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“Anne Frank” Rehearsals Underway in Silver Bay

Submitted by: Paul Deaner, Lake Superior Community Theatre

Rehearsals for Lake Superior Community Theatre’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank resumed this week in the Silver Bay William M. Kelley Auditorium after a one year layoff due to non-Covid cast member illness.

The drama, under the direction of Paul Deaner, features an on-stage cast of fourteen with William M. Kelley School junior Marley Schumacher in the title role. Major supporting actors include Kelley Teacher Daren Blanck as Otto Frank, Terri Frericks-Blood as Petronella van Daan, Kelley Teacher Rick Frericks as Hermann van Daan and Kelley freshman Jack Virginia as Peter van Daan. Four additional non-stage pre-recorded voice actors will round out the cast.

This 1955 Pulitzer Prize stage version of The Diary of Anne Frank was written by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett and newly adapted in 1997 by Wendy Kesselman. The multiple award-winning original movie film dropped in 1959.

The Diary of Anne Frank is the worldrenowned true story dramatization of 13 to15 year-old Anne, her family and four others, all Jewish, hiding from the occupying German Nazis in Amsterdam, Holland – The Netherlands from 1942-1944 during World War II. The story is based upon Anne’s writings on loose leaf paper, notebooks & her diary – a red checkered autograph book – retrieved by her father’s colleagues and family friends Miep Geis and’Bep Voskuijl. The office building hiding place, the Achterhuis (back house) “secret annex”, is their sanctuary from most-certain arrest & execution by the Nazis. Six million Jews were executed by the Nazis plus an estimated five million Roma, Poles, other Slavic peoples, resistance fighters, anarchists, communists, trade unionists, people of diverse sexual orientation, people with mental or physical disabilities, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Catholic priests.

The play’s focus is Anne’s energetic, positive and sometimes feisty personality during her two year annex living plus her diary reflections. The production will not shy away from the horror surrounding and awaiting to engulf the characters. Acts of violence, what will be, are left to the influences of imagination plus LSCT theatrical sound & lighting designs. It is a play of bittersweet beauty & profound tragedy. Otto Frank hoped his daughter’s words and lasting legacy foster acceptance, forgiveness, equality and a reminder of “never again”.

The Diary of Anne Frank will open in the Kelley Auditorium Thursday, March 23 for a 7-show run and will close Saturday, April 2nd. All performances will be at 7pm except for the two Sunday 2pm matinees March 26 & April 2. There is a possibility the community theatre will present a special student-only March 23 school day performance in lieu of an evening production– details at a later date.

Online tickets will be available at tix.com at $15.00-adult / $8.00-student in the near future plus lobby tickets available at all performances. Adult lobby tickets will have a suggested donation, pay-what-you-can seat value of $15.00. Student lobby tickets will remain $8.00. House/Ticket Manager Sue Churack can be contacted at 218-220-9942. The theatre website: lsct.online.

Lake Superior Community Theatre, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, is a Northshore tradition since 2002 having presented 10 musicals, 3 comedies, 2 dramas, 1 talent showcase, 2 dance concerts and 2 vocal concerts virtually all on the Kelley stage plus touring performances at Two Harbors High School and Duluth Lincoln Park Middle School, according to Deaner. LSCT added its support to the renovated Kelley Auditorium Celebration in 2018. LSCT is a steward of sorts of the Kelley Auditorium, said Deaner, helping to pay for the lighting control board, stage lighting fixtures, wall projection screens, backdrops, tools, hardware, set-construction lumber, wall & stage floor painting, and minor maintenance.

It will have been five years since LSCT last presented because of a 2-year Covid cancellation, a cast non-Covid health issue, and one planned “dark” year, Deaner said. “We’re excited to be back and we’re bringin’ it.”

Meet the Cast

L-R: Daren Blanck – “Otto Frank”, Marley Schumacher – “Anne Frank”, Vesper – “Margot”, Betsey Mead – “Edith Frank”
Andrew Deyette – “Gestapo Agent”
L-R: Terri Frericks-Blood – “Petronella van Daan”, Jack Virginia – “Peter van Daan”, Rick Frericks – “Hermann van Daan”
Scott Thun – ”Albert Dussel”
Sarah Betzler – “Nightmare”
Leah Hulst – “Miep Geis”
Brad Johnson -“Gestapo Agent”
Wally Crabtree – “Gestapo Agent”
Steve Robertsen -“Mr. Kraler”
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