David Ira Goldstein, artistic director emeritus, makes his return to Arizona Theatre Company to direct the final show of the 2017-18 season, The Diary of Anne Frank, through June 3 at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix.
The Diary of Anne Frank, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman, is a co-production with the Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, N.Y.
In this new adaptation, Anne Frank emerges from history a bright and talented young girl with the aspirations of any teenager. This drama about the lives of eight people in hiding from the Nazis in a concealed Amsterdam attic captures the claustrophobic reality of their daily existence. Anne’s story of love, hope, courage and triumph of the human spirit has captivated audiences with its profound message for more than 70 years.
Goodrich and Hackett began their joint career as Broadway playwrights in the 1920s. The success of their comedy Up Pops the Devil brought them to Hollywood to work on the 1931 screen version. They went on to write some of the most popular films of the 1930s and 1940s, including Easter Parade; The Thin Man and its sequel, After the Thin Man; Father of the Bride; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; In the Good Old Summertime; The Long, Long Trailer; and It’s a Wonderful Life (co-written with Frank Capra and Jo Swerling).
Their adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank premiered at the Cort Theatre on Broadway in 1955 and received the Tony Award for Best Play, the NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play and Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Playwright Kesselman, whose other plays include The Executioners Daughter, The Notebook, The Foggy Foggy Dew, The Last Bridge and I Love You, I Love You Not, adapted the Goodrich and Hackett script to include newly discovered writings from the diary of Anne Frank as well as survivor accounts. This new version premiered in Boston before opening at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway in 1997. The production was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and received two Drama Desk Award Nominations.
The Arizona Theatre Company-Geva Theatre co-production features Ann Arvia as Mrs. Van Daan, Gus Cuddy as Peter Van Daan, Steve Hendrickson as Otto Frank, Anna Lentz as Anne Frank, Naama Potok as Edith Frank, Kit Prelewitz as Miep Gies, John Preston as Mr. Van Daan, Devon Prokopek of Phoenix and the University of Arizona as Margot Frank, Michael Santo as Mr. Dussel and Dick St. George as Mr. Kraler. Jake Dion, William McDonough, Kevin Plinzke and Tyler Wolff complete the cast.
The Diary of Anne Frank
Through June 3
Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe, Phoenix
For more information/tickets, visit arizonatheatre.org.