Production begins tonight in school's small theater

Audiences have come to associate the David Douglas High School Theater Department with great productions of larger-than-life musicals and broad comedies. But their winter show this year, 'The Diary of Anne Frank,' is thought provoking, presented in their intimate theater.

'This is the first major show we've done in our Small Box Theatre downstairs for 10 years,' director Judy LeCoq says. 'In this theater, the 74 audience members sit up-close to the actors. It's almost like you're right there, with the Frank family, as they hide from the Nazis in an attic during the World War II Holocaust.'

About the story

'The Diary of Anne Frank' is drawn from a 13-year-old girl's diary she started writing in 1942. She, her family and four other people went into hiding in sealed-off upper rooms of her father's office building in Amsterdam. Her father's trusted colleagues helped them remain hidden for two years and one month - until their betrayal.

'It's about Anne's desire to live beyond her situation as a normal teenager,' says LeCoq about the story. 'Anne has been recognized as a tremendous writer. And, this newly-adapted version of an award-winning play reveals the stress of confinement, awkward teenage relationships and the tension and fear of betrayal.'

Members of Mark Taylor's Theater Arts class constructed a stark, realistic set and created a moody lighting design that focuses attention on the 12 cast members. A student crew of three runs the lighting and sound system and provides stage management.

'It's not intended for a very young audience because it's dark material,' LeCoq says. 'It's appropriate for young people aged nine and above; the book is required reading for most middle-school students.'

Two weeks only

David Douglas High School Thespians production of 'The Diary of Anne Frank' plays tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tomorrow, March 9, the show plays a special, 2:30 p.m. matinee performance.

The show also runs next weekend with evening shows on March 13, 14 and 15.

The high schools' Small Box Theater is located on the lower level of the Howard Horner Performing Arts Center, 1400 S.E. 130th Ave., Portland, 97233. This theater is handicapped accessible.

Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. For ticket information, call the David Douglas Box Office at 503-261-8270.

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