by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer
Cedarville University’s theatre department presents “The Diary of Anne Frank,” opening Thursday, Oct. 5, in the DeVries Theatre. The play will run through Oct. 15. Tickets can be purchased at www.cedarville.edu/ticketinfo.
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the publication of Anne Frank’s diary, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” dramatized by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, tells the story of a young Jewish girl and her family during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. The play explores persecution, coming of age during wartime and Jewish identity in a world turned upside down by hatred. Anne’s unique perspective, recorded in her personal diary discovered after the war ended, attests to her hope for all people to someday live without fear.
“In light of recent events, we found the timing of this play fitting,” said Dr. Diane Merchant, professor of theatre, who will direct the play. “We hope to open up discussion about racial prejudice and the outcome it brings. The characters in the play were actual people.
“‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ is a faithful testimony to a young, brilliant life. I hope the audience feels the loss of this brilliant mind, but also recognizes her sense of the joy of living.”
Gabrielle Bauman, senior theatre major from Springfield, Ohio, plays the role of Anne Frank.
“When I was younger, I got to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam as well as read her diary, and her story never left me,” said Bauman. “Historical context aside, Anne Frank was one of the first 'heroines' I was able to identify with and grow from. Preparing for this play, I see that's true for many, many other people.”
She continued, “Anne's not special. There are things that make her unique and likable, such as her strong drive to improve her character, her gift for writing, and her love of laughter … but she's an ordinary person. She saw herself not as a historical figure, but as someone trying very hard to change. Anne's story is a reminder what a valuable thing a human life is. What a valuable thing it is to look into the heart and mind of a real, ordinary person.”
Gisela Mullican, a 2015 Cedarville theatre graduate, is lighting and set designer for the production. This is the first Cedarville production Mullican has worked on since her graduation.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.