Context


Anne Frank’s personal diary survived World War II, thanks to family friend Miep Gies, who aided the Franks during their two years in hiding. After the Franks were captured, Gies managed to save Anne’s diary from the Annex. After the War ended, Otto Frank, Anne’s father -- the only member of the Frank family that survived the Holocaust -- returned to Amsterdam, where Gies gave him Anne’s diary. Anne, herself, died of disease (probably Typhus) in Auschwitz in 1945, shortly before the concentration camp was liberated. Otto Frank published his late daughter’s diary in 1947 under the title The Diary of a Young Girl. For additional information about on the historical Anne Frank this is a place to start:

http://annefrank.com

http://www.annefrank.org

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005210

http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/anne-frank

The first stage adaptation of Anne’s diary was penned by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. It premiered on October 5, 1955, at the Cort Theatre on Broadway. Anne Frank was played by Susan Strasberg, daughter of famed American theatre director and teacher Lee Strasberg. The cast also included Joseph Schildkraut (Otto Frank), Stephen Press (Peter), Gusti Huber (Edith Frank), Jack Gilford (Mr. Dussel), Dennis Moore (Mrs. Van Daan), and Lou Jacobi (Mr. Van Daan). After moving to the Ambassador Theatre in February 1957, the show continued to run until June 22, 1957. The production received the Tony Award for Best Play, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and the script was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Susan Strasberg won the 1956 Theatre World Award, and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress for her performance as Anne. The play, then, went on a national tour throughout the United States retaining the original cast except Strasberg, who was replaced by Millie Perkins. Goodrich and Hackett’s play also opened in seven German cities on October 1, 1956, and in Amsterdam on November 27, 1956.

Wendy Kesselman’s new adaptation of Goodrich and Hackett’s script debuted in June 1997. Her new script incorporates newly discovered writings from Anne’s diary as well as influences from new survivor accounts. The production was directed by James Lapine and starred Natalie Portman (Anne), George Hearn (Otto Frank), Sophie Hayden (Edith Frank), Missy Yager (Margot), Jonathan Kaplan (Peter), Austin Pendleton (Mr. Dussel), Linda Lavin (Mrs. Van Daan), and Harris Yulin (Mr. Van Daan). It previewed in Boston at the Colonial Theatre and opened on Broadway in December 1997 at the Music Box Theatre. The production was nominated for the 1998 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and Linda Lavin was nominated for Best Featured Actress (Linda Lavin) for her performance. It received two Drama Desk nominations as well, one for Harris Yulin for Outstanding Featured Actor and one for Linda Lavin for Outstanding Featured Actress.

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