By: Mitchell Roush, Director
What makes a story timeless?
Perhaps it is the immersive quality of emotion. An experience that packing reaction demanding acknowledgement. Grabbing your heartstrings as if to say, “this is what it means to feel deeply”.
Perhaps it is the simplicity of human connection. A solemn, nuanced reminder that we what we desire most is not found in the pursuit of things, but rather discovered in another, in community.
Perhaps it is the story. Profundity delivered through the vessel of story, conflict, and resolution.
Perhaps it is in the reminding of what’s real. Dwelling, if even for a few minutes, within the a world of actuality; something or someone that existed. Understanding that these things happened, and deserved to be remembered.
Perhaps it is the brutal truth that some history must not be repeated. Bitterness and unfathomably packing a sobering dose of utter tragedy...and surprising hope.
Perhaps it is all of these things…and so, we re-visit, The Diary of Anne Frank.
The narrative itself hardly needs an introduction. A tale of family, heritage, and survival in the thick of perhaps the most tragic season of genocide our world may know; told through the lens of a young 15 year-old girl’s diary...and most importantly--all true. Throughout her Jewish family's last days, hiding in a barren attic from the threat of the Third Reich, the voice we follow, Anne’s, still comes to the striking, hopeful realization:
Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with basic goodness.
And so, we re-visit the familiar, historical account because it is through the evocative medium of theatre that the narrative is most potent. Presenting the world of actuality, visceral emotion, the history we carry. We re-visit The Diary of Anne Frank because it reminds us of the light as much as the dark; and illuminates which is more powerful...and lasting.
In bringing this, yes timeless, and true, tale to the Yorkshire Playhouse stage, we aim to bring a galvanizing sense of discovery alongside the familiar. Unpacking the idiosyncrasies of the starring family, their struggle, and their connection brings with it a more three-dimensional sense. Breathing life into the names and words from Anne’s infamous pages grants us the opportunity to experience the real through the art. The voices, the faces, the clothing, the setting--it all adds to the weight.
History is a powerful teacher. Daring to harness that powerful vehicle into a re-imagined living, breathing world is no small thing. We aim to bring justice to the renderings that we conjure, while allowing space for artistic discovery to fashion something uniquely meaningful. For at the end of the day, we all resonate with the story of the human spirit; to the testament that hope, heritage, and family transcend that which threatens.
The Diary of Anne Frank will be familiar, and it will be new. It will be emotional, and it will be hopeful. It will be tragic, and it will be inspiring. It will bring depth, and it will bring some laughter. It will remind us of that which should not be forgotten. And it will be one of the few stories we re-live that reminds of the universal truths that touch us all.
It is a bold undertaking, but a worthwhile one. We invite you to journey with us.