Musical company

Academic Theater and Dance Company presents “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Friday, April 22 through Sunday, April 24 at the Kelsey Theater at Mercer County Community College

West Windsor, New Jersey Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) Academic Theater and Dance Company is pleased to present “The Diary of Anne Frank” April 22-24 at the Kelsey Theater located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A gala and special evening performance will be held Saturday, April 23 at 8:30 p.m. to benefit the Mercer County Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Center.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is the true story of two families forced to hide from the world in an attic as the horrors of war rage around them. This transcendentally powerful new adaptation by Wendy Kesselman of the original play by Goodrich and Hackett blends stories of survivors and newly unearthed writings from Anne Frank’s diary to create a passionate contemporary story of those persecuted under the Nazi regime.

MCCC’s Theater Program Producer and Coordinator, Professor Jody Gazenbeek-Person, described the significance of the Anne Frank story.

“Even after 75 years, the story of Anne Frank still resonates and has so much to teach us all,” he said. “This production – with a beautiful and amazing multiracial and diverse cast – shows how we can truly live together to create a better world. That’s the whole idea behind the production – to band together and do something beautiful.

Stage manager Bria Jayden Moscetti, a second-year music technology student at MCCC, commented: “Our production of the Anne Frank story provides a refreshing yet very real message that we are all human.

Kyle Bethea, a sophomore at MCCC who recently researched the parallels between African Americans and people of Jewish descent, was assigned the research for the show’s casting.

“Although the play is about the Holocaust and the uprising of Hitler and the Nazis, the Academic Theater and Dance Company felt it was important to have diverse minorities in the cast of The Diary of Anne Frank to add more diversity and inclusion,” Bethea said. “So we added a little twist and we have a Latina playing Anne Frank, a Haitian playing Mr. Dussel, an African American playing Mr. Kraler. I identify as an African-Asian American and play the role of Peter Van Daan.

The show is directed by LouJ Stalsworth and produced by Jody P. Gazenbeek-Person.

The characteristics of the cast Lawrenceville’s Sofia Ines Garcia as Anne Frank; Hamilton’s Shawn Simmons as Mr. Otto Frank; Chloe Asack of Lawrenceville as Mrs. Edith Frank; Lisbeth Burgos of Lawrence Township as Margot Frank; Trenton’s Kyle Bethea as Peter Van Daan; Hamilton’s Cole Chulamanis as Mr. Van Daan; Madeline Fox of Lawrenceville as Mrs. Van Daan; Jackson Jules of Trenton as Mr. Dussel; Hamilton’s Mackenzie Kohlmayer as Meip Gies; and Jabre Miner of Trenton as Mr. Kraler.

The crew includes: Stage manager, Bria Moscetti; Scenography/Costume: Kate Pinner; Set Builder: John Maurer; Historical and Cultural Coach: Shelley Gail Weiss Lightman; Sound designer: Bria Moscetti; Lighting designer: Kitty Getlik; Light technician: Eric Colins; Assistant director: Matthew Ryan Glasberg; Voice actors: Rupert Hinton and Antón Gazenbeek and Props: Madelyn Lichtman.

“The Diary of Anne Frank is an adaptation for a new generation capable of confronting the true horrors of the Holocaust,” Gazenbeek-Person remarked. “Don’t miss it.”

Performance dates

Friday April 22 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 23, 8:30 p.m. (Gala fundraiser and performance to benefit the Mercer County Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Center)
Sunday April 24 at 2 p.m.

Tickets

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for children, students, and seniors. (Tickets cost between $25 and $100 for the Holocaust Center’s special fundraiser at 8 p.m. on April 24.)

Tickets can be purchased online at KelseyTheatre.org or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Tickets can also be ordered directly at https://ci.ovationtix.com/35232. Kelsey Box Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon and Friday 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for phone and in-person purchases, and one hour before show time for purchases in person only. Masks are recommended but not required.

More information about MCCC’s Theatre/Dance program can be found at https://www.mccc.edu/pdf/program-brochure_dancetheatre.pdf.

The Kelsey Theater is located on the MCCC campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road in West Windsor Township. The theater is wheelchair accessible and free parking is available next to the building. Assistive listening devices are available upon request. For a complete listing of events, visit Kelsey’s website at www.KelseyTheatre.org.

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For tickets, please visit kelseytheatre.org, call the box office at 609-570-3333 or order directly at https://ci.ovationtix.com/35232.

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(Left to right) Lawrenceville’s Sofia Ines Garcia as Anne Frank and Lawrence Township’s Lisbeth Burgos as Margot Frank rehearsing for ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ presented by the Academic Theater and Dance Company of Mercer County Community College (MCCC). Performances will take place April 22-24 at the Kelsey Theater on the college’s West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. Tickets can be purchased online at Kelsey.mccc.edu or by visiting the Kelsey Box Office or calling 609-570-3333. (Photo credit: Bria Moscetti)

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Lawrenceville’s Sofia Ines Garcia stars as Anne Frank and Hamilton’s Cole Chulmanis plays Mr. Van Daan. (Photo credit: Bria Moscetti)

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(L to R) Sofia Ines Garcia, Cole Chulamanis, Lisbeth Burgos, Chloe Asack, Madeline Fox. (Photo credit: Bria Moscetti)

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(L to R) Sofia Ines Garcia, Chloe Asack, Lisbeth Burgos, Shawn Simmons, Cole Chulamanis, Jackson Jules, Madeline Fox. (Photo credit: Bria Moscetti)