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Du 14 octobre au 4 novembre 2007

The Diary of Anne Frank

Texte de Frances Goodrich et Albert Hackett
Adaptation par Wendy Kesselman
Mise en scène par Marcia Kash

Voici The Diary of Anne Frank : la dramatisation iconique des journaux légendaires d’une jeune fille juive cherchant à échapper aux Nazis à Amsterdam pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Cette pièce renommée mondialement illustre de façon poignante les ténèbres inhumaines qui attendent d’engouffrer cette héroïne à l’humanité incandescente.

Originalement écrite par Frances Goodrich et Albert Hackett, inspirée des journaux d’Anne Frank.

Une création du Théâtre Leanor & Alvin Segal

Théâtre Leanor & Alvin Segal (Saidye-Bronfman)
5170, chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine
Billetterie : 514-739-7944




review by Geneviève Germain

First presented in 1955 in New York, the play The Diary Of Anne Frank is based upon a young jewish girl’s diary that was kept during World War II’s German occupation in Europe. Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in July 1942 to prevent themselves from being relocated into the German concentration camps until they were discovered in August 1944. Sole survivor of the camps, Anne’s father decided to publish his daughter’s diary in 1947, which was followed by an American version in 1952 that inspired the play. Playwrights Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett won two Tony Award for this play that was followed by an acclaimed film in 1959. Anne Frank’s story continued to be discovered by readers and students as the book was often integrated in school studies.

Definitely one of the most famous Holocaust victims, Anne Frank surprised many with her mature and profound thoughts, as she was only 13 years old when she undertook the writing of her diary. The play is true to her vivid and energetic nature, bringing to the stage a playful and hopeful but yet studious teenager who dreamed of becoming a writer. Through her diary we also discover the people she shared this hiding journey with. First, her family composed of her father Otto, a respected business man, her mother Edith, whom Anne resented at times, and her quiet and serious sister Margot. Also hiding in Otto Frank’s Opekta business Annexe is the Van Daan family with their son Peter. Later during their first year of cohabitation, they also welcome Mr Dussel, a dentist who is a friend of the family.

The set design by John C. Dining renders well the tight space these people had to share during the long months waiting for the war to end. There was little privacy, leading the way to many arguments. Their stay was also hardened by the fact they had to keep quiet and still until office hours of the Opekta ended at 6 o’clock each night. Only four employees knew about their hiding in the Annexe and helped them by providing food and clothing, never minding that they could face execution for it.

Crédit photo : Randy Cole

Although the lighting is dimmed and the multi-level stage doesn’t always allow us to see expressions on actors’ faces, different personalities from the numerous characters are well exploited. Natasha Greenblatt as Anne comes as a breath of fresh air with her acute thoughts on everyone’s ways, managing to illustrate the teenage to young woman transition that Anne is experiencing. As Otto Frank, Nicholas Rice impersonates a modest but loving father figure as opposed to the exuberant Van Daan couple (Felicia Shulman and James Downing) who often quarrel. Edith Frank (Sally Singal) is touching as she expresses her doubts about the outcome of the war. Altogether, the cast under Marcia Kash’s direction creates a believable dynamic among them, as we could imagine relationships would tense up but also become close knit under such circumstances.

The Diary of Anne Frank as a play pays good tribute to the actual writings of the protagonist, as it follows the main ideas of the book and brings to life a character that has already been discovered by thousands. Both entertaining and filled with emotion, the play marks a great start for The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre’s new season.