(04/16/2011)

Edith Frank finds a quiet moment to read a book.
Whitney Stalnaker plays the part of Anne's mother.

Story and Photos by Drew Moody

Glenville State College's presentation of The Diary of Anne Frank is a window into the horror of war through the eyes of a 13-year-old Jewish girl. Her multi-volume diary became her gift to the world.

Nearly 70 years later many scholars believe it is one of the most significant literary works of the 20th Century.

Such events seem so far removed from a society delighting in celebrating greed, sports and popular culture.

This "child" didn't write a comedy, and expect to experience some discomfort. Consider it evidence you are still among the living if it haunts you a while.

The cast successfully creates a "tension"on stage that is palatable.

They yell, argue and worry.

Perhaps the reason they're playing a game of cards at the dinner table is because there's no food. Or is it an act of "doing something normal" in the midst of insanity?

Fear, anger, and hopelessness becomes either temptation or companion. There's a constant "worry" of not knowing what to expect or when. Who will be the next family member to die? How much will they suffer?

Anne Frank's surrealistic journey was framed by death.

Despite all else Anne Frank has dreams like going out on her
first date, returning to school, and eventually the world retuning
to something resembling normal. In the photo above Anne Frank talks
with a family friend about their plans. Rose Johnson has the role
of Anne; family friend Miep Gies is played by Samantha Wolford

The hands of time seemed to move in slow-motion for those caught in the cross-hairs of the Nazi killing machine. The majority of the world's leaders were silent about the concentration camps and Jewish genocide.

The world's religious leaders barely made a squeak of an objection.

Yet, while standing witness to unimaginable sorrow Anne Frank experienced a "fullness" with a rare poise usually left to saints. The entries of Frank's diary spanned about a two-year period, beginning when she was just 13 years old.

Friends bring strawberries for a special treat...which brings a
joyful thankfulness. With it is the sting of sorrow realizing
the time that's passed which has turned the formerly commonplace
into a rarity. Pictured are Patrick Montgomery, left, playing Anne's
father Otto Frank. Witney Stalnaker is in the role of Edith Frank.

In her final stage performance (as a GSC student) Whitney Stalnaker plays the role of Edith Frank, Anne's mother.

Four years ago when director Dennis Wemm said he'd never witnessed an actor who could so completely immerse their self perfectly into a role.

After photographing and writing about GSC's theater productions over that time I believe I've seen enough to appreciate his observation, adding she's been a genuine artistic treasure for the college.

Rose Johnson deftly handles the role of Anne Frank. The rest of the cast includes veterans such as Ryan Konarske and Paul Nagy. This production is a fund-raiser for Alpha Psi Omega.

Admission is $3 for everyone.

Showtime is 7 p.m. Saturday evening at the Presidents Auditorium in GSC's administration building.

Family and friends gather in the Frank's
hiding place to visit and play a game of cards.


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