Event date: 7/9/2020 3:00 PM - 7/12/2020 3:00 PM Export event
The Diary of Anne Frank
One Weekend Only: Thursday 3:00pm; Friday 7:30pm; Saturday 3:00pm and 7:30pm; Sunday 3:00pm; NCHS Auditorium
The same book that children read in schools is just as moving on the stage. Dramatized by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, the action tells the true story of the Frank and Van Daan families as they go into hiding in 1940’s Amsterdam.
Thirteen-year-old Anne guides the audience through the lonely and terrifying two-year ordeal that she experiences with her sister and parents, young Peter Van Daan and his parents, and a cranky dentist who joins them behind the walls of Otto Frank’s office. The story is told through Anne’s eyes, but it is at first narrated by her father, the only one out of the eight refugees who survived the war.
The Diary of Anne Frank won both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony for Best Play when it was premiered in 1955. In a Tony Award-winning revival in 1997, the role of Anne was played by Natalie Portman and Otto Frank was played by George Hearn. We still honor this story and the people who lived it today, seventy-five years after Anne’s death in a concentration camp.
The Diary of Anne Frank will be directed by local theater veteran Jorge Bermudez, made his Naperville directorial debut last summer when he directed Summer Place’s critically acclaimed production of South Pacific.
“The relevance of this play and Anne’s diary has been important since the day it was discovered after the Frank family’s arrest,” Jorge said. "It’s particularly relevant during times like these given our current political climate. It’s one thing to listen to accounts of what transpires when the world fails to respond, but it’s a completely different experience when you read how it actually feels. I can’t wait to bring this story to the stage, and continue this necessary conversation.”
After growing up in Rolling Meadows, the talented director and actor earned a Bachelor of Arts in Performance Studies at the University of Illinois, and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Pedagogy with an emphasis on acting and directing from the Virginia Commonwealth University. Jorge also earned a Master of Science in Human Resources from Loyola University.
The Diary of Anne Frank will be co-produced by the husband-and-wife team of Steve and Andi Koek. Steve Koek is a second generation Holocaust survivor whose father and two aunts were among the Hidden Children of Holland during World War II. All three siblings survived after being moved and hidden throughout the Netherlands during the course of the war. Their parents were betrayed, arrested, sent away, and perished at Auschwitz.
Joe Koek was a featured speaker at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Ill. and remote locations across the country before his untimely death in December 2015. Steve is a now a proud member of the Speakers Bureau at the museum and has taken up the mantle of sharing the dramatic story of his father and aunt’s survival, which closely mirrors the Franks’ in many poignant ways.
Steve has also become a mainstay at Summer Place Theater, having produced and acted in last summer’s production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. He was seen in Summer Place’s productions of Sugar – The Some Like It Hot Musical (Bienstock) and Footloose (Uncle Wes) in 2018.
Andi Koek served as Production Manager for Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific and works at Naperville School District 203. All three of her sons attended Naperville Central High School, where her youngest is a senior and was recently cast as Harry in Mamma Mia!
Producer: Steve Koek
Producer: Andi Koek
Director: Jorge Bermudez
Set Designer/Construction: Rick Arnold
Stage Manager/Assistant Director: Nickolena Sellen
Costumer: Mark Burrows
Props Master: Sara Blankestyn
Lighting Designer: Nate Dorband
Sound Designer: Becca Easley
Publicity Committee: Christina Peck, Jason Peck, Brittany Tepper
Assistant to the Production: Corey Pevitz
Stop back for more news of the production staff and cast as they are selected. Better yet, scroll to the bottom of this or any website page and fill in our newsletter subscription form; then, you'll get the latest news about this and our other shows right in your inbox.