MONTREAL September 2007 - The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre is
excited to open the 2007-08 theatre season with this universal and important work
This powerful new adaptation for a new generation offers a more gritty and authentic
portrayal than the more sanitized 1955 original.
The Diary of Anne Frank is the impassioned drama
of the legendary journals of a Jewish girl hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam
during World War II. The Frank family, along with family friends the Van Daans
and local dentist Mr. Dussel, is forced to spend 25 months in the confines of
a concealed storage attic in the annex of rooms above Otto Frank’s office.
After being betrayed to the Nazis, all were arrested and deported to concentration
camps. Anne Frank died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen. She was 15 years old. However,
knowing the tragic ending does not detract from experiencing the hope within
these people as they struggle to overcome their situation and try to prevent
the tensions of the outside world from affecting their present one.
Anne Frank’s writing displays wisdom far beyond her years and she emerges
from history a living, emotional, intensely gifted young girl. She confronts
her rapidly changing life and the increasing horror of her time with astonishing
honesty, wit and determination. First published 60 years ago, the diary has
newfound social resonance. Director Marcia Kash comments on confronting our
present catastrophes. “Unfortunately, we live in a world in which we still
battle racism, prejudice, hate, corruption, greed and the abuse of power. Despite
pledging to learn from history, we haven’t.” She continues, “The
world still turns away at critical times. We need only look at Rwanda, at Darfur,
at North Korea.” The play forces people to understand that these tragedies
were not just about numbers, but about real people.
The Diary of Anne Frank communicates other timeless relevancies that
are brought to the fore because of extenuating conditions. The play captures
the claustrophobic realities of a family’s daily existence- their fear,
their hope, their laughter, their grief. We witness Anne’s sexual discovery,
familial tensions and all the issues of a normal teenager growing up. Everyone
can identify with someone in this play and imagine themself in a similar circumstance.
Anne Frank’s diary, saved during the war by
a family friend, has now been translated into 67 languages and is one of the
most widely read books in the world.
Ms Kash is a respected director with credits on both sides of the country.
Her work was last seen at The Segal as director of Tuesdays with Morrie.
She is also an actor and internationally produced playwright (Who’s
Under Where written with Doug Hughes). The Frank family is made up of recent
National Theatre School graduate Natasha Greenblatt (Anne), a role she has dreamt
of playing since she read the book when she was eleven; Sally Singal (Edith),
who has performed extensively across Canada, including originating the role
of Zhaboonigan Peterson in Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters and
three seasons at the Stratford Festival; Nicholas Rice (reprising his role of
Otto, Manitoba Theatre Centre), seen locally in Jerusalem the Musical,
Waiting for Godot and Oliver!, as well as in most major theatres
across the country; and Susanna Fournier (Margot), a recent graduate of the
National Theatre School of Canada who has been acting and writing theatre for
the past ten years. The others in hiding include Montreal favourites Felicia
Shulman as Mrs. Van Daan, James Downing as Mr. Van Daan, Gianpaolo Venuta as
Peter Van Daan and Brian Wrench as Mr. Dussel. The Christian helpers are played
by Tara Nicodemo as Miep Gies and Marcel Jeannin as Mr. Kraler. Also with Ivan
Peric and Alexander Gorchkov.
The masterful design team recreating history includes the always imaginative
John C. Dinning (set and props); creative first-time Segal costume designer
Elli Bunton; award-winning lighting designer, Luc Prairie; and sound design
by John Bent Jr. and Kevin Tighe. The stage manager is Luciana Burcheri.
Three thousand non-Jewish students have already booked
to see this production.
“For younger audiences, this might be their first exposure to the
Holocaust, and it could be a life-altering experience for them. I hope that
it will awaken their compassion and curiosity to the subject, and that they
will never forget it. I hope they will vow to make a difference in the world,
that they will forever be on the lookout in themselves and in the world for
feelings of prejudice and work tirelessly to eradicate them.”
- Director Marcia Kash on the value of students seeing
88.5 CBC Radio One proudly presents Sunday-@-the-Segal with Yehudi Lindeman
Sunday, October 14th, 11am. Admission is free.
Join us for another season of intimate conversation and riveting lectures. With
Yehudi Lindeman, Director of Living Testimonies, a centre for Holocaust research
and documentation in Montreal. His most recent book is Shards of Memory:
Narratives of Holocaust Survival (2007).
Monday Night Talkbacks presented by Pratt and Whitney Canada
As usual following the play, some of the actors and/or designers will remain
on stage to take questions from the audience. Monday Night Talkbacks provides
an intimate opportunity for audiences to engage up close and personal with the
personalities bringing first class professional English language theatre to
TICKETS AND MEDIA INFORMATION
October 14 1:30 pm
October 15, 16, 17 8:00 pm
October 14 11:00 am
Thursday, October 18 8:00 pm
October 14 – November 4
Monday - Thursday, 8:00 pm
Saturday 8:30 pm
Sunday 7:00 pm
Wednesdays 1:00 pm
Sundays 2:00 pm
Segal Centre for Performing Arts at the Saidye
5170 Cote St. Catherine Rd.
Marcia Kash - Director
Marcia began her career as an actor at the Royal Court Theatre in London, England
and went on to play leading roles in the U.K., Canada and the U.S. She is also
an internationally produced playwright with ten shows to her credit. Favourite
directing gigs include: Charley’s Aunt, Blithe Spirit
for ATF; Rumors, Annie, The Sound of Music, The
Price for Neptune Theatre; Popcorn, Zadie’s Shoes
for ATP; The Diary of Anne Frank, Humble Boy for MTC. Recent
directing projects include White Christmas for Neptune, and The
Syringa Tree at MTC. She is happy to be back at the Segal, where she last
directed the highly successful Tuesdays with Morrie.
Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett - Playwrights
Frances Goodrich was born in 1890 in Belleville, New Jersey. After graduating
from Vassar College in 1912, she made her stage-acting debut in 1913. Albert
Hackett was the son of stage actress Frances Hackett and brother of silent screen
actor Raymond Hackett. He attended the Professional Children's School in his
native NYC and began in show business as a child actor playing a little girl
in Lottie, the Poor Saleslady (1906). Though his brother's acting career
was in full swing during the 20s, Hackett's began to sputter, and by 1930 he
had made his final film, Whoopee! He and Frances met in the late 20s
and were wed in 1931, writing their first screenplay, Penthouse in
1933, demonstrating a unique ability to mix comedy and melodrama. The duo was
among Hollywood's lesser-known writing teams, contracted to MGM when American
film production was at its peak. They are responsible for such standard favourites
as The Secret of Madame Blanche (1933), the first two Thin Man
movies (for which they received Oscar nominations in the mid-30s), It’s
a Wonderful Life (1946) and Five Finger Exercise (1962), collaborating
with icons of the day including Frank Capra and Vincente Minnelli. Goodrich
and Hackett's films exemplify the professionalism and popular appeal that were
the hallmarks of Hollywood screenwriting at its best. Their working union was
so organic that Goodrich once said, "Each of us writes the same scene.”
In 1956, they won two Tony Awards for The Diary of Anne Frank: as Best
Authors (Dramatic) and for their script as part of the Best Play win.