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Bemidji Community Theater to present 'Diary of Anne Frank' May 13-22

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. on May 13, 14, 20, 21, and at 2 p.m. on May 15 and 22. Tickets are on sale at Ken K. Thompson Jewelry and Iverson Corner Drug.

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Bemidji Community Theater members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” on Monday, May 9, 2022. The play is set to open on May 13 at the BCT building in downtown Bemidji.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI — Members of the Bemidji Community Theater will bring “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett to life this week, at the Performing Arts Center, 316 Beltrami Ave.

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. on May 13, 14, 20, 21, and at 2 p.m. on May 15 and 22. Tickets are on sale at Ken K. Thompson Jewelry and Iverson Corner Drug. If not sold out, there will be tickets available at the door. Prices are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $6 for children.

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Bemidji Community Theater members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” on Monday, May 9, 2022, at the BCT Performing Arts Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is a stage adaptation of the posthumously published 1947 book “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank. It premiered on Broadway at the Cort Theatre in 1955. Its script also primarily formed the basis of the 1959 film adaptation.

In the play, Anne talks about her belief that all humans have good in them and are capable of being kind.

June 12, 2022, is the 80th anniversary of Anne Frank receiving the diary for her 13th birthday. The play is based on her entries in that diary; from the first date of June 12, 1942, to the final entry dated Aug. 1, 1944.

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“When we were planning the season, for some reason this one jumped out at me,” said DeeJay Arens, who is co-directing the play with Vicki Stenerson and assisted by LaDon Howes. “I was just looking at the state of the world, the uneasiness and things going politically and in religion, I thought this is something we need to revisit. You know the old adage, ‘Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’”

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Bemidji Community Theater members rehearse a scene on Monday, May 9, 2022, from their upcoming production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” at the BCT Performing Arts Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

The play reflects Anne Frank’s change from a young, innocent girl to an introspective, thoughtful woman. Her diary has messages of courage, strength and hope.

The play tells of their time hiding from the Nazis in German occupied Amsterdam from July 1942 to Aug. 4, 1944, when they were found and taken to Westbork transit camp.

They were hidden in the upper rooms of her father’s business and assisted by two of his employees, who snuck them food and clothing. Hiding with Anne (Maggie Loxtercamp), her sister Margot (Katie Carpenter), parents Edith (Chelsea Ottman-Rak) and Otto (Paul Conklin), were Mr. and Mrs. VanDaan (Chuck Deeter and(Sue Wright) and their son, Peter (Auburn Nelson). They were later joined by Mr. Dussel (Dallas Jennings). The helpers include Miep (Hannah Fletcher) and Mr. Kraler (Steven Mayer).

“After the pandemic, maybe people can come to this play with a little bit of a sense of empathy,” Arens said.

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Bemidji Community Theater members pose for a cast photo during a rehearsal on Monday, May 9, 2022, for their upcoming production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” at the BCT Performing Arts Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Related Topics: BEMIDJI NEWSLETTERTHEATER
Dennis Doeden, former publisher of the Bemidji Pioneer, is a feature reporter. He is a graduate of Metropolitan State University with a degree in Communications Management.
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