YAKIMA - Yakima Valley Community College will stage performances of "The Diary of Anne Frank" March 3-5 and March 9-11 at Kendall Hall Auditorium on the YVCC campus.
With performances beginning soon, the pressure is on the play's actors to capture its essence through their choreography, facial expressions and voice inflection in this deeply emotional and dark story of Nazi opression and human survival.
"The Diary of Anne Frank" dramatizes key events described by Frank in her diary, specifically the events surrounding the Secret Annex, which was originally meant to hold two families but ended up including an additional single, adult male.
The play dramatizes the secret visits from friends bringing those in hiding news and supplies as well as the eventual spiritual, physical and emotional decline of the families.
It dramatizes the final moments of the members of the Annex, none of whom other than Anne's father survived the war. It also examines Frank's troubled relationship with her mother, her rivalry with her older sister and her unabashed adoration of her father. The play is both factual and fictional.
"I believe this play could be anybody's story partly because we all have the potential to oppress someone, and to be oppressed ourselves," said Alicia Bickley, the play's director. "We all arguably have the capacity for immense cruelty, and for acts of great courage and humanism."
YVCC instructor Shannon Hopkins will take on the role of Frank's mother Edith Frank, while her real-life daughter, 12-year-old Azalea Koestler, will play the role of Anne Frank.
Koestler, an accomplished local actress, has graced YVCC stages before, but this is her first starring role in a production.
At age 9, Koestler played the fairy Puck in the YVCC production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and has gone on to perform in several more YVCC productions in recent years.
Evening performances are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., and the one Sunday matinees is at 2 p.m.
Tickets for evening performances are $6 for students and $8 for general admission.
The matinee performances are free to middle school and high school students with identification.
For more information, call the box office at 574-4750.