The Carrollwood Players Theatre will bring the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” to the stage from Jan. 8 to 23.
The play, adapted by Wendy Kesselman, has been expanded to provide a deeper and more emotionally rich and complex Anne Frank. Wendy’s version updates the original 1955 script written by husband and wife, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.
“The Diary of Anne Frank” tells the story of a young Jewish girl during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam from 1942 to 1944. During this time, Frank chronicled her life while she was persecuted for her religion, coming of age and enduring her burgeoning adolescence, all while hidden in a tiny secret annex with her family and several others. Unlike Frances and Albert’s play, Kesselman reveals the troubled relationship Anne had with her mother.
Under the careful direction of Dawn Kidle, the play features Maggie Gamson as Anne, Stephan Bielawski and Alicia Spiegel as her parents, Serena Kline as her sister, Margot, along with John Durbin, Rebecca Kaminsky Smith, Kyle Mogg, Leo Salerno, Samantha Hall, Thomas Pahl, Kenneth Grace, Dale Noss, and Ronald Kline.
A traveling education trunk filled with information about the Holocaust, on loan from the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, will be displayed during the show’s run. On Friday’s opening night, Lesa Bee of Tropical Treats will provide a cake for a post-show reception.
“It is important that we remember what these people endured,” Kidle said. “We must never forget the humanity that can thrive under duress as Anne and her family’s story teaches us.”
“The Diary of Anne Frank” is at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday night and 3 p.m. Sunday at 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa. Advance tickets are available at carrollwoodplayers.org. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors, students and military with valid ID.