Conejo Players Theatre’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank has been getting glowing reviews from critics and theatre-goers alike. “(Katie) Rodriguez’s performance as Anne is stunning”; “a remarkable cast”; and “Anne Frank carries deep, personal meaning” are just a few of the comments from recent reviews … Now’s your chance to see this deeply moving and inspirational show before it closes on September 20th!
The Diary of Anne Frank is the dramatic true story of eight peoples’ time in hiding in Amsterdam during World War II as told through the eyes and words of the eloquent and buoyant Anne. The play begins the morning the Franks go into hiding, and it chronicles the next two years’ events in the tiny annex. Through the journey taken by these people, we experience hope, despair, and everything in between. It is a story of humanity — the best, and the worst.
Director Rachael Weinberg Pugh and her cast have personal histories of their own that have made the production even more powerful and relevant. Several cast members have relatives that were in Germany during World War II — and some were even held at Auschwitz during that horrific time.
“Getting to be a part of this particular production of The Diary of Anne Frank has been an honor I will hold close to my heart, always,” said Pugh. “Being the director gives me a very special vantage point in the audience; I get to watch and listen and feel their reactions to this story we worked so hard to bring to life for them. I get to be the one they approach, the one they hug, the one whose hand they grasp to express their gratitude and how much this show moved them. This makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world because when they take my hand, I know they are taking everyone’s hand. The interactions between complete strangers have been deeply touching. Watching people come in, respecting each other’s space, politely nodding to each other … only to have them embrace at the end of the show, pat each other on the back, even just shake hands and introduce themselves as if to say, ‘Hello, you were a stranger when we sat down — but we just spent two and a half years together in this annex too, and now we are forever connected.’ The most common words overheard or shared have been ‘stunning,’ ‘haunting,’ ‘beautiful,’ ‘touching,’ and ‘hopeful.’ These are words that are repeated after every show, along with ‘Let us never forget.’ Because we have been fortunate enough to put on this play, and because people have so eagerly attended to learn, to experience again, to relive and to heal … we truly never will forget.”
The Diary of Anne Frank runs through September 20th at Conejo Players Theatre, 351 S. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks. Remaining performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:00pm. Tickets are $18 general or $16 seniors/students/military. Call 805-495-3715 or visit conejoplayers.org.