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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teenager: Anne Frank-Up on the Roof

This past Saturday, I was on top of the city, standing on the rooftop of the Parkway House apartment building, 13 stories high. The open space and the breathtaking view of Philadelphia’s nighttime skyline made me feel invincible and that all things were possible for me. I took this seemingly indomitable energy and sat down on a milk crate, alongside other audience members and we watched an actress, Anna Watson, transform into a girl just a year and some months older than me. There was Anne Frank, 15, all teenager, contained in an 8-foot-by-8 foot cube, telling us of her life in hiding from the Nazis.

The contrast between the open space of the rooftop and Anne’s cage-like cube made a physical impression on me; made me appreciate the physical restrictions of Anne’s life in hiding. But the play, Teenager: Anne Frank, presented by the 2009 Philadelphia Fringe Festival and Theatre In Between , made Anne Frank more of person I could identify with as a teenager. As a result of reading The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne was always a heroine to me, someone completely out of my league. But this play, directed by Frank Bruckner, makes Anne a girl who shares the same interests and problems that I have. When we first meet Anne, she is excited about her first kiss with Peter van Pels. She’s excited by love just as she is often angry at her mother for numerous things. Does this sound familiar? This is the success of Teenager: Anne Frank; the play makes Anne so familiar and Anna Watson’s portrayal of Anne makes her someone that you genuinely care about.

I find now that my reaction to Anne’s life and death and the Holocaust, in general, is much stronger because I can see myself in Anne Frank. This play should definitely be seen by young students to not only make them care about Anne, but to help them begin to think of ways to challenge injustice and intolerance.

I would like to thank Richard Watson for giving me the opportunity to review this play.

Show Details
September 15-20, 2009

8pm (all dates)

Runtime: 60 minutes

Price: $15

Location: Parkway House, 2201 Pennsylvania Ave, Philadelphia,PA

For Tickets: call 215-847-7365 or visit the Philly Fringe website

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