By Lisa Gauthier Mitchison
The 15th annual IndyFringe Festival continues into its second week, including the offering from Carmel High School, “And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank.” The play combines the Holocaust stories of Anne Frank, who died in a concentration camp, and survivors Ed Silverberg and Eva Schloss.
Maggie Cassidy, a theater teacher at CHS, is play’s director. She has been a part of IndyFringe for 14 years. The plays are staged at IndyFringe Basil Theatre, 719 E. St. Clair St., Indianapolis.
“I love to direct Fringe plays because they are intimate and artistic,” she said. “It isn’t about glitz and glamour. It is about true and beautiful storytelling. The story of the Holocaust is one that should continue to be told. I love to do plays based on historic events/true stories. I love to research that event, time period and its people.
“I thought this play was beautiful and heart-wrenching. The play is a combination of two real survivors sharing their stories on video and actors recreating the events on stage.”
The actors are CHS seniors and juniors and one sophomore.
“I think it is a wonderful experience for the students,” Cassidy said “They get a chance to perform for a wider audience. We cast the show at the end of the 2018–2019 school year but have only been in rehearsal for three weeks. I think it gives them a truer experience of what professional theater is like. It gives the kids and the theater program at CHS really great exposure.
“We often do something heavy, almost always a drama, almost always something based on real events, always a small cast, and almost always something that provides a message for the audience. I think that we must often remind our young people and our audience about the events that took place under Hitler in World War II. Survivor Eva Schloss says, ‘I fear greatly that the lessons of the past will be forgotten, if only because we all tend to push aside what is unpleasant. Therefore, it seems to me very important that the surviving witnesses should continue to testify.’”
The show began Aug. 16 and has three performances remaining, Aug. 20, 24, and 25. For tickets, visit indyfringe.org.