Dussel. Company credits include this season’s opener The Royal Family, as well as The Tempest, The Playboy of the Western World, Henry IV: Part One, Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Galileo, Julius Caesar, Cymbeline, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Amadeus. Favorite roles include Frank Sweeney in Molly Sweeney, Jim in The Weir, and both Silvius and Corin in As You Like It (2005 and 2013).

Michael Leigh Cook is in his first season with The Shakespeare Theatre, and he will be taking the role of Mr. Kraler. He has performed at the Terrence Schreiber Studio NYC and at various theatre companies overseas. Notable performances include the role of Fabrice in Ornifle ou le courant d’air, which toured throughout Europe and his co-starring role in Michael Weinstein's If The Trees Could Talk. The film won numerous awards, incl. the Gold Remi Award at the World Fest Houston, Texas and the Jury Award at the international Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema, London.

The Director

Joseph Discher is a in his twenty-fifth season with The Shakespeare Theatre. Company credits include Wittenberg, Our Town, Henry IV, Part One, To Kill A Mockingbird, Arms and the Man (The Star-Ledger’s Top Ten in 2010), The Grapes of Wrath (The Star-Ledger’s Best Director in 2009), Of Mice and Men (The Star-Ledger’s Best Revival of the Year in 2004), The Fantasticks (The Star-Ledger’s Best Director of a Musical in 2001) and Twelfth Night on the Main Stage; That Scoundrel Scapin on the Outdoor Stage; Travels With My Aunt, Much Ado About Nothing and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) on the Other Stage, and Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare LIVE! Most recently, Mr. Discher directed his second production of Butler by Richard Strand at Barrington Stage Company after directing the world premiere at New Jersey Repertory Company.  Other credits include Julius Caesar at The Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, As You Like It, Red, and The Weir at Theatreworks in Colorado Springs.

The Artistic Staff:

The world of The Diary of Anne Frank comes to life with the help of scenic designer Brittany Vasta, costume designer Candida Nichols, lighting designer Matthew Adelson, and sound designer Steven Beckel. Denise Cardarelli serves as production stage manager.

Tickets:

Single tickets for The Diary of Anne Frank start at $25 for preview performances and $32 for regular performances. In an effort to reach as many young people and families as possible, discount $20 student tickets may be purchased in advance online, at the box office or by calling 973-408-5600.  Student Rush tickets are available at the box office a half-hour before curtain for $15 with a valid Student ID. For tickets, call the Box Office at 973-408-5600, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org, or email BoxOffice@ShakespeareNJ.org.

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