Inside Curtain Players

By Jim Petsche
Posted: October 19, 2016
Curtain Players playhouse exterior

Got Rehearsal? Bringing 'Anne Frank' Into the Light

By Laura Dachenbach

The presence of light, whether onstage or not, is rarely noticed.  Until it's not there.

Unable to go outside, the family of Anne Frank lived literally without seeing the light of day for two years.  Blackout curtains that kept them from being seen also meant they were not able to see much of the outside world either, obscuring daytime, nighttime, and seasons.

Striving to create the feeling of these blurred and claustrophobic circumstances, the technical crew at Curtain Players has taken special care with its set and lighting design.

"This space is so small," explained Stephen Moore, the lighting designer for The Diary of Anne Frank, "that you turn on a light, and it's everywhere."

To isolate certain spaces of the stage, Moore and team have utilized the space differently.  Daylight and nighttime will be projected through "skylights," using programmable LED lights.

"We have a lot more instruments over the stage than we ordinarily would.  We're doing a lot of lighting from the side and back than we typically would."

Anne Frank's Secret Annex, or Achterhuis, was approximately 500 square feet to house its eight occupants.  Anne called it ideal, mentioning that others who had gone into hiding had even less space.  About 1.2 million visitors tour the space each year.