THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK Opens at Milwaukee Rep, October 26


Anne Frank's remarkable diary has become an essential tool for understanding one of the darkest periods of our history – and one of the most beautiful, haunting stories in our shared experience. A testament to the human spirit and its young author's "boundless desire for all that is beautiful and good," the play illuminates Anne's unwavering belief in justice and love during her more than two years in hiding during World War II. This moving, true story is essential viewing for every generation. The play is dramatized from the book by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

Making her Rep directorial debut, KJ Sanchez will direct the play. The cast features Associate Artists Jonathan Gillard Daly, Laura Gordon, Lee E. Ernst, James Pickering and Deborah Staples and guest actors J. Alexander Coe, Kelley Faulkner, Larry Neumann, Jr., and rising Chicago actress Lauren Hirte in the title role. Rep Artistic Intern Ensemble Members Jonathan Altman, Emily Berman, Jess Prichard and J.R. Yancher are also in this production. The Diary of Anne Frank runs in The Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse from October 23 – December 2 and opens on Friday, October 26.

"The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the greatest testaments to living in the present that I've ever read, and it never fails to move me to tears," says Artistic Director Mark Clements. "The story may be set against one of history's grimmest eras, but out of that comes incredible light and incredible hope from the strength of Anne's spirit. This is a story that every generation needs to hear, and we're honored to tell it."

"Rabbi Julia Neuberger, editor of "The Word of Anne Frank," writes that she often goes into schools to talk about the Holocaust," added director KJ Sanchez. "On one particular day a child raised her hand and asked the Rabbi, "Was Anne Frank the most famous survivor of the Holocaust?" Needless to say, the Rabbi was shocked, as Anne died in Bergen-Belsen in 1945. But then she thought about it. . . . Anne's diary has endured because her spirit, in fact, endures. Anne chose to laugh and, more importantly, to love in the most difficult circumstances imaginable – and in this sense, her spirit survives today."

The Diary of Anne Frank premiered on Broadway at the Cort Theatre on October 5, 1955 and later transferred to the Ambassador Theatre. Originally produced by Kermit Bloomgarden and directed by Garson Kanin, the production closed in 1957 after 717 performances. The play opened simultaneously in seven German cities on October 1, 1956. Upon its opening in Amsterdam on November 27, 1956, Queen Juliana was in attendance. In 1956, The Diary of Anne Frank was nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Actress, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design and Best Director, ultimately winning Best Play. The play also received the 1956 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as the 1956 Drama Critic's Circle Award for Best Play. Goodrich and Hackett adapted the play into a screenplay in 1959, which was the first film version of Anne's story and featured members of the original Broadway cast. In 1960, the film version of The Diary of Anne Frank won three Academy Awards, a Golden Globe and won Best Written American Drama from the Writer's Guild of America.


Jonathan Altman (Ensemble) is a member of The Rep's Artistic Intern Ensemble and was just seen in The Rep's production of Assassins; Emily Berman (Margot Frank), is also a member of The Rep's Artistic Intern Ensemble and is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan; J. Alexander Coe (Peter van Daan) will be making his Rep debut and was most recently an Acting Intern with Actors Theatre of Louisville; recent roles there include Sense and Sensibility, A Christmas Carol, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the premiere of Hero Dad in THE TENS; Coe holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Minnesota State University Mankato; Jonathan Gillard Daly (Mr. Frank), a Rep Associate Artist, was most recently seen at The Rep on the Quadracci Powerhouse stage as the Proprietor in Assassins; other roles include Heck Tate in To Kill a Mockingbird and Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, among many others; Daly is also a founding member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, MN; Lee E. Ernst (Mr. Van Daan/Fight Director), also a Rep Associate Artist, was most recently seen as Samuel Byck in Assassins, Brabantio/Montano in Othello, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and the title role in Lombardi; he has performed in over a 100 roles at The Rep since he joined The Acting Company in 1993; Ernst is also an accomplished fight choreographer and does fight choreography across the country; Kelley Faulkner (Miep), was just seen performing on the Quadracci Powerhouse stage in the Chorus of Assassins; other recent roles at The Rep include Patsy Cline in Always . . . Patsy Cline, Belle/Lucy in A Christmas Carol and Sally Bowles in Cabaret; other credits include Claire in Proof (Theatrefest), Nancy in Oliver! and Emily Arden in State Fair (Walnut Street Theatre) and Roxie in Chicago (New Candlelight Theatre), among others; Laura Gordon, a Rep Associate Artist, just finished directing Gutenberg! The Musical! in The Rep's Stackner Cabaret; she has performed in over 75 productions at The Rep including Death of a Salesman, The Lady with All the Answers, Pride and Prejudice, Enchanted April, The Crucible and Doubt, among many others; Lauren Hirte (Anne Frank), a Chicago-based actress, recently appeared with Lookingglass Theatre Company in Icarus; additional credits there include Fedra, Alice in Lookinglass Alice (including tours to New Victory Theatre, NY; McCarter Theatre, Princeton and Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia) as well as Hard Times (Lookingglass and Arden Theatre Company, Philadephia); other credits include Dream and all three productions of The Flying Griffin Circus at the Actors Gymnasium, where she has been teaching and performing for the past ten years; and A Festival of Jewish Stories at the Piven Theatre, where she teaches on occasion and is an alum of their YPC; Larry Neumann, Jr. (Mr. Dussel), making his Rep debut, is a veteran Chicago actor who has performed in over 60 productions throughout the Chicago area in over 30 theaters; recent memorable performances include Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Phil Hogan in The Moon for the Misbegotten and Edgar Allen Poe in The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe (First Folio Theatre); film credits include The Merry Gentleman, Stranger Than Fiction and Stir of Echoes; James Pickering (Mr. Kraler), a Rep Associate Artist, returns to the Quadracci Powerhouse after performing the role of Duke of Venice in Othello; other roles last season included Judge Taylor in To Kill a Mockingbird and Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol; recent favorite roles include Richard Harkin in The Seafarer, Dave Moss in Glengarry Glen Ross, Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and Hugh in Translations; Jess Prichard (Ensemble), a member of The Rep's Artistic Ensemble, completed his MFA in Acting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Prichard has been a touring company member with Imago Theatre as well as a professional clown; he has also spent two summers with Associate Artist Jonathan Gillard Daly at the The Great River Shakespeare Festival; Deborah Staples (Mrs. Van Daan), a Rep Associate Artist, returns to the Quadracci Powerhouse after performing the roles of Emilia in Othello and Jean Louise in To Kill a Mockingbird last season; she was also seen performing the role of the Ghost of Christmas Past/Mrs. Miggott in A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater; this past spring and summer she finished a run of The Blonde, The Brunette and The Vengeful Redhead at Writers' Theatre in Glenco, IL; J.R. Yancher (Ensemble), a member of The Rep's Artistic Intern Ensemble, was just seen in The Rep's production of Assassins as James Blaine and in the Chorus; he is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.


The Creative Team for The Diary of Anne Frank includes: KJ Sanchez (Director – see bio below); Dan Conway (Scenic Designer) whose credits include Sunset Boulevard, Chess, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Dirty Blonde (Signature Theatre); Merry Wives of Windsor (Studio Theatre); Sucker Punch, Radio Golf and Marcus or The Sweet (Studio Theatre); he is a ten-time nominee for the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Set Design and a winner in 2000 and 2008; Rachel Healy (Costume Designer), a Chicago-based designer, returns to The Rep after having designed To Kill a Mockingbird, Ten Chimneys, Death of a Salesman, The Seafarer, The Cherry Orchard, State of the Union, Endgame, Translations and Inventing Van Gogh; Thomas C. Hase (Lighting Designer) is an international lighting designer whose work in the U.S. includes: Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, BAM, Seattle Opera, Minnesota Opera, Dallas Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Goodspeed Opera House, Portland Opera, New Orleans Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Center Stage Theatre, among others; M.L. Dogg (Sound Designer) has designed for Second Stage Theatre, New York Stage and Film, Playwrights Horizons, Waterwell Productions, Nicholas Ward Productions, Fordham University Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Roundabout Theatre Company and The Pearl Theatre; Paige Hathaway (Assistant Scenic Designer), received her BFA in Scenic Design at the University of Oklahoma in 2011; she is currently designing a new play at the University of Maryland called In Time of Roses; Sandy Ernst (Casting Director) is The Rep's Associate Artistic Director and Casting Director; Jessica Ventura (Assistant Casting Director); Claire Simon (Chicago Casting Director), a casting director since 1996, casts primarily film, television, and theater, as well as commercials; Jill Walmsley Zager (Dialect Coach), her recent Rep credits include: The Mountaintop, Assassins, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Christmas Carol, Lombardi, Yellowman, Ten Chimneys, Cabaret, My Name Is Asher Lev, Laurel and Hardy and The 39 Steps; Amanda Weener (Stage Manager), returns to The Rep for her eighth season; her most recent credits include Cabaret and Death of a Salesman; Kimberly Ann McCann (Assistant Stage Manager) is making her Rep debut; Broadway credits include Curtains; Kaitlin Kitzmiller (Stage Management Intern), attended the University of Omaha where she graduated in the spring of 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Technical Theatre; Lenny Banovez (Assistant Director), returns to The Rep as a directing intern after having previously been a member of The Rep's Artistic Intern Ensemble; Rep credits include King Lear, Tartuffe, Hula Hoop Sha-Boop, Dogpark: The Musical and They Came from Way out There.

Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett (Playwrights) were creative partners, who were also married, and wrote comedies and musicals for Hollywood for many years. Several of their movies, including The Thin Man, were nominated for an Academy Award. When Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was published, they became interested in the story of Anne Frank and wanted to bring it to life in the theater. They worked together to create a play that would be true to the spirit of Anne Frank. In addition to adapting the diary to dramatize the action, they included words from the diary in scenes with the voice of Anne. They got to know Anne by meeting with her father and visiting the hideout. After winning a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for The Diary of Anne Frank, they wrote a screenplay for a movie that was nominated for an Academy Award in 1959.

KJ Sanchez (Director) is founder/CEO of American Records, a theater company devoted to chronicling our time. She is the co-author and director of ReEntry, produced Off-Broadway at Urban Stages as well as theaters across the country and internationally. KJ has directed 26 Miles at Round House and Two River Theatre Company, The Giver at Asolo Rep, 9 Parts of Desire and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Actors Theatre of Louisville and Private Lives and Mere Mortals at Two River Theatre Company. KJ's newest play, Highway 47, will be featured in Teatro Vista and Collaboraction's Yo Solo Festival in Chicago.

Tickets for The Diary of Anne Frank are from $10 – $65 (prices are subject to change). Single Tickets for all of Milwaukee Repertory Theater's 2012/13 productions are now on sale. Single Tickets can be purchased online at, through The Rep's Ticket Office by calling 414-224-9490 or in person at 108 E. Wells Street. Group tickets are also available for purchase by calling Patron Relations Manager Christine Yundem at 414-290-5340.

To learn more about The Rep or its productions, visit


· Rep in Depth begins 45 minutes before every performance in the Quadracci Powerhouse and gives an insider's look at the play from a member of the cast or artistic team with a pre-show discussion. This Rep in Depth will be led by actor James Pickering.

· Audio-Description Performance – on Tuesday, October 30 at 6:30 p.m. there will be an Audi-Described Performance for patrons who are blind or have low vision.

· American Sign Language Interpreted Performance – On Thursday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. there will be an American Sign Language Interpreted Performance for patrons who are deaf or have low hearing.

· Captioned Theater Performance – On Sunday, November 18 at 2:00 p.m. there will be a Captioned Theater Performance.

· The Rep Talkbacks will be held after the 1:30 p.m. matinee performances on Wednesday, November 7 and 21 and will also feature local Holocaust survivors as special guests. On November 7, Raye David will be the featured guest. She was a teenager living in Poland during World War II. The Nazi's shot Raye's father in the nearby forest of Ponari. She lived in the Vilno Ghetto from 1941-1943 with her mother and some family members. Raye and her mother were liberated from Bergen-Belsen in 1945 on her 18th birthday. On November 21, Louis Koplin (born Ludwig Kopolowitz) will be the featured guest. He was born in Nelipeno, Czechoslovakia (now in the Ukraine), on July 30, 1920. Louis was sent to the Russian front to dig ditches and work in the mines, sent to a labor camp and became a shoemaker and was force-marched with thousands of others for more than 300 miles to the concentration camp of Mauthausen. The camp was finally liberated by the US Army.

· Additionally, there will be two added talkbacks on Sunday, November 4 and 11 following the 2:00 matinee performance. Jody Hirsh, Education Director at the Jewish Community Center will lead the talkback.

· The Rep Talkbacks are offered immediately after select performances and offer an opportunity for audience members to ask questions about the play to Rep company members and actors in the production. For more information on The Rep Talkbacks, please contact the Ticket Office at 414-224-9490 or refer to The Rep's Patron Guide.

· New this year – The Rep is hosting an event called 'Round Six Happy Hour. The event will start with a pre-show reception in Quadracci Powerhouse lobby. The second event will be held on Thursday, October 25 at 6 p.m. and features complimentary appetizers and free beer provided by Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery and live music will be provided by Pete and The Hot Mess. This event is sponsored in part by 88Nine. The cost to attend the event is only $20 and includes the show ticket and pre-show reception. The reception begins at 6:00 p.m. and the performance of The Diary of Anne Frank begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling The Rep's Ticket Office at 414-224-9490. 

· Matinee Lunch – Join us for lunch and a conversation about The Diary of Anne Frank on Wednesday, November 21 from 11:45 – 1:15 p.m. at the InterContinental Milwaukee in Salon A. Properties Director Jim Guy will discuss the elements of the set and props that the audience will see in The Diary of Anne Frank. Cost is $15 per person. RSVP by Monday, November 19 to Jennifer Bloomer at 414-291-4790 or

· Special Lobby Exhibit – During the run of The Diary of Anne Frank, there will be a special exhibit in the Quadracci Powerhouse lobby entitled Anne Frank: A History for Today which was developed by the Anne Frank House and is sponsored in North America by the Anne Frank Center USA.

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