According to the event flyer, the fall play at Waynesburg University, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” will be performed Nov. 2-5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center. General admission is $5, and WU students and employees admission is $3.
According to Edward Powers, the play director, there will be about 16 people involved in the show.
Lauren Royesky, a sophomore psychology major and counseling minor, is grateful to have a part in the show.
“Because I’m a big history person and because my mom would read me Anne Frank when I was little, I feel like I had [a] connection to the story, and to be able to tell it to people who might not know so much about it, I thought that would be a really cool experience,” Royesky said.
According to Powers, some of the characters are older; some are younger; some are selfish; some are introverted, and all of them are put in an attic. This creates a challenge for the actors because they have to stay on stage for the entirety of the show.
“I’ve always loved being on stage [and] performing,” Tess Marlin, a senior psychology major, said, “because it allows you to be someone else, and [it’s] not in a negative way, but [it] allows you to kind of forget about your problems and just pretend that you’re not who you actually are for a little bit.”
Marlin is playing the part of Anne Frank in the show.
“I’m 21 and I have to play a 13-year-old,” Marlin said. “It’s a different thing that I’ve never had to do before, getting [into the] mindset of a younger person.”
Marlin has always loved the story of Anne Frank.
“My aunt’s mother-in-law was actually in a concentration camp,” Marlin said. “She lived through this, and she lost her brother and her dad and she never got to see them again… Yes, [“The Diary of Anne Frank”] is telling the story of a young girl, but it’s also telling a story of so many people that have gone through this.”
Powers likes that the story of Anne Frank is real.
“The Frank family was real. Anne Frank was real. Her parents were real. Her sister was real,” Powers said. “I like that aspect of the story, the fact that it is… dealing with real people, real issues, real fears, real hopes, [and] real catastrophes… This is a show about just some real people and a real situation.”
According to Royesky, the show will bring some light to parts of Anne Frank’s story that people might not have known about before.
“I think it’s [going to] be a really good show for people who love the story or maybe just [don’t] know so much about Anne Frank,” Royesky said. “I’m ready to see if [the audience] will just be as emotional as we are telling the story.”
Marlin also thinks that it will be a good show.
“I’m really excited for it. I think it’s [going to] be a good show. I think it honestly tells a fantastic story that’s true [and] that’s going to impact a lot of people,” Marlin said. “I hope that it impacts those people that come to see it as much as it’s impacting us to perform it.”
Powers hopes that the audience members will come to the show wanting to experience and appreciate the historical drama of what these real people went through.
“We need to watch a play like “The Diary of Anne Frank,” if nothing else, to tell us not to go down that road again,” Powers said.
Marlin felt nervous during auditions despite having been involved in theater since the young age of seven. However, she said that it is giving way to “nervous excitement.”
“We’re actually seeing what this is turning into, whereas in auditions, it’s just like words on a page, but now it’s action on the stage, and it’s turning into something honestly beautiful and creative and something you can visually see that is impactful not only on us, but everyone else,” she said.
According to Marlin, a lot of people don’t realize how much time goes into a show when they come to see it for one night.
“We’re rehearsing every single night… for like three hours and it’s an exhausting thing,” Marlin said.
According to Powers, it takes about one hour of rehearsal to perfect only one minute of the show, and the cast rehearses five times a week for two and a half to three hours per rehearsal.
“We go to see a show, and we accept the characters and the story that they’re giving us, and we just don’t realize all the work that it takes to make that one minute work on stage,” Powers said.
Marlin said that it is exciting that people can come to enjoy what the cast has been working on.
According to Royesky, the cast would like “as many people as possible” to come to the show because of their hard work to get the show ready.
“Having that support would be amazing,” Royesky said.
According to Powers, people have to remind themselves of the seriousness of life in order to be better people.
“We are presenting life on stage and how else can we appreciate life if we don’t get to experience some of it?” Powers said. “Theater is fascinating. Theater is life. Theater is about fascinating lives.”