Park Square Theatre Opens THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, 2/26

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Park Square Theatre presents its annual production of THE DIARY OF Anne Frank, based on one of the 20th Century's most inspiring and enduring narratives. The story comes to life in three weeks of student performances February 26 -March 22 at Park Square Theatre, 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul.

This extraordinary account of eight Jewish people hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam is based on the personal diary of its protagonist. Anne Frank emerges from history as a lyrical and intensely gifted young woman. Her spirit, optimism, and nobility amidst the horrors of the Holocaust are brought to life through this heartfelt production, directed by Scott Rubsam.

THE DIARY OF Anne Frank made its theater debut in 1956. Since then, it has been reproduced countless times on stages across the country and abroad. Collaborators Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, longtime Hollywood writers, had little experience with such a story as that of the Frank family. Previous scripts included sophisticated comedies such as The Thin Man or lively musicals such as Easter Parade. However, Goodrich and Hackett researched the play meticulously, drawing not only on Anne's diary but also on the experience of visiting Otto Frank and the attic hideout. As Evelyn Ehrlich noted in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Hackett in 1956 said, 'We all felt we were working for a cause, not just a play.'

Kathryn Lawrey returns to the role of Anne Frank, joined by Robert-Bruce Brake and Julie Ann Nevill (Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan), Joy Rakerd (Edith Frank), Heather Raiter (Margot Frank) and Stephen Pearce (Mr. Kraler). Charles Fraser (Mr. Dussel), David McMenomy (Peter van Daan), Kirby Bennett (Miep Gies) and Peter Thomson (Otto Frank) complete the cast. Gabriel Backlund is the original set designer, Michael P. Kittle is the lighting designer, Randell Seitz is the sound designer and costumes are by Elin Anderson. Jamie J. Kranz is the stage manager and Laura Topham is assistant stage manager.

Park Square inspires 25,000 students each season-one of Minnesota's largest teen theatre audiences. Students come from all over Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Iowa, attending the play and adding enrichment through workshops, post-show talk back opportunities and Park Square's trademark "Build a Moment" demonstration. More than 100,000 teens have seen THE DIARY OF Anne Frank at Park Square Theatre. THE DIARY OF Anne Frank is a part of the 3M Student Series.

Performance Schedule: Weekday student matinees of THE DIARY OF Anne Frank begin on February 26 and run through March 22. Performance times vary; please call the box office for times. All performances are in the company's intimate theater in Saint Paul's historic Hamm Building, 20 W. Seventh Place.

Ticket prices: Walk-up tickets: $25. Tickets for the general public are subject to availability based on student group sales. Call the box office to check on availability and start times. Tickets for THE DIARY OF Anne Frank are not available online. The Park Square box office is located at 20 West Seventh Place. Phone: 651.291.7005, (12 noon-5 p.m. Monday through Friday).

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