reviewed by Adam Crowe

If you pay attention to local theater schedules, you’ll know that on January 22nd , Indiana Repertory Theater opened its production of The Diary of Anne Frank . Scheduling issues caused a delay in my getting to attend, but I hope the delay in getting this review written and published won’t cause you to miss this marvelous, moving and vital production.

Sometimes a great piece of art is so powerful that it takes on an aura of being “Important”. It can happen to works of fiction, but even more so for stories that are based on or inspired by true events. And the more time that passes between the story and the viewing or hearing can sometimes make the story seem less accessible or relatable. And many times, it can feel that a story is so well known, there is no longer a need to sit down and be enveloped in it; to remember it in a way that those who lived it experienced it. That is the danger about something like The Diary of Anne Frank . We think we know the story so well, that we have no need to sit in a darkened theater and listen to Ann Frank’s words. Don’t believe it. Not for a minute.

Peter (Benjamin Ludiker) shares a moment with Anne Frank (Miranda Troutt) in a scene from IRT’s production of “The Diary of Anne Frank”.

IRT has produced a play that transcends expectation and allows every audience member to remember and re-live a story that combines all of the beauty and horror that is the human experience. It is both important and visceral, reminding us that hope and life can survive even the most profound evil. Based on Anne’s girlhood diaries and written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, this adaptation is by Wendy Kesselman.

Ryan Artzberger appears as Otto Frank in IRT’s production of “The Diary of Anne Frank”.

As a local actor myself, I am grateful that local talent is well represented. This includes Ryan Artzberger, Constance Macy, Mark Goetzinger, Robert Neal, Rob Johansen, Michael Hosp, Ryan P. Claus and Zachariah Stonerock. All are excellent, as are the remaining cast, most from the Seattle area, where this production will also be performed after its Indianapolis run ends. Most specifically, though, this production belongs to Miranda Troutt, and her impressive portrayal of Anne. Troutt’s Anne Frank is joyful, buoyant, wise beyond her years, aggravating, frustrating, beautiful and fully human.

A scene featuring the cast of IRT’s production of “The Diary of Anne Frank”.

The technical aspects are also first rate. Janet Allen pulls double duty, as IRT’s Artistic Director and as the director of this production. Bill Clarke’s set is beautiful, functional and evocative, as are the costumes of Yao Chen. Andrew Hopson’s sound and Andrew D. Smith’s lights perfectly capture the claustrophobia, tension, and also the community of Anne’s “secret annex”.

The Diary of Anne Frank only runs on the IRT Mainstage through February 24th. Do not delay! Tickets may be purchased by visiting the website at irtlive.com or by calling (317) 635-5252.

  • Banner artwork by Kyle Ragsdale
  • Photos by Zach Rosing