JACKSON TWP. The story of Anne Frank is of a young girl coming of age during the Holocaust and the struggles of her family and friends as they hide during the occupation of the Netherlands.
Frank is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust after she documented her life in hiding from 1942-1944 in her diary, which was later published as "The Diary of a Young Girl."
The Jackson School for the Performing Arts (JSA) at Jackson High School performed the play, "The Diary of Anne Frank" to audiences on April 7, 8 and 9. The play was an adaption by Wendy Kesselman and based on the original play by Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett and presented through special arrangements with Samuel French.
"I ask my junior class every year to recommend a play for the following year the juniors last year overwhelming proposed the Anne Frank play," said Stefanie Fatzinger, director and theater teacher with JSA. "We wanted to do a play where we could include the middle school students and one that represents history. Students study the Holocaust in the middle school and World War II is studied in American History, so this play fit our requirements."
There were 13 students in the production and a few more performing in student-directed moments in the high school's commons area before the play started and during intermission. The moments were created to illustrate some of the experiences that occurred during the Nazi regime.
The Commons area was also filled with projects about the Holocaust created by the Jackson Memorial Middle School students. Seventh-grade language arts teachers Ramey Mason, Nancy Marcus and Ashley Rosen asked their students to create models using at least four elements of symbolism.
"Students are using technology, clay models, posters and much more to represent what they’ve learned through our studies of the Holocaust," said Mason.
One group of students had a newspaper and other items from the era. Visitors stopped and talked to the students about their projects and what they have learned about the Holocaust before "The Diary of Anne Frank" play started.
"This is very mature material for any student and all of the students in this production have handled it with grace and maturity. The most productive parts of this production have been the development of tolerance and an appreciation of diversity," said Fatzinger.