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The Diary of Anne Frank

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February 28, 2002|By RICHARD MONTENEGRO, Staff Writer

Fifty years ago, the English-speaking world got its first glimpse into the life of Anne Frank, a teen-age Jewish girl who along with her family hid from Nazi soldiers occupying her native Amsterdam.

Hidden away in an attic for some two years, Anne kept a diary detailing her ordeal and feelings until she and her family were captured and sent to the Nazi concentration camp in which she and her sister would die one day apart.

Anne's diary — considered by many to be one of the most important documents of World War II — was translated in English in 1951 and published in the U.S. in 1952.

Three years later, the novel "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" would be turned into a Broadway play by authors Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett titled "The Diary of Anne Frank."

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After an expanded version of the diary was printed in 1995 — "The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition" — bringing to light for the first time Anne's transition from girl to a young woman as well as her tempestuous relationship with her mother and sister, the play was retooled by Wendy Kesselman.

On Friday and Saturday nights, Imperial Valley residents will be afforded the opportunity to see the Mostly Theatre Company take on the new adaptation.

Starring Alina Sanchez as Anne Frank, Jim Stiff as Otto Frank, Janine Gatlin as Edith Frank and June Benny and Whitney Snyder trading nights as Margot Frank, the play starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Post Office Pavilion, 230 S. 5th St. in El Centro.

Longtime theater company member Billy J. Brown is directing the play. Adult tickets for the performances are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Senior and students pay only $5.

States a Mostly Theatre Company release: "In this gripping new adaptation, newly discovered writings from the diary of Anne Frank are interwoven to create a contemporary impassioned story of the lives of people persecuted under Nazi rule.

"Anne's diary survives as a memorial to those killed and as a warning to future generations," the release states.

On its second and final week of performances, nearly all the female roles are different from opening weekend. On Feb. 22 and 23, Kayla Wardup played Anne with Jeri McCall as Edith. The role of Mrs. Van Daan will be performed by Kaye Hughes on Friday and Saturday; Lydia Hennesay starred during the opening weekend.

Some 16 locals have roles in the production, while a handful more make sure the shows go smoothly.

Tickets are available at Clark Baker Music in El Centro, the OPOP or by calling 352-5353.

On the Net: www.geocities.com/mostlytheatercompany

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