It is no secret that Anne Frank liked to chat – she wrote often about doing so in her famous diary. In this spirit comes Conversations with Anne, our signature theater piece, in which an actress playing Anne talks about her everyday life, hopes, and dreams. At the end of her monologue, students and guests get to ask her questions and hear “Anne” respond in kind.
In 2014, 1565 people attended a performance of Conversations or of Letters from Anne and Martin, our other original performance piece, which combines the iconic voices of Anne Frank and Martin Luther King, Jr. as they write about their shared desire for social progress and their belief in making one’s voice heard. In both plays, history comes alive for attendees in a fresh, interactive way.
Speaking about Conversations to The New York Times, who featured the show in October 2014, School Programs Manager Beth Slepian explained the connection many students feel with Anne. “Their experiences are not the same, but there are still aspects they can relate to…‘What does it feel like to be cooped up inside?’ Or ‘What do you hope to become and what might you do to achieve your goals?’”
“The students especially…not only ask about the logical questions,” added Hannah Vaughn, who compiled and directed both plays, “they also raise issues, like, ‘If you could meet Hitler right now, would you exact revenge?’”
The actors answer using their knowledge of the texts, but the real pleasure comes in the questions themselves – questions Anne Frank would be proud to have inspired.