‘Anne Frank’ story still critical and compelling
Jocelyn Adamski (left), of Oak Park plays Margot Frank in "The Diary of Anne Frank." Elaine Harris ( back to camera), plays Anne Frank. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
‘The Diary of Anne Frank’
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights
9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, April 16-25; 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 20; 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, April 22; and 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 26
$14, $12 for students under 12
(847) 577-2121 or visit www.metropolisarts.com
Updated: April 10, 2012 9:16PM
Some tales need to be retold. “The Diary of Anne Frank” is one of them. That’s why Metropolis Performing Arts Centre is once again staging a play based on the true story of the Frank family, who hid in an attic in Amsterdam, along with several other Jews, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
Jeffrey Rubin of Skokie, who earned an acting degree from Illinois State University in May, plays Mrs. Van Daan’s son Peter in this production. “He’s a loner,” Rubin said. “He doesn’t like anyone. He doesn’t like anything. At the start of the play, he’s very into himself. His only real friend is his cat Mouschi — and he loves that cat.”
Being in hiding is very
difficult for Peter, who
initially only connects with Anne’s father, Rubin indicated. “He’s more a father to me than my actual father,” the actor said. “He has a rough relationship with his father. Peter’s very much a mama’s boy. He’s 16 so he’s trying to sway away from that.”
At first, Peter thinks Anne is “a flake. She’s very curious, very open, very out there. Peter’s very in there and doesn’t want to talk to anybody. As the play goes on, and Peter sees Anne’s reaction to things and views on life, he reaches out to her.”
Rubin read Anne Frank’s diary and has another connection with her life. “After my bar mitzvah in 2000, we took a family trip for two weeks,” he related. They visited the Netherlands, Belgium and Israel. When they were in Amsterdam, the Rubins visited the loft where the Frank family hid for two years.
“It may not be very small to people walking in,” he said. “But I can imagine it would be very small to people living there for two-and-a-half years, day in and day out, and never seeing anyone else.”
It’s important to retell Anne Frank’s story, Rubin said, because, “You don’t want to forget what people are capable of doing.”
Oak Park actor
Anne Frank’s older sister Margot is played by Jocelyn Adamski of Oak Park. “She’s very quiet, shy and reserved,” Adamski said. “She doesn’t have as dynamic a personality as Anne does but she does have a lot of strength within her in a different way. It’s kind of an Old Worldly quiet strength and that’s why Margot connects more with her mother who was of that time where women were supposed to hold everything in and be very composed. I think there’s a lot more to Margot than people believe because she was so shy and quiet.”
Adamski also read “The Diary of Anne Frank” when she was in school and is particularly pleased that Metropolis is staging performances for school groups. “It’s so important for kids to know about the Holocaust and to know about that time,” she explained. “Seeing it as a play, you really get to connect with these people on a deeply human level and it’s so impactful. It’s a very important story. It’s still incredibly relevant today. Hatred still exists and intolerance still exists.”
Adamski, who has a bachelor of fine arts in theater, has been acting since she was seven years old. She has performed extensively and is a company member of both the Janus Theatre in Elgin and Guild Theatre in Des Plaines. “I think it’s important to pass on stories — both fiction and nonfiction,” she said.