Students including Daniel Iredale

Students including Daniel Iredale

Multimedia play about the Holocaust opens Tuesday

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — As this story unfolds on stage, both actors and audience can learn about history — and feel a sense of hope — together.

So believes Kelly Lovall, drama teacher and director of “And Then They Came for Me: Remembering Anne Frank,” the Port Angeles High School-produced multimedia play opening Tuesday.

In “Remembering,” a blend of documentary video and live performance, the stories are told of concentration camp survivors such as Ed Silverberg and Eva Schloss, as well as the stories of their families.

“And Then They Came for Me” takes the stage at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the Port Angeles High School auditorium, 304 E. Park Ave.

Tickets at the door will be $7 for general admission and $6 for students.

Members of the school’s Thespian Society, Lovall’s after-school theater program, have rehearsed this spring production for 10 weeks.

It’s not the usual fare, Lovall and cast member Genna Birch agree.

“At the beginning we were all, ‘Oh no, a play about the Holocaust.’ But once you get into it, you learn a lot of things,” said Birch, 15.

The young actress plays the father of Ed Silverberg in “Remembering.”

Ed was Anne Frank’s first boyfriend, the boy whom she writes about in her diary.

Play-goers will see a videotaped interview with the real Ed, who survived the Holocaust, alongside an on-stage portrayal of him by high school student Jacob Woods.

Eva Schloss, another of Anne’s teenage friends, is likewise on the screen in an interview, and portrayed on the stage by student Hope Chamberlain.

This play, written by James Still, is appropriate for families and children, Lovall said; it has no violence, profanity or graphic images of the Holocaust.

“Remembering” does tell the story, though, of two families who went into hiding from the Nazis, and who were then betrayed and sent to the death camps.

Part oral history, part dramatic action and part direct address, it shows what happened to the survivors after the war ended.

The cast of 20 students — elementary through high school — wanted to stop after about four weeks of preparation, Lovall said.

“I told them: ‘I know this is hard stuff. But if we can do it justice, if we can tell the story right, you can walk away feeling that you have honored these people.”

Lovall’s students discovered plenty about Hitler’s regime, about the people persecuted — not only Jews but also the mentally disabled, Gypsies and gays.

“I wanted to show my students that theater is to awaken our senses, to inform and educate, and to explore the human condition,” Lovall added.

The play “has a message of hope: that we do learn, we do carry on, and we have to guard against this happening again.”

“Remembering” is a look inside the lives of Schloss’ family members: her father Pappy, portrayed by Robert Stephens; her mother Mutti, played by Katherine Methner; and her brother Heinz, played by Justin Bradley.

Other prisoners are played by Christy Fagundes, Mary Dawson, Megan Mundy, Crystal Preston, Madelynne Jones, Charles Krause, Abby Mundy, Faith Chamberlain, Julian Jones, Ashlynn Johnson and Kelly Preston.

There are also SS guards played by Daniel Iredale and Chris Eddleman.

Birch added that “And Then They Came for Me: Remembering Anne Frank,” despite its name, gives a perspective beyond Frank’s famed diary. “It captures you,” she said.

For more information about the play and the Thespian Society, phone 360-565-5703 or visit PortAngelesSchools.org/PAHS.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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