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March 21, 2011

Lives Remembered: Blinn hosts “Diary” and a daughter

Bryan Theater presents “The Diary of Anne Frank” and a daughter’s account of her father’s life in Nazi Germany

“When I write, I shake off all my cares.  But I want to achieve more than that. I want to be useful and bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met.”
—Anne Frank

Blinn College’s Bryan Theater Department is celebrating the unquenchable spark found in people whose spirit never falters—even in the face of mortal evil. The first-ever theater season at Blinn’s Bryan campus takes a poignant turn with the play, “The Diary of Anne Frank” and presentation titled “Through Their Eyes,” a daughter’s tribute to her father’s formative years living in religious persecution under the terror of Nazi Germany.

“Diary” features 15 Blinn students as cast and crew and is directed by faculty member Jean Daniels. The production showcases Blinn Theater major Karen Jones, of Nacogdoches, as the precocious Anne.  The production runs March 31–April 3 at The Theatre Company in Bryan’s Tejas Shopping Center. Performance times are March 31–April 2 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on April 3. 
Tickets are available at the door for $5.

“Our students have poured themselves into the history, the love and the resilience this family maintained to cope with the dire circumstances they had to endure,” said Greg Wise, Blinn theater instructor.  Anne’s detailed memories and emotions give students a spectrum of emotions to draw upon.

The play is based on the famous diary written by 13-year-old Anne Frank, who hid from arrest in Nazi Germany with her parents and four other people. The group went into hiding in the sealed-off back rooms of an Amsterdam office building in 1942, as Hitler’s subordinates intensified their persecution of Jews.  

The production recreates the scenes of Anne Frank’s refuge using integrated projection, or projected artistic sets developed by Division of Fine Arts faculty member Tim Weaver.

“’I want to go on living, even after death’ is one of the most memorable lines in Anne’s poignant and moving account of her life in hiding,’” Wise said.  “Little did she know how profoundly she would affect us all for so many years to come.”

As the story of Anne Frank’s life plays out on stage at The Theatre Company, Blinn’s Bryan campus will host Sandy Lessig, presenting “Through Their Eyes,” the story of her father’s life in Germany under the rise of Hitler.  Lessig’s father, Walter Breisacher, recorded video vignettes of his memories surrounding Hitler’s rise to power and nearly decade-long police and policy maneuvers against Germany’s Jewish population.  The presentation begins at noon April 1 and is free and open to the public in the Barbara Pearson Banquet Room, Building E Student Center (map).

Later in April, the theater season takes a comedic turn with a staged reading of “The Government Inspector,” presented April 29 in the Barbara Pearson Banquet Room. The production opens at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.