A Truth To Be Told: The Diary Of Anne Frank Comes To Playhouse
Important history brought to light and life on the mainstage
PREMIERES FRIDAY, MAR. 17
In a world where history is being challenged, atrocities are being falsified as hoaxes, political divide is at the forefront, and social tension is high, The Diary Of Anne Frank is something to be revered. This work of nonfiction written by a 16-year-old girl in hiding, portraying the cruelty a Jewish family experienced during the Holocaust, was originally published in 1947 and first adapted for the stage not long after, in 1955.
Patrick Thiem, a 33-year veteran in the Erie theater scene, plays Anne Frank's father Otto Frank. "Otto is a dad just trying to do the best for his family, and I think any father can relate to that." He continues, "Mr. Frank has the responsibility to be a calming presence among his family, in the face of horrible conditions." Thiem has two daughters of his own, and can relate to the pressure to be that shining beacon in their lives.
While most of what he sees in this world is good and light, he says that this role is important to him and necessary in today's culture of pointing fingers and blame, "It is a reminder of how important it is for us all to be more understanding and loving towards each other. At our core, we can all relate to the Frank family, as history teaches us what can happen once we stop showing love to those we deem different." He also added, "History can also teach us how easy it is for people to follow an ideology blindly, and to forget their core beliefs because someone in power is telling you to."
When asked how important portraying this character and story to the Erie community is, Mr. Thiem responded, "This is a work of nonfiction that should be constantly played to remind us of the possible evils there are in the world and how easily it could happen again. I want the community to realize that this could be anyone's family."
Fridays and Saturdays through Apr. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday Mar. 26 and Apr. 2 at 2 p.m. // Erie Playhouse, 13 W. 10th St. // All ages // Tickets and info: erieplayhouse.org