DramaMommaSpeaks

The Most Important Play I’ve Directed in My Career of 38 Years

Here is the story of the most important play I’ve directed in 38 years.

Twenty-nine years ago, I received the rare privilege to perform Mrs. Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank.  I will never forget the experience. This is one of those shows that seldom comes along but when it does, people flock to participate in it.

Luckily, I had the opportunity to serve as director to the production twenty-two years later. The Diary of Anne Frank is the most important production I’ve directed in my 38 years of my career.

Here’s why:

The most important reason to produce The Diary of Anne Frank is because Anne Frank was a real person who lived and died during a terrible time in our history.  Her diary is real and validates the facts of this injustice. You’ll want to read to the end of this post. I’ll explain my affinity for it, too.

We can’t tell this story enough times.

Let’s first talk about the standard requirements one considers when producing this amazing play.

Let’s be honest and discuss the most important reason for producing this powerful play.

The Diary of Anne Frank play demonstrates the social injustice and religious persecution of Jewish people during Hitler’s reign.

It’s one thing to study the history of WWII.  One can view a video or read a book about it, but nothing compares to observing real people telling the story right in front of you.

An important note:  Several years ago Mr. Frank’s monologue near the end of the play was edited and updated. It contains gut wrenching, eye witness accounts of Anne’s last days while living alone in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belzen.

As our World War II veterans pass away and we have fewer and fewer left to share their experiences during the war, eye witness accounts are tremendously important.

I’d like to state that I’m certain there is no family in world today who is living in similar circumstances to Anne Frank.  I’m sad to say I’m certain someone is living this life all over again.  Merely look at Syria.

My father was a battalion aid surgeon during WWII.  Like many veterans, he never spoke of the war.  I do know that he snuck behind enemy lines to deliver a French woman’s baby while under the watchful eye of a sniper.  I know he was a prisoner for a few days.  I know he contracted pneumonia from hiking through wet terrain and damaged his ear drum enough to lose the hearing in his ear.  I know he was present when they freed Dachau. He felt the warm walls of the crematorium. He saw Jewish prisoners, nearly naked, emaciated, dazed and confused wander out of the camp. These were eye witness accounts, true facts.

That’s all I know.

Maybe in some small way, I am not only remembering the Jewish people but honoring my father’s life by directing this play.

I can help us all to remember and not allow us to repeat ourselves.

Do you want to make a mark on the world? Do you think all people matter? Do you have the opportunity to select a play for a theater’s season? Please consider The Diary of Anne Frank.

If you have the rare opportunity to be involved on this play, shoot me an email, too.  If I can, I would be honored to attend.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or check out my website at DeborahBaldwin.net

Find the play here at DramatistsPlays.com