Replaying history

Drama department showcases “Anne Frank.”


photo by Katie McClellan

Towards the end of the show, actors enjoy the last few moments in “the Annex,” eating their strawberries before the Nazis came. The audience could see the Nazis already marching to the door.

Sarah Dreyer, Staff Reporter

In “the Annex,” a simple room with two tiny bedrooms and a bathroom, everyone enjoys their strawberries for the first time in over a year, feasting on the fruits and laughing in a hearty mood without a care in the world. With World War II approaching, relief washed over those staying in the make-shift home, until there was a knock on the door. The door is flung open, and the Nazis marched in, taking hostage of the Jews in the cramped space. Among those captured was 13-year-old Anne Frank, played by junior Emily Canamella.

Showcasing from Oct. 26-28, the drama department presented “the Diary of Anne Frank,” newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman. The play is about a Jewish girl, Anne Frank, who goes into hiding with her father Otto Frank, played by junior Vangelli Tsompanidis, her mother Edith Frank, played by junior Abby Wilhelm, and her sister Margot Frank, played by freshman Kelsey Curley.

Hiding with them are the Van Daans, played by junior Logan Reynolds, junior Cassidy Smith, and Adam Johnson, and Mr. Dussel, played by sophomore Jake Lippman. The play portrays what Anne Frank went through and what she witnessed while hiding. Writing everything down in her diary, Anne Frank reveals the persecution she and her family faced during World War II and describes the horrors of war she heard outside “the Annex.”

“It was an honor to play such an important person and an amazing character,” Canamella said. “Especially because she was a real person that had to go through the horrible things portrayed on stage.”

Tsompanidis called playing in “the Diary of Anne Frank” an “incredible experience.”

“It was my favorite role I’ve ever played in,” Tsopanidis said. “It was a show I walked into not expecting it to be what it was and as rehearsals went on, I ended up falling in love with the stories and the characters.”

He also said how by playing Otto Frank, he taught him how to be a better person and how “he almost felt real in him.” For the role, Tsopanidis had to grow a beard to get into character.

Curley, playing Margo Frank, thought it to be “kind of scary” because of the pressure to do justice to Margot’s character.

To prepare for the role of Margot Frank, Curley had to do character analysis, including reading the actual diary and searching on the internet to see what historians thought of her character.

The actors may have been a major part of the play, however, the construction of “the Annex” was one major factor of making the play what it was.

Sophomore Ethan Kareem was a part of the set crew, helping in creating the complex wooden structure “the Annex,” which consisted of two small bedrooms, a tiny bathroom and a kitchen downstairs, and a little basement upstairs.

“Building the Annex was up to our set designer, C.J. Sikhorski” Kareem said. “He’s the one who envisioned the whole things and we were just his workers.”

Director and theatre teacher Trevor Southworth was “very pleased” because of the audience’s reactions and everyone’s performances.

“The audience seemed to respond to it exactly liked I hoped they would,” Southworth said. “The performances were on point and a wonderful run of the show.”

Sophomore Ian Dauber was not expecting much out of “the Diary of Anne Frank,” but after seeing the play, Dauber was impressed.

“I didn’t expect a school play to pull off Anne Frank because of the tone,” Dauber said. “ [But] there were a lot of impactful moments.”