09
February
10:00 am — 2:00 pm
CWC Milton Campus – The Auditorium
363 Stamm Road, , Milton, PA 17847 United States
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Christ Wesleyan Theatre Productions is excited to announce
its summer dinner theatre performances of:

Plot Summary

The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the most famous and haunting stories to emerge from the 20th century. The memoirs of this young Jewish girl, forced to hide for nearly two years to escape Nazi persecution, are an essential part of how we remember one of the darkest periods of our human history. Wendy Kesselman’s adaptation of the original, Pulitzer Prize award-winning script by Goodrich and Hackett draws from previously unpublished parts of Anne Frank’s real-life diary, allowing the audience to experience Anne in a way that breathes life into this passionate, complex young woman, allowing us to share her relatable experience of adolescence as a familiarly modern teenager. For nearly two years, Anne, her father, mother, and sister, joined with the Van Daan family, to hide in a secret annex space above her father’s former office in Amsterdam, as the Nazis deported the Jews of Holland to their deaths. In her secret attic, Anne comes of age: she laughs, plays, fights with her mother, and falls in love for the first time. In spite of her oppressive circumstances and the horrors that surround her, Anne’s spirit transcends, as she voices her belief, “in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” Anne’s dynamism, her luminous spirit, and her story of resilience continue to resonate deeply, making her story as vital today as when her diary first was published.

About Auditions

  • Who can audition?
    Actors should be 21 or older with the exception of those 16 and older auditioning for Anne, Margot, or Peter. You do NOT need to attend Christ Wesleyan or any church for that matter.
  • When to audition:
    Saturday, February 9 – Anytime 10:00am – 2:00pm or
    Sunday, February 10 – Anytime 1:00 – 5:00pm
    Auditions will take place in the order of arrival.
  • Where?
    The Auditorium at Christ Wesleyan Church, 363 Stamm Rd. Milton, PA 17847
  • What to prepare:
    Find your own monologue/solo piece. Can be, but doesn’t need to be, from this play. 5 min. max!
  • Is there singing? No
  • What accents are you looking for?
    Typically, the play is performed in English with standard American accents for all roles with the exception of the three soldiers who speak German.
  • When do rehearsals start?
    March 2019
  • When are performances?
    Thursday, June 13 – 6:30pm, Friday, June 14 – 6:30pm, & Saturday, June 15 – 4:30pm

Characters

Anne Frank_Square

Anne Frank

Anne Frank begins the play as an energetic, imaginative, and light-hearted girl of thirteen. Originally German, she and her family moved to Amsterdam nine years previous, in an attempt to escape the rise of Adolf Hitler. The Franks are Jewish and under the Nazi regime, they face heavy and lethal persecution. Two years previous to the events of the play, the Nazis succeed in invading Holland. First, the rights of the Jews were taken, and now they face deportation and internment at the Nazi’s concentration camps. Thus, the Franks have gone into hiding. Their home now is a secret attic above Mr. Frank’s former place of business. Here, they will hide for almost two years.

Anne has a very creative spirit. She spends her days reading and devotedly writing in her diary. She is friendly, curious, and bold, often interjecting her thoughts into other people’s conversations and arguments. She is cheerful and chatty, indeed to such a degree that she often annoys the other inhabitants of the Annex. However, she is also their light that distracts and cheers them, as they sometimes thank her. Anne lives in the Annex for nearly two years. She dreams of being a writer and develops feelings for Peter, another resident of the Annex. Her voice leads the story, and it is her optimistic and strong spirit that continually resounds with audiences since her diary was first published. Note: Anne is a Dutch-German Jew who would have spoken in Dutch. Typically, the play is performed in English with standard American accents. 

Otto Frank_Square

Otto Frank

Otto Frank is the patriarch of the Frank family. Prior to the events of the play, he was a successful businessman running a manufacturing company and he is well respected and loved by his friends, employees, and colleagues. Originally German, Otto moved his family to Amsterdam nine years previous, in an attempt to escape the rise of Adolf Hitler. The Franks are Jewish and under the Nazi regime, they face heavy and lethal persecution. Two years previous to the events of the play, the Nazis succeed in invading Holland. First, the rights of the Jews were taken, and now they face deportation and internment at the Nazi’s concentration camps. Thus, the Franks have gone into hiding. Their home now is a secret attic above Mr. Frank’s former place of business. Here, they will hide for almost two years.

Mr. Frank is a patient and understanding man. He is frequently the voice of reason in the Annex, diffusing arguments and displaying the most sane judgement. He is generous, as evidenced by his willingness to hide the Van Daans and Mr. Dussel with his own family. He is especially close to his younger daughter, Anne, with whom he shares a similar temperament. She frequently confides in her father, and he, in turn, is her source of wisdom and comfort. Note: Otto is a Dutch-German Jew who would have spoken in Dutch and/or German. Typically, the play is performed in English with standard American accents. 

Edith Frank_Square

Edith Frank

Edith Frank is the wife of Otto Frank and mother to Anne and Margot. Originally German, the Franks moved to Amsterdam nine years previous, in an attempt to escape the rise of Adolf Hitler. The Franks are Jewish and under the Nazi regime, they face heavy and lethal persecution. Two years previous to the events of the play, the Nazis succeed in invading Holland. First, the Jews were stripped of their civil rights, and now they are faced with deportation and internment in the Nazis’ concentration camps. Thus, the Franks have gone into hiding. Their home, now, is a secret attic above Mr. Frank’s former place of business. Here, they will hide for almost two years.

Mrs. Frank loves her children above all else. When she catches Mr. Van Daan stealing a piece of bread one night in the kitchen, she is beside herself with fury, trying to throw him out of the Annex, exclaiming, “Every day I watch the children getting thinner. And he comes in the middle of the night and steals the food that should go to them!” However, her devotion to her children is not always overt or overly sentimental, which Anne often misinterprets and turns against. Mrs. Frank is far closer to her older daughter, Margot; both are patient, quiet, and keep to themselves more. Mrs. Frank worries about the family’s fate often, though she only shares her fears with Miep, not wanting to alarm her children or husband more. Note: Edith is a Dutch-German Jew who would have spoken in Dutch and/or German. Typically, the play is performed in English with standard American accents.

Margot Frank_Square

Margot Frank

Margot Frank is the first daughter of Otto and Edith Frank and older sister to Anne. Originally German, the Frank family moved to Amsterdam nine years previous, in an attempt to escape the rise of Adolf Hitler. The Franks are Jewish and, under the Nazi regime, they face heavy and lethal persecution. Two years previous to the events of the play, the Nazis succeed in invading Holland. First, the Jews were stripped of their civil rights, and now they are faced with deportation and internment in the Nazis’ concentration camps. One day, Margot receives a notice ordering her to report for “work” in Germany — a euphemism meaning concentration or even death camps. Thus, the Franks have gone into hiding. Their home now is a secret attic above Mr. Frank’s former place of business. Here, they will hide for almost two years.

Margot is in her late teens. She is the opposite of her sister in most ways: she is soft-spoken and keeps to herself. As a result, it often appears to Anne that her sister is the preferred Frank girl in the Annex. She is extremely caring, going to her mother or sister’s side whenever they seem in need of someone to talk to or a shoulder to crying. If she were ever to escape the Annex, Margot tells Anne that she would like to be a nurse to newborn infants. Note: Margot is a Dutch-German Jew who would have spoken in Dutch and/or German. Typically, the play is performed in English with standard American accents.

Peter Van Daan

Peter Van Daan is the teenage son of Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan, and one of the occupants of the secret Annex. His father was once a close business associate of Mr. Frank. In return for Mr. Van Daan’s previous aid, when the Franks first moved to Holland, Mr. Frank invites the Van Daans to hide with his own family in the secret attic space above his old office. The Van Daans are Jewish, and, now that the Nazis have occupied the country, it is only a matter of time before they will be deported to German death camps, should they remain in the open. Once in hiding, they know that to be caught means almost certain death.

Peter is a rather shy, awkward boy who prefers to keep to himself, with only his cat — Mouschi — for company. This is likely due to his father’s influence; Mr. Van Daan is often overly demanding and critical of his son. Sharing the cramped attic with a young girl as energetic as Anne, who also has a penchant for teasing, is trying to Peter. She gets on his nerves, often, at the beginning of their time together and the two frequently bicker. After living in the Annex for nearly two years, however, his perception of Anne shifts. He develops feelings for Anne and begins seeking out her company. The two share Anne’s first kiss one night in the attic, not long before they are captured. Note: Peter is a Dutch Jew who would have spoken in Dutch. Typically, the play is performed in English with standard American accents.

Mrs. Van Daan

Mrs. Van Daan is an occupant of the secret Annex, along with her husband and son, Peter. Her husband was once a close business associate of Mr. Frank. In return for Mr. Van Daan’s previous aid when the Franks first moved to Holland, Mr. Frank invites the Van Daans to hide with his own family in the secret attic space above his old office. The Van Daans are Jewish and, now that the Nazis have occupied the country, it is only a matter of time before they will be deported to German death camps, should they remain in the open. Once in hiding, they know that to be caught means almost certain death.

The Van Daans are a wealthy family who are accustomed to living a life of far more extravagant means than their life in hiding can afford. Mrs. Van Daan arrives to the Annex dressed in a luxurious fur coat. However, her materialistic outward behavior masks a rather sentimental core. The coat, for example, is treasured because it was a gift from her father. She is a very loving wife. She cooks most often for the group. She stands up for Peter when his father comes down too harshly on him. She likes to gossip and laugh, and enjoys teasing Peter and Anne. Note: Mrs. Van Daan is a Dutch Jew who would have spoken in Dutch. Typically, the play is performed in English with standard American accents.

Mr. Van Daan

Mr. Van Daan is an occupant of the secret Annex, where he lives in hiding along with his wife and son. Prior to the events of the play, he was a businessman and colleague of Otto Frank. In return for Mr. Van Daan’s previous aid when the Franks first moved to Holland, Mr. Frank invites the Van Daans to hide with his own family in the secret attic space above his old office. The Van Daans are Jewish and, now that the Nazis have occupied the country, it is only a matter of time before they will be deported to German death camps, should they remain in the open. Once in hiding, they know that to be caught means almost certain death.

Mr. Van Daan has a rather large personality for the small space. When in a good mood, he is boisterous, funny, and jovial. He is a man who likes to laugh, drink, and smoke. When in a foul temper, though, he quickly darkens the mood of the whole apartment. He has a temper, and frequently snaps at Anne, at his wife, and especially at his son, Peter. He puts high expectations on his son, and seems to disapprove of Peter’s quiet and introverted nature. Note: Mr. Van Daan is a Dutch Jew who would have spoken in Dutch. Typically, the play is performed in English with standard American accents.

Mr. Dussel

Mr. Dussel is the last addition to the group hidden at the Annex. Before going into hiding, he was a prominent dentist. As a Jewish man living in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, however, he faced certain death in Hitler’s concentration camps, should he have continued living freely. First, he stays with the woman he loves, who is Christian and, thus, safe. However, he knows that this safety will not extend much longer to him, and so approaches Mr. Kraler to ask if he knows of any possible safe havens to which Mr. Dussel might escape. Out of their compassion, the Frank and Van Daan families welcome Mr. Dussel to the Annex.

Mr. Dussel is a tightly-wound, but ultimately kind man. He and young Anne Frank share a room; he is frequently awakened by her screams in the night, prompted by her horrible nightmares. He greatly misses the woman he loves, and expresses that, should the war end and they regain their liberty, he dreams only that he be reunited with her. Note: Mr. Dussel is a Dutch Jew who would have spoken in Dutch. Typically, the play is performed in English with standard American accents.

Mr. Kraler

Mr. Kraler is a former employee of Mr. Frank’s. When it becomes clear that the Jewish Frank family must go into hiding, Mr. Kraler offers his aid in order to keep them alive. He and Mr. Frank devise a plan centered around the small attic space that exists behind Mr. Frank’s former office (which becomes the office of Mr. Kraler). They conceal the entrance with a bookshelf. Along with Miep, Mr. Kraler brings the Annex inhabitants supplies, food, and news. He is an incredibly loyal and giving, putting his own life at risk to keep his friend safe. He is also a smart and astute man. When an employee begins acting suspiciously, asking questions about Mr. Frank and eyeing the bookshelf in Mr. Kraler’s office, he keeps a cool head until he can consult Mr. Frank. Note: Historically, Mr. Kraler would have spoken in Dutch. In productions performed in English, he typically speaks with a standard American accent. The character of Mr. Kraler is based on a historical figure named Victor Kugler.

Miep Gies

Miep Gies is a Dutch Christian woman who is a former employee of Mr. Frank. An extremely loyal friend, she agrees to aid the Franks when they go into hiding from the Nazis after they invade Holland. In doing so, she risks her own life in order to subvert the Nazi regime and protect her Jewish friends. Miep is friendly and giving, making the Annex’s inhabitants cakes and bringing special presents when she can. She is particularly a favorite of Anne’s, and Anne often begs her for stories of parties, her fiancé, Jan, and her adventures in the outside world. Note: Historically, Miep Gies would have spoken in Dutch. In productions performed in English, she typically speaks with a standard American accent.

Nazi Officers: Three men — one Nazi officer and two Dutch collaborators — arrive in the final scene of the play to arrest the eight people hiding in the Annex. They silently enter, capture the entire group at gunpoint, have them collect their belongings, and march them out, sending the families to their eventual deaths. They are cold and officious, and remain unaffected by their captives’ pain. The three men only speak German. Actors playing these parts should be either able to speak the language or have a good enough ear to mimic it.

7 Tips for Auditioning for The Diary of Anne Frank

1. Act. Don’t just read.

Remember, you are auditioning to act in a play. Yes, there are times when simply being a cute little kid is enough, but for the most part, we are looking for actors. So many people stand before the director and just say the lines they were given that when someone really tries to act out the part, they make an impression.

2. Learn a little bit about the play you’re auditioning for.

The more you understand the play and the characters, the more you’ll be able to do with the piece of script you’ll be given to audition with.

3. Take the time you need to prepare.

Remember Rule #1–Act. Don’t just read. Be familiar with your audition piece. Don’t worry that it isn’t the part you want in the play, or even part of this play at all. Parts will be assigned after the auditions. We just want to know you have the ability to actually act.

4. Slow down & enunciate every word.

One sure sign of nervousness is speeding through the lines. When you talk too fast, it is harder to make sure each word is understood, and the emotion that should accompany those words does not come through. Slow down and make sure you can say each word clearly.

5. If you make a mistake, battle through it.

Even the best actors occasionally make mistakes onstage. But good actors know how to work through their mistakes without letting the audience realize that a mistake was made. One of the things we are looking for is poise. We want to know how you will react when things don’t go as rehearsed. If you fall apart during an audition, it doesn’t give the director much confidence that you will react well on the nights of the show. If you do make a mistake, don’t apologize. Don’t ask to start over. Just pick up from where the mistake was made and push forward.

6. Be humble.

No one is guaranteed a spot in a play. It doesn’t matter what other roles you’ve had or other theatres you’ve worked with. Each part has someone just right for the role…that may be you, but it might not be also. That doesn’t mean you’re not a good actor. If you come across as being someone who is hard to work with, it makes it much more difficult for the director to give you a part. We have seen quite a few actors walk into an audition because they just assume they will be given a part, and their audition is flat and uninspiring. Then they are shocked when they didn’t get a major role in the play. If you are serious about wanting a role, you need to give it your best. Every time. If you have acting experience, we will know from the information on your audition form. It is not unusual that a person with no previous acting experience gets a good part because they blew us away in the auditions.

7. Audition often.

One of the biggest obstacles between you and getting cast in a play is your nervousness. Nervousness makes you more timid. It makes you rely on the script in your hand too much, so you end up reading and not acting. It makes you talk too fast. It makes you less memorable and more likely to get lost in the crowd. The best way to overcome your nervousness is to practice. That means auditioning more. If you don’t get the part, shake it off as a learning experience, and when the next show rolls around, go out and audition again. The more you go through the process, the easier it becomes.

Details

Date:
February 9
Time:
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
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