NEWTON, NJ—The students of Newton High School present “The Diary of Anne Frank” as their fall production this year.
The Newton production will be directed by Brendan Scullin and feature a cast of 10 students. The play is based on the book “Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl" and dramatized by Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett.
“‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ is one of the most famous and haunting stories to emerge from the 20th century. The Memoirs of the young Jewish girl, forced to hide for nearly two years to escape Nazi persecution, are an essential part of how we remember one of human history’s darkest periods,” Scullin says in the playbill for the Newton production.
- Otto Frank, Anne’s father is played by Kyle Penny.
- Anne Frank is played by Jackie Mull,
- Margot Frank, Anne’s sister is played by Natalie Yost, and
- Edith Frank, Anne’s mother is played by Hayden Caico.
“This show is totally different than anything else we’ve done in such a good way,” Mull said. “It is so important and listening to the voice overs, reading the lines, she wanted to live on after her death. And that is actually one of the lines that is said in the show and this is what is keeping her alive, and it is an honor really that we have the opportunity to do this show.”
Mull and Penny are two students who are not “new” to the spotlight on Newton High School’s stage as this is both of their final appearance in a fall production at Newton.
“Considering that the last couple years we have done comedies, this has been more taxing on all of us, to just be able to deal with it as its some pretty heavy things for high school,” Penny said. “I think now more than ever we have gotten into character because we want to do it justice. The raw emotion of it all and the true desperation of it, I think this show really shows the kind of messages we need to show now-a-days. Comedies do a great job, but I think this is the kind of message we need, something solemn, yet uplifting and an experience that everyone needs to have.”
- Miep Gies is played by Emma Bermingham,
- Mr. Kraler is played by Jaydeep Mukherjee, and
- Mr. Dussel is played by Andrew Jones.
- The Van Daan family is played by Sydney Reynolds as Mrs. Van Daan,
- Chris Polyak as Mr. Van Daan, and
- Imad Balatero as Peter Van Daan.
Scullin took extra steps to allow the students in the cast get into their characters. The director called cast members into his classroom one morning and had them turn off all technology and remain in the room with limited food that was rationed until the following morning.
“We had to sleep in my classroom and though only 24 hours, I was trying to introduce the cast to some of the feelings their characters had to experience for two years,” he said.
The show will premiere this week beginning on Thursday, November 16 and then continuing Friday, November 17, and Saturday, November 18, with all shows beginning at 7:30 p.m.