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The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

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Published by Grapes als Priya
Tale of a Jewish Girl
Tale of a Jewish Girl

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Published by: Grapes als Priya on Dec 14, 2009
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12/03/2012

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The Diary of Anne Frank  
 Adapted by Wendy Kesselman
from the original stage play by Goodrich and Hackett
A SYNOPSIS OF THE PLAY
Wendy Kesselman has adapted
heDiary of Anne Frank 
to include passagesfrom Anne’s diary that were published after the original play was written, as well asother survivor accounts. The play openswith an image of the Frank family as theygo into hiding entering the SecretAnnex through a door hidden behinda bookshelf. We see them beginto set up house and Mr. and Mrs.van Daan and their son Peter arrivesoon after. Mr. Frank along withthe refugee families’ two helpers,Miep and Mr. Kraler, who work inthe offices below, explain the “rules”for living in the annex stressing theimportance of being quiet, movingaround as little as possible duringthe day, and not using the toilet untilall the workers below have left for the day. Miep explains how she willbring the families food, books andother supplies when she visits.As the families begin to settle into a routine,Anne writes in her diary about taking lessons fromher father, the arguments between the van Daans,teasing Peter, and being upset by her mother’surging her to behave in a more adult manner.Miep and Mr. Kraler come bearing supplies andnews of the outside world. They also tell thefamilies of Mr. Dussel, a friend who is in need of aplace to hide, and make plans for him to join themin the annex.Mr. Dussel arrives safely, but with moretruthful news of the situation “outside” than thefamilies had received from Miep and Mr. Kraler.The families are terrified by how bad things havegotten and worry about friends not in hiding. Theylisten to BBC newscasts and hope for a Britishinvasion. Anne begins to wake screaming in thenight from nightmares.Time passes and we see thefamilies celebrate Hanukkah. Anne hasgone to much trouble to make specialpresents for everyone in the annex, buttheir celebration is interrupted by soundsfrom the offices below. Mr. Frank risksmaking a trip downstairs and concludesthat a thief has been in the offices. Thepossibility of the thief reporting what heheard from the annex leaves theoccupants in fear.At the beginning of Act Two ayear has passed, food has becomescarce, and it is clear everyone issuffering. Miep brings a holidaycake to celebrate the new year,but the happy event is spoiledwhen Mr. van Daan forces his wifeto give up her precious fur coatfor the money it will bring. Anneand Peter begin to have longconversations and confide in eachother. Anne writes in her diary thatshe is beginning to feel sensualurges and can feel her bodychanging into that of a woman.Mr. Kraler brings the distressing newsthat one of the employees downstairs has hintedthat he remembers the existence of a door to anattic level and demands more pay. Mr. Frankencourages Mr. Kraler to give him a raise in thehopes of keeping him from talking. As tensions runeven higher in the annex, Mrs. Frank catches Mr.van Daan stealing bread in the night and demandshe leave the annex. Mr. Frank persuades her tolet him stay. The families rejoice as they listen tothe BBC newscast announcing the Allied invasionand their hopes are high for an end to the war. Asthe families share a happy moment enjoying freshstrawberries we see
Schutzstaffe
(SS) officersenter the office building below the annex and findthe door behind the bookshelf. The families arearrested and we hear of their fates in a voice over from Mr. Frank.
Parent/Teacher Study Guide
by Gwethalyn Williams
 
About this Production:
The Seem-To-Be Players are the residentchildren’s theater company of the Lawrence ArtsCenter. The Players are a professional troupeof actors, playwrights, directors, teachers andmusicians who seek to expand the imagination,encourage creative thinking and promote anappreciation of human values through innovativeproductions and drama education for children,educators and families.Ric Averill has been the Artistic Director and principal playwright, composer and director for the Seem-To-Be Players since he and hiswife, Jeanne, founded the company in 1973. Thecompany has toured in more than 50 Kansascommunities and 35 states, entertaining andeducating more than 200,000 students per year.The Seem-To-Be Players production of 
The Diary of Anne Frank 
is funded in part bya grant from the National Endowment for theArts. The NEA funding will assist the companyin developing the original cello music, written byRic Averill, that will accompany the production.The NEA grant also helps to fund guestdirector,
Moses Goldberg.
ecently retired after twenty-five years as Producing Director of StageOne: The Louisville Children’s Theatre, Moseshas also served as Artistic Director of the AsoloTouring Theatre and PAF Youth Theatre Center (Huntington, Long Island), and has directedprofessionally at theatres from Washington toFlorida.Active in the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People, Goldberghas attended meetings of the Association allover the world and directed the world premiereof Gennadi Mamlin’s
On The Edge
at Moscow’sfamed Taganka Theatre.As a playwright, over twenty-five of hisplays have been produced professionally, and tenof them have been published, including
 Aladdin,The Outlaw Robin Hood, The Men’s Cottage
and
The Wind In The Willows
. In 1990, Goldbergreceived the Charlotte B. Chorpenning Cup for hisoutstanding contributions to dramatic literature;and his textbook, Children’s Theatre: A Philosophyand a Method, has been used in many of thenation’s colleges and universities. In July of 2005,Moses received the Children’s Theatre Associationof America’s prestigious Medallion Award for lifetime achievement in the field of Children’sTheatre
Discussion Questions:
What was Anne’s initial reaction to the family’sarrival at the secret annex? How was it differentfrom Margot and her mother’s reaction? Howdid Anne’s outlook on living in the annex changeduring the course of the play? What do you thinkbrought about those changes?For what reasons do you think Anne kept a diarywhile she was in hiding? How do you think her diary helped Anne through this difficult time?How is what Anne writes about herself in her diarydifferent from the way she acts around the other occupants of the annex? Why do you think Annehides some of her true feelings from the others?Can you think of a time when you have had tokeep the way you were feeling to yourself ? Howdid it make you feel?What visual image do you remember most fromthe play? Why do you think that image was sopowerful? How did it make you feel?
Vocabular 
Some terms students may not be familiar with:SS:
Short for 
schutzstaffel 
(protective squadron),The SS was a highly trained elite paramilitaryorganization that worked in conjunction withthe Nazi military forces. They ran the labor and death camps.
Westerbork transit camp:
A transit camp for Dutch Jews in Holland.From Westerbork,prisoners weretransported to the deathcamps in Poland.
Call up:
A governmentorder to report to themilitary, usually to besent to a labor camp.
Pim:
Anne’s name for her father.
W.C.:
Stands for Water Closet, a room with atoilet.
Beethoven-straat:
Astreet in Amsterdamwhere many Jewslived and werearrested in one night.
The Secret Annex
 
The Vichy Regime:
The French “puppet”government that operated under Nazioccupation.
Guilders:
Dutch currency.
Westertoren:
A church with a carillion bell tower near the secret annex.
Wh see the la? 
The Diary of Anne Frank 
is taught in mostsecondary curriculums in one form or another. If your students have already studied or will studythe diary, talk with them about why it is usefulto experience the same story through differentmediums.If you have students who have seen themovie, read the diary or even read the playtalk with them about how watching the storyon stage was different than reading the play or seeing the movie. What is it about a live theater experience of the story that makes it differentfrom other forms in which you may have beenexposed to
he Diary of Anne Frank 
? Were theemotions triggered by the play the same as onesexperienced while watching the movie or readingthe diary itself? Did different events or ideas standout in the different versions of the story? Try todiscuss the differences in terms of the medium of communication rather than just what may havebeen left out in different versions. If students havetrouble identifying differences aside from plot askthem why they think something may have beenadded or left out in the different versions. Talkwith your students about the separate strengths of each medium.
Historical Context
It is important when exposing students to
heDiary of Anne Frank 
that it be placed in proper historical context. Anne’s awareness of thegassing of Jews in Poland and fear for Jews notlucky enough to be in hiding is clear in the play,but the reasons her situation is so desperate isnot explicitly explained. This is due, in part, to theFrank parents attempt to shield their children fromthe persecution around them before they wentinto hiding. As a personal account, Anne’s diarydoes not explain things she took for granted andthe occupants only had BBC radio broadcastsand reports from Miep and Mr. Kraler to informthem of outside events. If your students cannotsee the play whilestudying WWII wehave provided abrief summary of some of the historicalbackground includingthe persecution of Jews by the Naziparty.After World War I, the Allied victorssigned a series of peace treaties. TheTreaty of Versaillesdemanded Germanytake responsibility for the First World War. Along with this admissionof guilt, Germany also had to severely reduceits military power and pay heavy reparations for loss of territory. During World War I the Germangovernment waged an extremely successfulpropaganda campaign which led the public tobelieve they were winning the war. Because of this, the German people were confused by theharsh terms of the Versailles Peace Treaty.This gave rise to a theory that Germanyhad really won the war on the battlefield, but thattraitors within the country must have betrayed theGermans causing them to lose the war. Militaryleaders in Germany, including Hitler, promoted thisidea and pointed the finger at the new democraticWiemar Republic government, Social Democrats,communists, and especially Jews as the traitorswho had lost Germany the War.The stock market crash of 1929 andensuing poor living conditions, along withcontinued outrage at the Treaty of Versailles ledto a highly nationalistic atmosphere in Germany inwhich the radical ideas of fascist parties seemedappealing to many of the Germans. The Germanpublic elected Adolf Hitler and his NationalistSocialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) topower in 1933. Over the next few years, theNSDAP passed laws which slowly eroded therights of Jews and began propaganda campaignspromoting the idea that Jews were a threat to thegood of the country. In 1942, a Nazi conferencesettled on the “Final Solution” to the “JewishProblem” and began a carefully strategic programto eliminate all Jews and other groups theyconsidered “unworthy of life.”The Frank family fled to the Netherlands as
Nazi Propaganda Poster

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