Camryn Rowe (‘22) and Mr. Brook Hall, respectively a student and faculty member at Taipei American School, will appear in a dramatic remake of “The Diary of Anne Frank” from April 13 to April 15 at the Huashan Theater in Taipei. Performed in English with Chinese subtitles, the production is sponsored by the Butterfly Effect Theatre Co., The Israel Economic and Culture Office, American Institute in Taiwan, the International Community Radio Taiwan, Huashan 1914 Culture Park, and the Ben Feng Foundation. Mr. Hall is the director of the play, while Camryn plays the eponymous role of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl forced into hiding with family members and fellow Jewish refugees during World War II.
While much of the play is focused on family relationships and political issues regarding the Holocaust, Camryn also acts out the trials and tribulations of teenagerhood in her performance. “I have a particular monologue that is really awkward because I have to talk about how my body is changing and I have to talk about my romantic feelings towards another character who is also in hiding in the annex. This is secret diary stuff, so it’s pretty excruciating to say out loud,” she says. “I can almost feel how the audience is squirming with the awkwardness.”
The group has been preparing for and performing this show since the summer of 2017, when production officially began. As part of their tour, the cast initially performed in Beitou from Dec. 1-4. Their upcoming Taipei performance will also be accompanied by shows in Taichung this May.
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Their performances so far have had no shortage of amusing incidents. “To recreate a sense of the claustrophobic attic setting, the audience seating is very close to the actors,” says Camryn. “One of the funniest moments happened when the show was so packed that two of my best friends in the audience ended up sitting on the floor of the actual set and I almost smashed a prop straight into their face.”
In terms of the making of the performance, Camryn is especially thankful for the guidance of Mr. Hall throughout the rehearsals. “He has been a fantastic director; his faith in our ability to do this story justice has been nothing short of inspirational,” she says.
“I am happy to know the best local actors, the best stage, costume, and lighting designers, the best stage manager, and the best administrator,” says Mr. Hall to Taipei American School’s outreach staff. “We all try to do much more than our limited resources should allow. It takes a community. My job is easy when I am surrounded by brilliant and talented people. The entire team devoted themselves to this show. I can’t ask for more.”
General admission for the Huashan Theater performance is available for $900 NT, or $1500 NT for front-row seating.