‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ opens at Ocean State Theatre on March 26
Ocean State Theatre Company (OSTC), currently celebrating its first full season in its new state-of-the-art theatre in Warwick, will present the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play “The Diary of Anne Frank” from March 26 through April 13.
Through the diary entries of 13-year-old Anne Frank, “The Diary of Anne Frank” tells the story of a Jewish family forced into hiding in an effort to avoid Nazi persecution during World War II. Isolated from the outside world, her family and three others lived in constant fear of being discovered. They remained hidden for two years and one month until their betrayal, which resulted in their deportation to Nazi concentration camps. After the war, the pages of Anne’s diary were discovered on the floor of the annex where the family had been hiding. This moving, true story, from one of the darkest periods in history, is a testament to the human spirit and classic theatre not to be missed.
Directed by producing artistic director Amiee Turner, who returns to the helm after directing this season’s productions of “Les Misérables” and “Lombardi,” the cast includes Cranston resident and LaSalle Academy student, Olivia Gesualdi, who will be making her Ocean State Theatre Company debut in the title role of Anne Frank. Mark S. Cartier of West Bridgewater, Mass., who has appeared in OSTC productions of “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Fools,” will portray the role of Mr. Frank, with Karen Gail Kessler of Barrington making her OSTC stage debut as Mrs. Frank. Margot Frank, Anne’s older sister, will be played by West Greenwich resident Alexandra Fortin. Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan will be portrayed by New York actor Ethan Paulini and Bristol native Elise Arsenault, with their son, Peter, being played by Warwick resident Brian Roque. Tommy Labanaris of Coventry, who was recently seen as Ira in “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” and previously as Marius in “Les Misérables,” will portray Mr. Dussell and Sarah Pierce of North Kingstown, who played Enid in last summer’s production of “Legally Blonde,” and Rudy Sanda of Cranston will play the “protectors,” Miep and Mr. Kraler.
Previews are scheduled for Wednesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, March 27 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. All other performances will be held Wednesday (except April 2) through Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Thursdays (except April 10), Saturdays at 2 p.m. (except April 12) and Sundays at 2 p.m. Several student matinees, supported in part by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, have been scheduled throughout the run. Interested educators should call 921-1777 x112 for availability.
Conducting Conversations Live!, a free post-show discussion hosted by WCRI’s Mike Maino, will follow the 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, March 30. The new post show Piano Bar Series will continue and will be held following Friday and Saturday evening performances (beginning at approximately 10:15 p.m.) in the theatre’s lobby on April 4, 5, 11 and 12.
The theatre is located at 1245 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick. Tickets are $30 for preview performances and $34-$49 for all other performances. Discount rates for groups of 20 or more are available by calling 921-1777 x112. $25 “Rush” tickets are available on a limited basis one hour prior to curtain on the day of the performance. Tickets are on sale at the box office Monday through Friday from 12 noon-6 p.m., Saturdays from 12 noon-4 p.m. and from 12 noon until curtain time on performance days. Tickets are also available online 24 hours a day at www.OceanStateTheatre.org and via telephone during normal box office hours by calling 921-6800.