Openings: Starlight’s “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”

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A fresh approach to the all-time 1967 classic with two new songs and added characters from the original version.  Join the Peanuts Gang for a “day in the life” of perennial block-head Charlie Brown!

Christian Graca, Director

Based on the Comic Strip “Peanuts” by Charles M Schulz

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Clark Gesner;  Additional Dialogue by Michael Mayer; Additional Music & Lyrics by Andrew Lippa  By special arrangement with Tams Witmark Music Library

Dates & Times:

7 pm Friday, January 30

2 pm Saturday, January 31

7 pm Saturday, January 31

7 pm Friday, February 6

2 pm Saturday, February 7

7 pm Saturday, February 7

7 pm Friday, February 13

2 pm Saturday, February 14

7 pm Saturday, February 14


1611 W Whispering Wind Dr #160, Phoenix, AZ 85085

(1 block SW of Happy Valley & 16th Ave., W of I-17)

(In Order of Appearance)

Linus: Dylan Rinehart
Charlie Brown: Skyler Washburn
Sally: Lilly LeBlanc
Schroeder: Griffin LeBlanc
Snoopy: Brandan Brown
Lucy: Savoy Graca
Violet: Caitlyn Martinez
Frieda: Chelsea Carll
Peppermint Patty: Quincy Janisse
Marcie: Jesse Pike
Rerun: Will Rippenkroeger
Woodstock: Molly Jimmerson
Little Red Haired Girl: Allison Weston
Lucinda: Hanna Grossenbacher
Hanna Grossenbacher
Caitlyn Martinez
Jesse Pike
Allison Weston
Dancing Blanket: Chelsea Carll
Kite-eating Tree: Hanna Grossenbacher

Director: Christian Graca
Musical Director: Thomas Graca
Choreographer: Nathalie Velasquez

For more information go to

or visit our Facebook page at

Review: Theater Works’ “13 the Musical”

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Full Review:


Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, Book by Dan Elish, Robert Horn as co-librettist.

Thirteen. It’s a number with many negative connotations. Possibly none more negative than being thirteen years old. Puberty, acne, peer pressure, junior high. Good times only compounded for Evan when his parents get divorced and he is moved from the bright lights of New York City to the Dairy Queens of Appleton, Indiana. Perhaps things can get a little better in “The Lamest Place in the World” if he can make some new cool friends at his new school named after Indiana’s favorite son (Dan Quayle Junior High) and get them to his upcoming Bar Mitzvah. But will he lose his new real friends in the process?


All hail Theater Works with their cast and team directed by Johanna Carlisle who opened their run of 13 the Musical with an impressive opening night at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. It looks good with New York iconic signs being switched out with Appleton iconic signs (Scenic Designer M’Liss Tolman), Tamara Treat’s costumes that mesh with the various characters’ personalities, and good choreography by Lynzee 4Man. In those costumes and doing those dance moves is a largely pre-high school cast featuring many of the greatest young talents from all around the valley.

Leading it is Sam Primack who was born to play Evan. He’s thirteen and just had his Bar Mitzvah last May, and he’s a fantastic performer whether at ease with his real friends, straining to impress the cool kids, or grooving to his own jig amongst the frozen bodies of all the other kids as his mind is racing from one fanciful plan to another in All Hail The Brain. Sixteen-year-old Olivia Watters is his new best friend and would-be girlfriend Patrice, giving a beautiful performance both in her singing and in her deeply authentic performance, trying to fight back tears as the years of bullying begin anew with the first day of school, and as she tries to hold out hope with the new boy coming to The Lamest Place in the World. Her powerful parting from Evan in Good Enough is painfully real. Completing the trio of friends is thirteen-year-old Emilio Cress who’s charming as Archie, making the best of his situation and joining Sam Primack in a memorable song-and-dance to No One Says No to a Boy with a Terminal Illness.

Eighth grader Addison Bowman isn’t at all charming, but she is super talented as mean girl Lucy who ruthlessly connives to get to the jock’s tongue before her “best friend” and fellow cheerleader Kendra gets there.Gabby Vatistas delivers a strong, amusing performance as the ditzy Kendra, also shining with a very nice singing voice. Jacob Herrera is her match as the highly entertaining dumb jock who nevertheless is quite skilled at taking notes on subjects of interest. He works well as a team with his four buddies (Christian Bader, Sam Brown, Henry Brown, andCharlie Siegal) who draw some of the biggest laughs and highest notes as they help him woo Kendra and try to help him escape Lucy.

But Lucy won’t go down without a fight, leading a great gossip quartet with Alex Kirby, Jessica Dolyniuk and Jasmine Bassham – Jasmine also working it throughout as the dance captain. The impressive ensemble adds much to the show with their dancing, singing, and acting, in everything from the hip New York kids, the hip rabbis led by the humorous Ethan Shanker, a horrified movie audience, peer pressuring junior high students, and eventually reflective junior high students in their strong finale of A Little More Homework to do.

Performed January 16 – February 1, 2015

Rob Hopper

Executive Director
National Youth Arts

Actors Alliance of San Diego Workshops

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Actors Alliance of San Diego’s Training, Growth, Success begins!

Actors Alliance of San Diego is happy to announce three great training opportunities to enhance the skills of local actors, singers, and performers and set them up for a successful 2015.

Audition Preparation Workshop Series

Actors Alliance of San Diego is happy to announce a new Audition Preparation workshop series. The Series will have two classes every Sunday with various Artist Directors, Professional Actors, and Music Directors from all over San Diego. February will focus on Song and/or Monologue preparation and March will focus on Mock Auditions where two pieces will be worked on. Instructors include: Justin Gray (Music Director Welk Resort), AJ Knox (Artistic Director Ocean Beach Ensemble Experiment), Morgan Carberry(Music Director, Oceanside Theatre), Korrie Paliotto (Music Director, San Diego Rep), Eileen Bowman(Professional Actor), and Roxane Carrasco (Professional Actor). 
Cabaret Workshop with Eileen Bowman andKorriePaliotto

Over the course of this six (6) week program you work directly with Eileen on song choices, banter and script, and being yourself onstage. Prepare to play the most intricate, interesting, and difficult character, YOURSELF! Working with local Music Director, Korrie Palliotto, and Eileen Bowman participants will learn how to work with a Music Director, create engaging Banter, and piece music together to tell your story. A performance will be scheduled at a local venue for the first week of April. This program will look at doing a student showcase at 98 Bottles in Little Italy or Martinis Above Fourth in Hillcrest.
Artist Development Program

in 2014 Actors Alliance of San Diego has teamed up with San Diego Playwrights to launch a new workshop series with the goal of cultivating an environment for creative growth in San Diego. Seven playwrights have joined forces with eleven actors and three directors to present new plays in the Breaking Waves Festival at the San Diego Fringe Festival in 2014. Throughout the workshop series the groups are able to learn how improv and “play” can lead to the development of a play. Workshops will also include experiences by up and coming playwrights who have had their works produced at local and regional theatres and talks on the business of “showbiz”. At the end of the 4 month workshop the plays will be presented as a Dine Around offering to the TCG National Conference attendees in June and will make their public debut in July during the 2014 San Diego Fringe Festival. This workshop exemplifies Actors Alliance of San Diego’s goal of exposing local artist and performers to the world.

About Actors Alliance of San Diego

The Actors Alliance of San Diego is a 510(c)(3) non-profit, membership based service organization dedicated to the advancement, education, and exposure of the theatre artist in San Diego and to enhance the good of the community through the medium of theatre. About San Diego Playwrights
San Diego Playwrights is an all-volunteer network working to get local playwrights produced in San Diego. Using a Consensus Organizing approach, we promote San Diego playwrights and the theatres and organizations that support them. We engage the community in the process of creating and producing new plays.

Auditions: Starlight’s “Peter Pan and Wendy”

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Casting Call for PETER PAN AND WENDY

Rediscover the magic of Peter Pan and his enduring friendship with Wendy in this faithful adaptation.   Casting Call for ages 6 to 19.  Individuals auditioning should be prepared to do cold readings and group interactions and bring personal schedule calendar, a resume (optional), and a headshot (optional).

Eric Gibson, Director

Adapted by Tracy Wells from original novel by J.M. Barrie

Produced by Special Arrangement with Big Dog/Norman Maine Publishing, LLC, Rapid City, SD

Audition Dates & Times:

9 am, Saturday, February 21

1 pm Sunday, February 22

Call Back Date & Time:

To be determined at auditions, as needed.

Performance Dates & Times:

7 pm Friday, April 17

2 pm Saturday, April 18

7 pm Saturday, April 18

7 pm Friday, April 24

2 pm Saturday, April 25

7 pm Saturday, April 25

7 pm Friday, May 1

2 pm Saturday, May 2

7 pm Saturday, May 2


1611 W Whispering Wind Dr #160, Phoenix, AZ 85085

(1 block SW of Happy Valley & 16th Ave., W of I-17)

For more information go to

or visit our Facebook page at

North County School of the Arts’ “Cinderella”

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The North County School of the Arts performs January 16th-25th

December, 2014, Encinitas, CA—Rogers’ and Hammerstein’s Cinderella makes a magical entrance into North County courtesy of North School of the Arts (NCSA). Performances are on January 16, 17 at 7:00 p.m., January 18 and 24 at 2pm and 7pm, and January 25 at 2pm at the Howard Brubeck Theater – Palomar College (San Marcos).

NCSA’s choice to present Cinderella was easy:  The warmth and timelessness of the story, coupled with the right touch of silly humor and magical transformations, will make the hearts of children and adults soar when the slipper fits!  It’s a charmer for theatre goers of all ages, and is a must-see for North County audiences.

 “From ‘In My Own Little Corner,’ to the jaunty and exciting ‘Impossible,’ to the gorgeous love ballad ‘Ten Minutes Ago,’ and the hilarious ‘Stepsister’s Lament’, the songs are all as GLORIOUS as you remember them.” — The Weekly Standard

The 52-member cast features Jenna Steinberg (Encinitas) in the lead role as Cinderella. Her prince charming, Christopher, is played by Dashiell Gregory (Encinitas). Cinderella’s wicked, but funny, stepfamily are played with comic villainy by Samantha Laurent (Encinitas) as the stepmother. Thea Farber (Encinitas) and Piper Tompkins (San Marcos) are the ever-so-comical and grating stepsisters, Joy and Grace. Ruth Burgess, (Oceanside) plays the larger-than-life, beautiful Fairy Godmother.  Rounding out the principal characters are Dante Velez (Encinitas), Grant Goates (Encinitas), and Hannah LeBeau (San Marcos).

Tickets are $18 for general admission. Group rates are also available. Call (760) 487-8568 or email for individual/group tickets or purchasing questions.

NCSA prides itself in promoting the talents of the youth, as well as the adults, in the community.  NCSA has won/and been nominated for many awards from National Youth Arts.  Their production of Peter Pan (2014) won “Outstanding Production”.  And, their 2013 production of Shrek, the Musical, won awards for “Best Choreography”(April Henry), “Best Actor” (Trevor LaPlante), and Best Featured Actress (Olivia Hodson).

Opening: TADA!’s “Everything About a Family (Almost)”

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TADA! Youth Theater proudly presents an original family musical performed by kids for kids-

Everything About A Family (Almost)
January 17- February 16, 2015

Originally Conceived and Written by Members of TADA!’s Resident Youth Ensemble: Christina Franklin, Merce Jessor, John Moriarty,  Maya Park, Jennifer Wais, and Casey Wenger-Schulman

Music and Lyrics by: Gary Bagley, Deirdre Broderick, Douglas Cohen, Jim Colleran, Miriam Daly, Scott Evan Davis, Drew Fornarola, Simon Gray, Kirsten A. Guenther, Lindsey Joelle, Phoebe Kreutz, Naomi Lee, Callie LeFevre, Arianna Rose, Kiernan Schmitt, Joy Son, Robby Stamper, Steve Sweeting, and Tom Toce.

Direction and Choreography by:
 Joanna Greer
Musical Direction by: Adam Jones
Set & Lighting Design by: Steve O’Shea
Costumes Design by: Megan Turek
Production Stage Manager: Samantha Jacob

TADA! Theater

Everything About a Family (Almost)
An original family musical performed by kids for kids!

TADA! Theater
15 West 28th Street 2nd floor NYC, 10001

January 17- February 16, 2015 
Opening night on Saturday January 17 at 7pm
Saturdays & Sundays, 2 & 4pm.

Weekday Performances
Monday, January 19 at 12pm & 2pm
Wednesday, February 4 at 10am & 12pm
Friday, February 13 at 7pm
Monday, February 16 at 12pm & 2pm

TADA! will kick off the 30th Season with a favorite from the “Everything About” series, Everything About a Family (Almost). In this musical revue, audiences will experience a family reunion like no other- where kids discover how quirky, fun, endearing and irreplaceable- family can be! Perfect for the entire family- kids as young as 3 will love this hour-long show which features 15 musical numbers and 26 actors ranging in age from 8 – 17.

TADA! Youth Theater is an ideal introduction for kids to the live theater, with delightful content, age-appropriate themes, an easily palatable running time and affordable prices. One family of four could see this production for less than the cost of one Broadway ticket.

Following the 4pm shows on January 24 and February 8, join cast members and TADA! Teaching Artists on stage for a 45 min workshop based on themes of the show. ADDITIONAL COST: $10 per participant

Regular Tickets: $15 for kids and $25 for adults
Limited Ticket available for each performance: $10 kids and $20 (not available at the door)
Non-profit and community groups of 10+: $8 kids and $10 per adult
Birthday party packages are available.

Tickets are available at or by calling the box office at 212-252-1619 x5. Advanced purchase is recommended.

Running Time: 1 hour

Listings Information:
Who: TADA! Youth Theater
What: Everything About a Family (Almost) 
Where: 15 West 28th Street 2nd floor
When: January 17-February 16 Saturdays, 2 & 4pm.
How:, or call 212-252-1619 x5

Sophia Abehal, 11, Queens
Nisha Borrelli, 9, Manhattan
Ceanna Bryant, 16, Manhattan
Sofia Bryant, 14, Manhattan
Omarion Burke, 10, Bronx
Kristin Callahan, 16 Manhattan
Victoria Cotton, 17, Manhattan
Ashley Figueroa, 13, Manhattan
Josiah Fluker-McInnis, 14, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Fuentes, 13, Brooklyn
Zane Gerson, 9, Queens
Jaden Gonzalez, 11, Bronx
Ari Hawkins, 14, Manhattan
Jada Jackson, 11, Brooklyn
Derek Johnson, 13 Brooklyn
Jonah Levinowitz, 14, Brooklyn
LeAnn Martin, 15, New Jersey
Subiya Mboya, 14 New Jersey
Xavier Means, 14, Brooklyn
Riya Nagpal, 12, New Jersey
Danielle Palmer, 15 Mt. Vernon
Simone Singletary, 16, Brooklyn
Sophie Smith-Brody, 15, Manhattan
Emma Sobel, 10, Manhattan
Vann Strasen, 15, Dutchess County
AJ Walker, 10, New York

Opening: J*Company’s “The Pirates of Penzance”

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J*Company Presents “The Pirates of Penzance”
January 16 – 25, 2015

Pirate King: Cameron Chang
Samuel: Anton Mabey
Frederic: Jonas McMullen
Ruth: Adira Rosen
Edith: Chloe Canler
Kate: Madison Wright
Isabel: Cassie Bleher
Mabel: Evelyn Sparks
Major-General: Collin Seaman
Police Sergeant: Ian Laughbaum
Josh Alper
Maxim Bregman
Eli Chang
Ilan Danial
Caroline Egler
Riley Hull
Jonas Jacobs
Jackson Kampf
Levi Katriel
Sean MacDonald
Drew McMullen
Maital Meltzer
Haley Ruffner
Clarise Seaman
Josh Youmans
Zenovia Baluta
Romi Bendet
Liora Berg
Zoe Carnot
Natalie Chowaiki
Charlotte Dumbrell
Zoe Goldstein
Moira Hall
Emma Kirsch
Arianna Mochalkin
Biannca Mochalkin
Eliana Nahl
Leslie Rostenberg
Bar Sagiv
Brigid Searight
Ella Serrano
Ella Shreiner
Alissa Widdecke
Police (Dance Cast):
Audrey Brewster
Elizabeth Brewster
Fiona Danial
Rochelle Fradkin
Aiden Ideker
Mikel Lemoine
Ariella Markus
Jessie McConville
Max McConville
Lindsay Newland
Isabelle Pizzurro
Erica Ramirez
Emma Spencer
Adriana Taranto
Frederic u/s: Drew McMullen
Mabel u/s: Madison Wright
Pirate King u/s: Ian Laughbaum
Major General u/s: Riley Hull
Ruth u/s: Cassie Bleher
Samuel u/s: Jonas Jacobs
Edith u/s: Zoe Goldstein
Kate u/s: Ella Serrano
Isabel u/s: Emma Kirsch
Police Sergeant u/s: Lindsay Newland
Daughter Dance Captain: Ella Shreiner
Pirate Dance Captain: Haley Ruffner
Police Dance Captain: Jessie McConville


Opening: Spotlight Youth Theatre’s “RENT”

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Spotlight Youth Theatre Presents “RENT”
January 16 – February 1, 2015

Mark: Jeremy Yampolsky
Roger: Trey DeGroodt
Mimi: Mariella DeAngelis
Benny: John Batchan
Maureen: Carly Grossman
Joanne: Ali Whitwell
Collins: Michael Schulz
Angel: Alex Acosta
Payton Bioletto
Carly Makani Copp
Marley DeGroodt
Ally Landsdowne
Phoenix Briggs
Brandon Reyes
Eddie Tellez
Maggie Waller

Director: Kenny Grossman
Music Director: Mark 4Man
Choreographer: Lynzee 4Man

Opening: Theater Works Presents “13 the Musical”

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Day turns, today turns, today turns, today…

Peoria, Arizona (January 8, 2015) Theater Works at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts (PCPA) announces the opening of 13 THE MUSICAL Friday, January 16th running through Sunday, February 1st.

Soon to be produced for the big screen by CBS Films, 13 is a musical for teens of all ages, with an unforgettable score by TONY Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown.

We meet Evan Goldman as he tries to find his place in the world, navigating his parents’ divorce, his impending Bar Mitzvah, and the social hierarchy of a new school in a new town. Gradually, he comes to the conclusions that “cool” can be found where we least expect it, and that finding our place in the grand scheme of things is part of the journey to adulthood.

YouthWorks boasts an astonishing young cast, headlined by Sam Primack, who appeared as Pugsley Addams on the national tour of The Addams Family.

The production is directed by Johanna Carlisle, who most recently scored a smashing success as Miss Andrew in Phoenix Theatre’s acclaimed production of Mary Poppins, and musically directed by Mark 4Man, whose credits include several prominent Valley theaters.

Evan’s Bar Mitzvah symbolizes the moment when we grow beyond the Jock, the Geek, the Wannabe and the Princess and begin to discover who we are.

No matter where you grew up, no matter where you end up, everyone is the new kid in town at some point…and we’re all a little bit 13 inside.

For more information on 13 THE MUSICAL or to purchase tickets, please call the Theater Works Box Office at 623.815.7930 Monday – Friday 10am to 4pm or visit

Theater Works, at Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, is in its 29th season of providing exceptional theater to the West Valley.  As a destination, it features more than 200 events a year including: live theater, classical concerts, jazz, popular music, dance, comedy, cultural events, festivals, youth and adult education classes and much more.  Theater Works is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  For more information, call the box office at 623.815.7930 or visit

Evan- Sam Primack
Archie-Emilio Cress
Brett-Jacob Herrera
Patrice-Olivia Watters
Lucy-Addison Bowman
Kendra-Gabby Vatistas
Cassie-Alex Kirby
Charlotte/Dance Captain-Jasmine Bassham
Molly-Jessica Dolyniuk
Richie-Christian Bader
Malcolm-Sam Brown
Eddie-Henry Brown
Simon-Charlie Siegal
Head Rabbi/Ensemble- Ethan Shanker

Kayla Stillman- featured dancer
Alyssa Armstong- featured dancer
Sarah Pansing– featured dancer
Katie Calderon- featured dancer
Denim Glasheen
AJ Paulubinskas
Sara Matin
Carly Jacobs
Abby Prusinski
Ali Giordano
Autumn Froitland
Maggie Mcneil
Kayla Dobbs
Noa Gauthier

Photo credit: Moran Imaging


NYA Review of MTA’s “The Diary of Anne Frank”

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Full Review:

The Diary of Anne Frank
by Musical Theatre of Anthem


“For someone like me, it is a very strange habit to write in a diary. Not only that I have never written before, but it strikes me that later neither I, nor anyone else, will care for the outpouring of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl.”

For two years they lived in hiding from the Nazis, careful not to make a sound during the day when employees worked below them. One noise, one cough, one slip could give them all away. And that would mean being taken to the concentration camps, of which they’d already begun hearing about the deaths and the gas used to kill so many of their friends. Written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and further adapted by Wendy Kesselman, this show is a powerful stage adaptation of the diary kept by Anne Frank – a young teenage girl who in her fear found some solace in her writing, dreamt of being an author who would be useful and remembered after her death, and who, in spite of everything, managed to believe that people were really good at heart.


Musical Theatre of Anthem staged a most powerful production of this show under the direction ofLaura O’Meara with a talent-filled ensemble who make this historical event feel all too real and present from the opening moments of the show. It begins while the audience is still being seated, with their outside helpers Miep Gies (Jessica Kishbaugh) and Mr. Kraler (Andre Akcelik) making multiple trips into the hidden annex as they quietly load in the few supplies the families will need. When the lights go down there’s the sound of the rain outside, and then the Frank family silently walk into what will be their home for the coming years, their sadness and fear palpable as they slowly take stock of their new world and what it means. It’s a world that the performers all stayed in overnight during rehearsals, that they’ll stay in silently during intermission just as they live when the office personnel work below them during the days, and where they won’t leave until the show’s end when they are led out by the Nazis and never return.

Zoe Tanton is an amazing Anne Frank, finding a way to break the tension as Anne did for her family with her infectious humor, optimism, and playful teasing, determined to still live and find laughter, struggling to control her sharp tongue as she grows through her teenage years, exploring romance with Peter, and facing the moments of fear. Her eyes always naturally convey so much whether curled up in happiness, narrowed in anger, or wide with fear. Her monologue when woken by a nightmare of seeing her best friend Hanneli in a concentration camp is devastating. As her mother Edith Frank, Ann Emilie Tjorhom is rivetingly real with a shadow of fear and dread that almost never goes away, her reactions to her husband and her daughters (including Anne preferring her father’s company, and Anne finally being supportive of her), and dealing with the Van Daans are always deeply felt and magnified by her constant dread. You also fear that dread with Ava Tyson as Anne’s older sister Margot, quiet and reserved by nature, and sharing some nice moments with her sister and mother.Nicholas Gearing, the only adult actor in the show, is fantastic as the father, husband, and leader of the group trying to say the right things to keep them all alive. His closing monologue after the war is full of pain, shock, and irretrievable loss.

They share the annex with the Van Daans and Mr. Dussel. Nick McHatton and Emily Spets are great as Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan, Nick as a sometimes frustrated father, husband, and neighbor who nails an unspoken but seen sense of guilt when having to sell his wife’s fur coat as well as the embarrassment when he is caught stealing food. Emily is hilarious with her flirting and awkward frankness, as well as touching with her fear of discovery, hurt at losing her coat, and comforting of her distraught husband. Michael Hoover does a nice job as the awkward Peter who slowly thaws to Anne leading to a humorous first date and later an easy friendship. Jeremy Neiss is the newcomer dentist who adds drama as he tells them of the horrors going on outside the annex and some humor as the gruff and sometimes grumpy dentist dealing with the talkative Anne.

The scene when they are discovered is brilliantly and heartbreakingly performed, from the easy and happy enjoyment of each other’s company and the rare treat of strawberries, to their genuine terror as each reacts to the sudden arrival of the soldiers – the shock, the tearful race to follow barked orders as they rush to grab a couple belongings, and the hopelessness as they desperately try to find any comfort in each other amidst the confusion of the moment and the sense of certainty over their fate.

Performed January 8-11, 2015

Rob Hopper

Executive Director
National Youth Arts