S*T*A*G*E debuts historical show

Brigitte Kaba

More stories from Brigitte Kaba


Photo Courtesy of WJ S*T*A*G*E

The simplicity of the set design conveys the dreary day to day lives led by Jews during World War two. The bleak setting brings across a feeling of hopelessness similar to that of Anne Frank’s story.

WJ S*T*A*GE presented the The Diary of Anne Frank, a play based on the lovely, fleeting memory of Anne Frank, a Jewish schoolgirl who spent her last years hiding in the annex of her father’s office building in Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Anne spent a lot of time writing in her diary, which she called ‘Kitty’. Little did she know Kitty would be remembered as one of the most moving and widely read firsthand accounts of the Jewish experience during the Holocaust.

During the two years, friends and family members sent food and supplies to the “secret annex” at high risk. In one scene, the cast all wear a Yellow star, a mandatory label that Jews were then forced to wear for identification purposes. The yellow badges made it easier to see who would be deported to the camps. But they also were a lively color, similar to the spirits of the Franks and the family friends who sheltered with them, who were suffering, but still celebrated the fact they were alive.

“I wish kids these days would learn to appreciate the things the Frank family had taken away from them. Now we all take advantage of being able to go outside to smell the roses, go to school, ride a bike,”an audience member said. “I see that during the war era people sacrificed more for each other. Nowadays we take advantage of each other’s presence.”

Sadly, the Allied landings at Normandy made Anne thought the war was closing in, prepping Holland’s liberation. On August 4, 1944, an “unknown informer” exposed the families’ hiding place, and the Gestapos were ready to take the innocent prisoners to their dreaded fate.

Poor Anne always had hope and a colorful spirit when the world seemed obscure and scary.

“I feel acting means stepping out of your own person. Her personality is very different from mine because in my day to day life I’m very reserved, said Angelina Ciccarello, who played Anne Frank. “The incredible cast and crew bonded really well and we really tried to emerge ourselves into Jewish culture.”

“Seeing that Anne was a teenager herself, I felt that it was important to bring to the forefront this tragic time in our history. It was important [using recordings of Anne’s voice as transitions between scenes] that each department worked tirelessly so as to not miss the play’s idea of what humanity is,”play director Colleen Macadory added.

It was clear that, even without being involved with the play, that S*T*A*G*E is a passionate group of ambitious young people who spent countless hours perfecting their craft. They display a sense of professionalism beyond their years. Having read Anne’s diary in the 7th grade, I went in with knowledge and came out having seen a beautiful vision put into fruition.