What: Anne Frank: Within and Without
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. Northwest in Atlanta
When: Through March 8
Wednesdays through Thursdays at 11 a.m., Fridays at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.
Tickets: $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers
More Info: www.puppet.org
The innovative adaptation portraying a young girl’s strength and vitality during the Holocaust, “Anne Frank: Within and Without” is returning to The Center for Puppetry Arts.
The theatrical piece chronicles Frank’s day-to-day life hiding in an attic with her family to avoid Nazi persecution. The piece, presented in cooperation with the Georgia’ Commision on the Holocaust, was adapted by Bobby Box and directed by Mira Hirsch. It features live musical accompaniment by Chip Epsten tabletop and marionette puppetry styles performed by Jeffrey Hyman and Caitlin Roe, who are both making their Center debut. Roe has a background in theater, having studied French and theater in college. She currently serves as the Executive Director for the local French language theater company, Thtre du rve, or Theater of the Dream.
Roe has always been interest in puppetry, and even had limited experience with it before joining this production. She still spent a few days in basic training to develop the skills needed to start rehearsals. After learning the basics, Roe and Hyman both spent many hours in rehearsal every day for several weeks to prepare for the show.
“We’ve been living and breathing with puppets everyday, so we have become comfortable but there’s still always room for growth and learning,” Roe said. “It’s been very exciting to learn how to manipulate and make them come to life.”
Preparing for the show was quite the learning process for Roe — she spent a lot of time reading about the Holocaust and also visited the Anne Frank exhibit in Sandy Springs to prepare for performances and the post-show talkbacks, which allow audience members to ask questions, share their thoughts about the powerful story.
Roe describes “Anne Frank: Within and Without” as unique because it doesn’t end when Anne and her family are discovered and taken by the Nazis — it goes on to tell what happened to each person and also shares different events and facts leading up to the present day. The show is also unique because it’s geared toward ages 12 and older and is even accessible to adults wanting to learn more about that period in history.
“I would say to come with an open mind and a willingness to learn about Anne Frank, the Holocaust and that period of history,” Roe said. “It’s told in a way that’s accessible to audiences with music and direct quotes from Anne, who wrote much of what you hear. There are images of her family and from her childhood, so you’re really able to put real life faces and people to the story.”