New Anne Frank theater to open

A theater dedicated to the story of Anne Frank is slated to open in Amsterdam ahead of the 70th anniversary of the teenage diarist’s deportation and death.

 The new theater, which is in the final stages of construction, will feature a permanent show titled “ANNE” that was developed at the request of the Basel-based Anne Frank Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1963 by Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank.

The play, which is set to debut in May, will feature a cast of approximately 20 Dutch actors and simultaneous translation into seven languages, according to Ilan Roos of Imagine Nation, the commercial Dutch firm that produced the show and built the new theater.

 The new Theater Amsterdam seats 1,100 people in 4,000 square yards of floor space.

Roos declined to disclose how much money the company has invested in the project. Yves Kugelman of the Anne Frank Foundation said royalties from ticket proceeds, which will sell for $50-$100, will go toward the foundation’s educational work and charity projects.

“The play is the first one which is based on all original documents and writings of Anne and Family Frank,” said Kugelman.

The theater is located 1.5 miles northwest of Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House, a separate outfit that runs a museum at the address where the Franks hid until their arrest and deportation to German concentration and death camps in 1944.

The play is the second theater dramatization of Anne Frank’s diaries performed under supervision of the copyright owners, according to Kugelman.

 The first adaptation was written by the American couple Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and opened in 1955.

 “They did a marvelous job but wrote the play in a different time and based on a selection of materials made by Anne Frank’s father,” said Leon de Winter, the Dutch Jewish novelist who wrote the new show’s script with his wife, Jessica Durlacher. “Jessica and I were privileged to gain access to many additional materials, the entire archive, and to broaden the scope to include what happened before and after the deportation.” — jta