by Jessica Wolfe
edited by Shannon Slater
Two hundred and forty-five people turned up to watch Project Shakespeare’s performance of “The Diary of Anny Frank,” a possible record for the company.
Every chair was taken and some students even sat on the floor or stood for the entire play.
The play was very minimal in design, with few props and decorations. It ran for about one hour. There were 14 youth actors ranging in age from 11 to 18, all of whom are local to the Monadnock region. The play was in preparation for only one week before its debut.
Katie Whitaker, 16, was the stage manager for the play. “The process—not the show—is the hardest part. The buck stops with me. If anybody has a question, I need to know the answer. It’s a lot of stress, but the ending—being able to watch all the work put into the show—makes it all worth it,” she said.
Whitaker added that the Franklin Pierce University theater is one of the nicest places Project Shakespeare has worked and hopes to return in the future.
Deborah Shakespeare Thurber, who founded Project Shakespeare and directed the play, was very pleased with the turnout and her actors’ performances.
She hoped that the audience would take away some important lessons from the play. “Maybe they’ll [the audience] take, ‘I am in a divided world now, I need to do something.’ Maybe they’ll stop sitting on the sidelines and do something,” said Thurber.
Thurber hopes to bring Project Shakespeare, which is a local company based in Jaffrey, NH, back to FPU in the future. “I’d like to integrate Project Shakespeare with FPU students,” she said.
The play received a standing ovation.