Pennington Players Bring Classic to Kelsey: THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

by Patricia Bradford

The Pennington Players are bringing the classic play, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, to the stage of Kelsey Theatre. Performances are March 11, 12, 18, 19, 2016 at 8:00 pm and March 13 & 20, 2016, at 2:00 pm. Kelsey Theatre is located on the Mercer County Community College West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on March 11. There will be a special talk back session with the cast and crew held after the 8 pm performance on Friday, March 18.

A story ingrained in world history, it’s easy to forget that THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK developed out of the personal journal of a young girl learning to become a woman in 1940s war-torn Amsterdam. Written while she, her family, and four others hid from the Nazis, Anne Frank’s diary has prevailed for generations as a tribute to the human spirit. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the Tony and Critics Circle Awards for best play, The Diary of Anne Frank was adapted for the stage by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett from the book Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, edited by Otto Frank. Wendy Kesselman provided a new adaptation of the Goodrich and Hackett play in 1997.

The haunting and beautiful stories recorded in Anne Frank’s remarkable diary have become a significant tool for understanding one of the darkest periods of our history. A testament to the human spirit and its young author’s “boundless desire for all that is beautiful and good,” the play illuminates Anne’s unwavering belief in justice and love while in hiding for more than two years during World War II. This moving, true story is essential viewing for every generation.

“THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK is a great testament to living in the present,” shared Judi Parrish, the play’s director. “It is set in one of history’s darkest time periods, but out of that comes incredible light and hope from the strength of Anne’s spirit. Just imagine the books and commentaries Anne Frank might have written had she survived! Anne’s diary has as much meaning for us today and it did when it was first written. We should not forget the past, it informs the present and guides the future! This is a story we are honored to tell.”

Leading the cast as the inimitable “Anne” is Isabel Kinney of Cranbury. Isabel was last seen on the Kelsey stage in 2013 as Helen Keller in the Pennington Players’ production of THE MIRACLE WORKER, which was also directed by Judi Parrish. Completing the Frank family are Jack Bathke of Robbinsville, as Otto Frank; Sara Thier of Newtown, PA, as Edith Frank; and Gabrielle Cody of Lawrenceville, as Margot Frank. The others hiding in the attic are Paul Cohen of Newtown, PA, as Hermann Van Daan; Alana Caraccio of Doylestown, PA, as Petronella Van Daan; Evan Braasch of Bordentown as Peter Van Daan; and Matthew Cassidy of Morrisville, PA, as Albert Dussel. The protectors of those in hiding are the kindly Miep Gies who saved Anne’s diary, played by Kyla Mostello Donnelly of Levittown, PA; and Mr. Kraler, played by Sheldon Zeff of Newtown, PA.

In addition to director Judi Parrish of West Trenton, the production team includes Sally Page of Princeton as producer and costumer; lighting designer M. Kitty Getlik of Hamilton; properties by Dottie Farina of Hamilton; with Vicki Kaiser of Cranbury as the stage manager. Set and sound design are also by Judi Parrish.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children. Tickets are available online,, or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

Theater: Pennington Players at Kelsey Theatre
Theater Website:
Show runs: 03/11/2016 to 03/20/2016

Theater Address: 1200 Old Trenton Road West Windsor Township, New Jersey 08550 (Map It)
Theater Phone: (609) 570-3333
Theater Amenities: Wheelchair Accessible, Heated/Air Conditioned, Parking Lot

Price: $18, $16, $14
Purchase tickets online:

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