“The Diary of Anne Frank,” an award-winning, inspiring play about a young girl and her family who hide from the Nazis during World War II, opens Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. for an eight-show run Fridays and Saturdays through Feb. 22 at Aurora Community Theatre.
Wendy Kesselman’s adaptation of the play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett is based on “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl,” edited by Otto Frank.
Kesselman’s new update interweaves recently discovered writings from Anne’s original diary with survivor accounts to create a dramatic story in which Anne emerges from history as an intensely gifted young girl, who confronts her rapidly changing life and the increasing horror of her time with astonishing honesty, wit and determination.
In July 1942, Anne and seven others took surreptitious refuge in the secret annex above an Amsterdam business in order to avoid arrest and deportation by the occupying Nazis.
Throughout her 25-month captivity Anne kept a record of their daily life in the diary she received for her 13th birthday, later adding notebooks and loose-leaf paper. In August 1944, following an informant’s tip, Nazis stormed the annex and arrested the hidden families, all of whom except Anne’s father were later killed in concentration camps.
Roseann Canfora directs the play. Kiara Durbin takes on the challenging role of Anne Frank, with Jack Warren playing her father, Jennifer Warren her mother and Megan Lebowitz her sister.
JOINING the Frank family in hiding were the Van Daan family and others. Susan Henthorn will play Mrs. Van Daan, Bill Whitaker is Mr. Van Daan, Mitch Pollock is Peter Van Daan and Kevin Horak is Mr. Dussel.
Risk-taking friends Miep Gies and Mr. Kraler are played by Jennifer Smith and Gary Bakst, who provide food and supplies during two years of confinement in the attic.
Jennifer Teller, serves as producer, Gay Repella as bookholder and Maggie Hamilton handles sound. Don Arbuckle designed the set built by Paul Chechak, and it was decorated by Jean Arbuckle.
Other key crew areas include Tanya Shively and Rose Dougherty, props; Marianne Gingras, costumes; and Meghan Connolly, hair and makeup, with the assistance of stylists K.G. Galindo and Chelsea Cross of Lucia’s Salon in Hudson.
Craig Megyes and Sonny Canfora provide photography, Dorothy Edwards serves as house manager and Vicki Rizzo Prato heads hospitality.
ACT is seeking assistance from anyone interested in minor roles and a few remaining crew positions, including stage manager and lighting designer. Those interested should call producer Jennifer Teller at 330 562 6792.
Tickets at $16 for adults and $11 for age 18 and under are available at or by calling 330-562-1818. Opening night tickets include a complimentary after-show gala and the opportunity to meet the cast and crew.