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The Diary of Anne Frank

Adapted by Wendy Kesselman, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
~Anne Frank

Anne Frank was a real girl who was concealed in an Amsterdam storage attic with seven other people to evade the Nazis. Each day she would reflect on her harrowing ordeal in her journal. What emerged was a living, poetic, and often gently humorous portrait of childhood in the throes of a crisis. Witness her story live onstage.

  • Run Dates Feb 28 - Mar 15, 2020
  • Appropriate Ages 8+
  • Duration 1 hour, 45 minutes without an intermission
  • Ticket Price Single Tickets on sale August 1, 2017

Show Sponsors

In an effort to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus,
The Rose Theater has decided to cancel all theatrical performances and classes, effective Friday, March 13 through Thursday, March 26.

There will be no additional performances of The Diary of Anne Frank originally scheduled for this weekend.

Although the building is closed to the public, Rose Box Office representatives will be available to take calls throughout the weekend of March 14. Please call (402) 345-4849 or e-mail with questions about cancellations.

Click here for more information.

Show Partners

Show Program

Cast & Credits


  • Anne Frank – Sophie Williams
  • Margot Frank – Belle Rangel
  • Edith Frank – Dani Cleveland
  • Otto Frank – Wai Yim*
  • Peter van Daan – Otto Fox
  • Mrs. van Daan – Kim Clark-Kaczmarek
  • Mr. van Daan – Kevin Ehrhart
  • Mr. Dussel – Raydell Cordell III
  • Mr. Kraler/Officer – Brian Guehring
  • Miep Gies/Officer – Myeisha Essex
  • Officer – Jesse Groff
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers
in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.

Artistic/Production Credits

  • Director – Rachel Grossman
  • Assistant Director – Katherine MacHolmes
  • Scenic Design Inspired By Jamie Bullins
  • Lighting Designer – Bailee Boisclair
  • Sound Designer/Engineer – Christy Hernandez
  • Projection Designer – Sean Preston
  • Costume/Hair/Makeup Designer – Zach Kloppenborg
  • Props Designer – Devon Denn-Young
  • Production Stage Manager – Kira Sheffer
  • Director of Production – Erin M. Solemsaas
  • Technical Director – Hunter Andrews
  • Scenic Charge Artist – Savannah Savick
  • Master Carpenter – Jackson Curtright
  • Projection Programmer – Brittany Merenda
  • Resident Costume Designer – Sherri Geerdes
  • Resident Stage Manager – Lisa Krabbenhoft
  • Lighting & Projections Supervisor – Matt Benes
  • Scenic Apprentice – Megan Bolander
  • Run Crew –  Jesse Groff
  • Stitchers – Sherri Geerdes, Zach Kloppenborg, Audio Helkuik, Jill Maenner
Sophie Williams

Sophie Williams

Anne Frank -
Sophie is incredibly excited to play Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank. Sophie is currently a senior at Mercy High School. This is her 5th main stage show at the Rose. The other shows she’s been in include, Peter and the Starcatcher(2015), Madagascar: A Musical Adventure (2017), Newsies (2018), and Goosebumps Phantom of the Auditorium as Tina Powell (2018). Sophie has also been a member of the award winning Rose Brigade since 2014. She is currently a senior intern at the Rose Theater.

Belle Rangel

Belle Rangel

Margot Frank -
Belle Rangel is delighted to return to the Rose Theatre where she has previously performed in the world premiere of PRANCER (Nita) and in SHREK THE MUSICAL (Pig, Duloc Performer). Additional favorite credits include ANNIE (Boylan Sister, Adult Ensemble), SHREK THE MUSICAL (Fairy Godmother, Duloc Performer, Rat), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, (Dancing Napkin, Wolf, Adult Ensemble) with OMAHA COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE, WESTSIDE STORY (Teresita) with SNAP! PRODUCTIONS, and MEDEA (Jason and Medea’s son) with UNL JOHNNY CARSON SCHOOL OF FILM. Belle is a Sophomore at Gretna High School where she competes with Evolution Showchoir, One Act and Speech Team. She is a member of Thespian Troupe 125, Spanish Club and Gay Straight Alliance Club.

Dani Cleveland

Dani Cleveland

Edith Frank -
Dani Cleveland is a singer/songwriter who loves to be onstage. She has done various stage plays at various theaters & churches across the Metro Area. Some of which include The Wiz, For Colored Girls, Caroline Or Change & Bourbon At The Border. She has also written scripts for the Resurrection productions at her home church of Salem Baptist where she serves on the Music & Fine Arts Council. She has sung with numerous bands over the years including The Last Few, & The Chad Stoner Band. Music & Art speak to her in a special way. She loves creative expression. Dani is thankful for this remarkable opportunity to be a part of this show at The Rose Theater.

Wai Yim

Wai Yim

Otto Frank -
Rose credits: James and the Giant Peach, Narnia, and Frederick. A proud member of Actors' Equity. Chicago credits: Postnation, King of the Yees, The King of Hell's Palace (Goodman Theatre), Chimerica (TimeLine Theatre). He has also worked with Lookingglass Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater, and Silk Road Rising.
Regional credits: The White Snake directed by Mary Zimmerman (Goodman Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, McCarter Theatre, WuZhen Theatre Festival in China), Nomad Motel (Horizon Theatre), The Oldest Boy (Unicorn Theatre), Taming of the Shrew, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Antony and Cleopatra (Nebraska Shakespeare Festival), A Christmas Carol (Nebraska Theatre Caravan). TV credits: Chicago PD (NBC), neXt (Fox), Patriot (Amazon) and The Chi (Showtime). Social Media: @whyyim. YouTube: On The Cusp Tarot.

Otto Fox

Otto Fox

Peter van Daan -
This is Otto's first time performing in a Rose Theater mainstage show, and what an impression it has made! in addition to Peter Van Daan, Otto has also played in the Ensemble of Omaha Community Playhouse's Annie, Bellevue Little Theatre's Cheaper by the Dozen as Frank and the ensemble of She Loves Me, and Chanticleer's Bye Bye Birdie as Mr. MacAfee. Otto would also like to thank the director for the opportunity to participate in such an important and moving show, and to thank his father for driving him everywhere.

Kim Clark-Kaczmarek

Kim Clark-Kaczmarek

Mrs. van Daan -
Kim is excited to be back on the Rose stage to play Mrs. Van Daan. Previous shows at the Rose include, Winnie the Pooh, Curious George, The Meaning of Maggie, Babe: The Sheep Pig, Prancer, Jackie and Me and two National Tours. Kim possesses a B.S. in Theatre from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts in Theatre from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She has been very active in the metro area working as an actor, director and teaching artist for the past 20 + years. Kim is the Director of Programming for Arts in Motion, an acting instructor for SNJ studios and a Teaching Artist for the Nebraska Arts Council’s Artists in Schools program. She is most proud to share her love of the arts with her family, Anthony and Stella, who have also made appearances on the Rose stage!

Kevin Ehrhart

Kevin Ehrhart

Mr. van Daan -
Kevin Ehrhart has been a member of the Omaha Theater Company staff since 1989 as a Director/Actor/Instructor and Chief Technology Officer. While at the Theater, he has directed mainstage, studio theater and national touring productions. His directing credits include Charlotte’s Web, Treasure Island, Old Yeller, The Giver, A Year in The Life of Frog and Toad and Pinkalicious. Recently, Kevin directed – Sherlock Holmes and First Baker Street Irregular and The Cat in the Hat. Kevin’s acting credits include George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Cat in the Hat in Seussical and George in George and Martha. As an instructor, Kevin teaches Acting Technique classes for BROADWAY at the Rose and DRAMA at the Rose classes on Saturday mornings.

Raydell Cordell III

Raydell Cordell III

Mr. Dussel -
No stranger to the Rose, Raydell was last seen on the Rose stage as the Dragon in The Reluctant Dragon. Born and raised in Omaha, Raydell is PROUD to be called a Rose Kid since he grew up here in this theater. Raydell took summer classes, was part of the Teens 'N' Theater program, a High School Intern and worked in the box office. Raydell graduated from Omaha North and earned his BA in Theatre from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Raydell has been in numerous productions throughout the community and some of his favorite and recent shows would include: Red Summer and A Die Hard Christmas at the Blue Barn Theater, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Nebraska Shakespeare Fall Education Tour, Stupid F’in Bird and To Kill a Mockingbird (both productions he received an OEA Award for Best Supporting Actor) at the Omaha Community Playhouse. In addition, Raydell had the privilege to travel to London and participated in workshops with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Raydell currently works for Westside Community Schools at Loveland Elementary here in Omaha. He would like to thank everyone who has supported him: family, friends and the theatre community here in Omaha!

Brian Guehring

Brian Guehring

Mr. Kraler/Officer -
Brian has been a member of the acting company at The Rose for 22 years. He has recently has been seen on our stage as Rabbit/Owl in Winnie the Pooh, Skipper the Penguin in Madagascar, and Lord Farquaad in Shrek. Brian is also the Playwright in Residence and Education Director of the Omaha Theater Company. Brian’s recent scripts for the Rose have included the award winning Sherlock Holmes and the First Baker Street Irregular, The Mysterious Case Files of Silver Cash Money Detective (school tour) The Grocer’s Goblin and The Little Mermaid, and the upcoming Popularity Coach. He earned his MFA in theater for young audiences from University of Texas at Austin and his BA in theater from Duke University. Brian is previously served on the national board of directors of Theater for Young Audiences/USA. Brian teaches drama classes on Saturdays, after school and all summer.

Myeisha Essex

Myeisha Essex

Miep Gies/Officer -
Myeisha Essex is delighted to be making her Rose Theater debut! Her credits include, To Kill A Mockingbird, with the Lincoln Community Playhouse and Anatomy of Gray with the Haymarket Theater. Myeisha also recently contributed to independent films; Free and Eternal Night of the Dead. She has taken classes at the Theater Lab in D.C. and is currently training at the 402 Arts Collective. Her day job is Eureka! Coordinator for Girls Inc. of Lincoln encouraging girls to "take up space and be valiant."

"It's not about what you have's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. Its about what you've given back."-Denzel Washington

Katherine MacHolmes

Katherine MacHolmes

Assistant Director -
Katherine MacHolmes is ecstatic to return The Rose for the first time in fifteen years, first as a Pride Player and now as the Assistant Director for this Production. As a community activist and diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-oppression trainer, Katherine is thrilled to combine her passions in theatre and the production process with her advocacy practice. Recent credits include staged readings at the Omaha Community Playhouse and The Union for Contemporary Arts.

Rachel Grossman

Rachel Grossman

Director -
Rachel Grossman (she/her) is honored to collaborate with this talented team for her first production at The Rose. Rachel's a director, devised theatre artist, collaborative playwright, and performer. In the last twenty years she's co-created and directed plays with children, teens, and senior citizens, as well as artists who are Deaf and DeafBlind. Rachel is a co-founder of dog & pony dc, a hearing and Deaf theatre ensemble, with whom she devised ~20 new plays and interactive experiences. Included in this are locally-resonant productions of BEERTOWN, which she adapted and directed with theatres in Omaha, Cincinnati, Raleigh, and San Diego. Rachel's currently co-writing a trilogy of TYA plays about how two friends navigate racism in kindergarten, 4th, and 7th grades. Up next: directing SHE KILLS MONSTERS with University of Maryland College Park in April 2020. Rachel lives in Washington, DC where she also teaches yoga asana.

Show Photos

Interview with Dani Cleveland (Edith Frank)

Interview with Wai Yim (Otto Frank)

Interview with Rachel Grossman (Director)

Dramatic Pause: A Rose Theater Podcast

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Listen on Google Play Music

A message from the show creators

From Rose Artistic Director Matthew Gutschick

The Diary of Anne Frank is a story that not only shines a light on a tragic time in our history, but also inspires as it showcases the resiliency of the human spirit. It also reminds us that there is still a great amount of work to achieve.

There is a need for dialogue about this show, which is absolutely what we believe Anne would intend. Our hope is to engage with those who seek mutual understanding. We most want the spirit of Anne Frank and her diary to begin to reverberate in our lives as contemporary members of this community in 2020. We have framed this production of The Diary of Anne Frank in a way that we feel will resonate with modern audiences, allowing everyone to see themselves represented in this important historic piece.

You will see on stage actors of different cultures, ethnicities, races and experiences. We believe that this diversity enhances and enriches the overall performance.

We are grateful to the Institute For Holocaust Education for partnering with us on this project. The IHE’s director recently shared the following resource with us, and I found it to be incredibly helpful in furthering my own understanding of our team’s approach to the material. It makes clear that the diary has been run through so many universalizing lenses over the course of its existence (including the cornerstone dramatic adaptation having been created by two non-Jewish playwrights), that the ideals to which her father, Otto Frank, wished the text to speak to were about humanism:

From The Diary of Anne Frank Director Rachel Grossman

Working on The Diary of Anne Frank is a tremendous honor, one that I do not take lightly. It terrifies me and delights me, saddens me to my core and strengthens my convictions. You’ve entrusted me a special story that’s carried deep personal meaning to so many for 65+years.  You’ve entrusted me with a specific story of human devastation, destruction, cruelty, death, survival, and, thank goodness, hope. You’ve entrusted me with a uniquely Jewish story about anti-semitism and persecution of the Jewish people under Hitler and the Nazis. You’ve entrusted me to engage audiences in learning and dialogue around the rise of systems of racism and oppression in Nazi Germany (Hitler’s campaign to “purify” Germany and the whole of Europe); yes, ableism, ethnicism, heterosexism, etc. were a part of Hitler’s campaign but it was pointedly targeted at Jewish people, mostly Ashkenazi Jews living in Europe at that time. You’ve entrusted me to tell the story of Anne Frank, to predominantly youth audiences, in Omaha, NE in 2020.

And so, this is the story we will be telling.

We will be telling the story of Anne Frank, a Jewish teen, forced into hiding for near 26-months with seven other Jewish people because their identity was made illegal in their home country and then their adopted country. It is a story of anti-semitism and the Holocaust. That’s what will be on stage.

The story of Anne Frank occurred an ocean away and 74 years ago. Why do we tell this story now?

  • instruct in the conditions that led to the Holocaust (which in/of itself specifically teaches anti-semitism)
  • promote cross-cultural empathy and understanding between all social groups
  • combat bystanderism by supporting activism

In the United States today I’m seeing a rise in overt anti-Semitism along with a rise in overt racism, sexism, genderism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. As a Jewish person, a theatre artist, an activist, a history lover,  and a one-time aspiring political scientist: it would be irresponsible to direct this play without contextualizing the production in contemporary U.S. events for our specific general audience. At The Rose Theater that audience is predominantly a youth or adolescent audience, from a range of racial and ethic backgrounds.

How can we teach that audience the specific story of Anne Frank and activate them as a result to apply that knowledge in their daily actions? That’s my job with The Rose. How can we use this story of a young girl, the audience’s age, who was living in the most terrible extreme circumstances her people have experienced, and yet managed to quite literally discover the power of her voice?  Studies and research show that to relate, to connect, we must see ourselves—see ourselves in stories about other people, places, and times. This is why, of course, it is of import to me to tell Anne Frank’s story with a cast of many different looking people, to have the costuming be vivid colors and not sepia toned, to have the set up close to the audience, to have entrances and exists from the audience, to have contemporary youth characters bookend the play. It’s all an invitation into the investigation and self-reflection of how a specific story about a Jewish girl experiencing anti-semitism in Holland in the 1940s can be about each of us in Omaha in 2020.