Act 1 Presents The Diary of Anne Frank; Enrichment Events to be Held in Conjunction with the Production

by Roseann Damico Schatkowski | Jan 14, 2014

Center Valley, PA - (January 14, 2014) – Act 1, DeSales University Theatre will open its spring season with the poignant, prize winning drama, “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. The production runs from February 19 through March 2, 2014 on the Main Stage theatre of Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley, PA.

Winner of the 1956 Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and Critics Circle Award, this inspirational story, based on the true writings of a young girl, captures the terrors of one of the darkest periods in human history. Anne Frank uses her diary to document her deepest feelings while hiding for two years in a small attic home during the Nazi occupation. “If the real value of drama lies within its ability to hold a mirror up to life in the hope that it can shape human history, then surely Anne Frank’s writings must be one of the most beautiful and haunting stories in our shared experience,” says John Bell, head of the Division of Performing Arts at DeSales University. “What could be more inspirational than this young girl’s unwavering belief in justice and the power of love?”

The production is directed by associate professor of theatre, Wayne S. Turney, and the expert DeSales design faculty recreates the attic hiding-place with sets by Will Neuert, costumes by Amy Best, and lights by Elizabeth Elliott. Senior design/technical theatre major Elizabeth Nixon serves as stage manager. 

There are two enrichment events schedule in conjunction with the production:

On Sunday, February 9, at 3:00 P.M, Division head John Bell will host a Theatre Tea Talk entitled “Echoes of Anne Frank,” presented by Jessica Cooperman, an Assistant Professor of Religion Studies and Jewish Studies at Muhlenberg College [PHOTO ATTACHED]. The discussion will center around the surprising circumstances behind the publication of the diary, the painstaking process of revision that preceded the stage production, and a consideration of the contexts in which both the book and the play have appeared. Guests will then engage with the continuing debate over the diary’s meaning and the legacy of Anne Frank. Ms. Cooperman teaches widely on topics in Modern Jewish History. Her research explores the impact of Jewish involvement in the American military during World War I and the evolution of religious pluralism in the United States. The cost is $10 per person.

On Sunday, February 23, join chair of theatre Dennis Razze and director of development Deb Walter for Dinner with Dennis & Deb, featuring dinner and a discussion of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Director Wayne Turney will be the guest speaker. A cocktail hour with full bar and a traditional Shabbat dinner will be served as members of the Jewish community demonstrate a beautiful Shabbat to begin and end our time together. The Shabbat dinner and accompanying prayers, held in Jewish homes to celebrate the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, will feature traditional favorites including chicken soup, beef stew, latkes (potato pancakes), kugel (noodles), and Jewish apple cake. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advance notice including Kashrut meals. The cost for the all-inclusive dinner is $32 per person.

Questions concerning these events may be directed to Deb Walter, director of development, at or 610-282-1100 x. 1224.

In an effort to improve accessibility for all patrons, the Saturday, March 1, 8:00 PM performance will feature Open Captioning for patrons who are deaf or hearing impaired and Audio Descriptions for patrons who are blind or visually impaired. During Open Captioned performances, all dialogue and sound effects are presented in real-time on an LED screen that is adjacent to the stage. During Audio Described performances, all action and physical appearances are described live through a headset. Tickets are half price for patrons using these special services on this date. Please call box office manager Dael Jackson at 610-282-3654, ext. 1 for more information.

The Labuda Center is fully accessible and equipped with a listening enhancement system. Special seating is available for our patrons using wheelchairs or requiring other assistance. Please inform the box office of your needs when ordering tickets.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” runs February 19 through March 2, 2014 on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, Center Valley, PA. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM. A talk back with the director and cast is scheduled for Sunday, February 23 following the 2:00 PM performance.

Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and $24 for adults and $22 for students and seniors on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Group discounts are available for all performances.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Act 1 box office at 610.282.3192 or by visiting

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Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
610.282.1100 x1219

DeSales University
2255 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034