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Show Guide: The Diary of Anne Frank

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It’s almost time for our next production, The Diary of Anne Frank, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman. We’ve assembled some special information to help you and your family to get ready for the upcoming performance. Before you go to the show, you might want to take a few moments to review this “Know Before You Go” Guide so everyone will know what to expect from the performance!

The Story You Will See

The Diary of Anne Frank is a play based on an actual diary that was kept by a young girl whose family, because they were Jewish, had to go into hiding in a secret attic annex in Amsterdam during World War II. Through her diary entries, Anne offers many details of her family’s harrowing ordeal of living lives in hiding where any sound might give away their location and lead the Nazi authorities in power to find them and deport them to concentration camps where they would face brutal confinement and certain extermination. Anne Frank’s diary gives us an opportunity to consider how huge and harrowing events of human history impact those who are living through them. Through the words of a gifted young writer we learn about the realities of a family surviving in close and claustrophobic circumstances in order to survive. Anne’s passionate and inquisitive voice, vivid observations, and optimistic spirit challenges us to see a tremendously troubling time through a young person’s eyes. Her story compels us consider what actions we might be taking in our own times to create positive change.
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FEB 28 – MAR 15 | 1 hour, 45 minutes without an intermission
High Stakes Historical Drama for AGES 8+
Know Before You Go
Here are some things your family might like to “Know Before You Go”:
  • The Diary of Anne Frank deals with serious issues during one of the darkest periods of our human history. While the show is filled with hopeful inspiration, the characters are in dire circumstances. It is a fact that the majority of the individuals living in the Annex did not survive. You may want to be prepared to speak with the young people you bring about the consequences of the Holocaust and the impact it had on people around the world.

  • There is a portrayal of Nazi soldiers during the performance. These actors walk into the auditorium space wearing holstered guns. On stage, the guns are drawn and pointed at other characters. If your children are particularly sensitive about weapons and violence, you may want to prepare them for these scenes. You may want to have a discussion with your family about the use of guns and your own household rules.

  • The director of The Diary of Anne Frank has chosen actors with diverse backgrounds to play the characters in the story. These actors may or may not share the same ethnicity as their real-life counterparts. This decision was made by the director in order to help people see how the situation of Anne and the others in the Annex still relates to today’s world. We hope that the production sparks discussion in your family about the similarities and differences happening in the world then and now. For more information, view the videos on our website.

  • As the play progresses, Anne reaches her teen years and speaks in a developmentally appropriate way about the physical and emotional changes that accompany adolescence. Parents may want to be prepared for questions about this from young

  • Young people attending The Diary of Anne Frank will be given a hand-out with information about how they can take action on areas where they see oppression and injustice. This takeaway piece does not suggest specific topics, but does address how young people can take a stand, become an ally and help those who may not have the same power or voice in our community.

  • Due to its subject matter and length of the performance, The Diary of Anne Frank is recommended for children over age 8.

The Characters You Will Meet

    • ANNE FRANK—a teenager living in Amsterdam in the 1940s during World War II who, because she is Jewish, must go into hiding with her family and others in order to evade capture by the Nazis. The diary she kept during her family’s time in hiding, recording her thoughts, feelings, and the harrowing reality of their situation, is the basis of the story.

    • MR. OTTO FRANK—Anne’s father whose business gives the family a rare and dangerous opportunity to hide from the Nazis in a “secret annex” attic above the offices. Anne is very close to her father as she feels that he understands her best.

    • MRS. EDITH FRANK—Anne’s mother who has many worries weighing on her as she agrees to her husband’s plan to hide the family in the annex. She also worries that Anne’s vibrant and spirited personality can make others uncomfortable. There is much tension between Anne and her mother, whom Anne feels just does not understand her.

    • MARGOT FRANK—Anne’s older sister who has a more reserved—or perhaps simply more mature—personality. Since she is nearing adulthood Margot tends to understand better than her younger sibling how to navigate the difficult dynamics of sharing a living space with so many people. Anne respects and loves her sister but resents being compared unfavorably to her so frequently.

    • MR. VAN DAAN—a long-time associate of Mr. Frank who was very kind and helpful to him when the Franks first moved to Amsterdam. Mr. Van Daan has a difficult time sharing his confined living space with so many people and often gets irritable with Anne and the others. His response to the stress of being in hiding can tend to be selfish.

    • MRS. VAN DAAN—Mrs. Van Dam is used to a life of finer things and struggles with the confines and limitations that a life in hiding requires. She makes great effort to accept with her new circumstances as she shares a small living space with others, but at times can’t help showing her stress and panic.

    • PETER VAN DAAN—the Van Dams teenaged son is somewhat moody and standoffish. He keeps a cat that and has a somewhat tense relationship with Anne who has a knack for irritating him.

    • MR. DUSSEL—a dentist who joins the Franks and Van Daans in the secret annex as more of their Jewish neighbors are being forced by the Nazis to flee Amsterdam.

    • MR. KRALER—Mr. Frank’s business partner who helps to keep the business going downstairs while the Franks, the Van Daans, and Mr. Dussel are hiding in the secret annex upstairs. Mr. Kraler agrees to help because he believes it is the right thing to do, even though he is taking a great personal risk to do so.

    • MIEP GIES—a young woman who helps to run Mr. Frank’s business with Mr. Thaler. Miep regularly brings items requested on lists to the Franks and Van Daans while they are in hiding. She and Mr. Kraler are keenly aware that those they are hiding are in terrible danger and they must be extremely careful or they will all be exposed.

    • NAZI OFFICERS and DUTCH COLLABORATORS—dangerous authorities and their sympathizers who are a constant threat to the families in hiding
    From Story to Stage

      • Anne Frank’s diary was first published in Amsterdam in 1947 after Miep Gies discovered the diary and gave it to Anne’s father Otto Frank. An English translation of the diary was published in 1952 as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

      • The popularity of the book inspired screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett to write the 1955 stage play The Diary of Anne Frank. They adapted their script into a screenplay for the subsequent 1959 film version of the story.

      • This new adaptation of a classic work of theater was created for a critically-acclaimed 1997 revival production on Broadway and incorporates newly discovered writings from Anne Frank.
      Theater Location
      The Rose is located in downtown Omaha at 2001 Farnam Street on the southwest corner of 20th & Farnam Streets.

      From west Omaha, take I-80 East to 1-480 North and exit onto 20th Street. The Rose is located on Farnam Street, approximately three blocks south of the 20th Street exit.

      Convenient Parking
      The closest and most convenient parking is available for $2 in the garage at 19th & Harney, courtesy of the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission (1910 Harney St., Omaha, NE 68102). Parking meters surrounding the theater are active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with free parking available on Sundays and holidays. A variety of parking lots are available around the theater, as well, ranging in cost from $2-$5.

      While at The Rose
      Join Our Post-Performance Q&A Session!
      A few minutes after the performance, our actors will conduct a Question & Answer session from the stage. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and other aspects of the production. The actors may even have a question or two for you about the story.

      Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph!
      Some performers will be available after the show to say hello, pose in pictures, and sign their autographs for you. You can meet them on the mezzanine level right outside the entrance to our balcony level seats.

      The Rose Theater
      2001 Farnam Street
      Omaha, Nebraska 68102
      Wait, There’s More!

      Grab a Theater Class Brochure!

      If you like what you saw on the stage and think you’d like to be a part of it, try taking a theater class here at The Rose Theater. We offer a wide range of arts classes for every interest and experience level.


      Please visit our website to read director’s notes and view production photos.

      Box Office Assistance

      The Rose Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm at (402) 345-4849. Information and ticketing is also available online at

      Weather Cancellations
      The Rose rarely cancels public performances. If severe weather requires a show to be cancelled, a notice will be placed on our website and on social media, and we will notify local media outlets. For weather-related inquiries, please contact the Box Office at (402) 345-4849. Should a show be cancelled, a recorded message will be left at this number.

      The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE 68102, United States