Monday, August 25, 2014
“The Diary of Anne Frank” to Show at Eunice Players' Theatre Rehearsals are underway as the Eunice Players’ Theatre continues its 45th season with “The Diary of Anne Frank” the story of a teenage girl and her family in hiding during World War II that many will recognize. Based upon the book, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, the story is an undeniably moving account of the lives of eight people who went into hiding to escape persecution under Nazi rule, and the compassionate friends who helped them. The staging of this production captures the claustrophobic realities of their daily existence, and yet is essentially the story of hope and the triumph of the human spirit. Written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, it is newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman. Directed by Jody L. Powell, the cast features stage veterans and newcomers alike. Shiloh Kittles of Eunice brings the title character to the stage with a voice full of courage, determination, and wit. At age 13, Shiloh already has several stage productions under her belt, having worked backstage and taken on roles in Crowley and Eunice over the past four years, including a British-speaking tree in this summer’s children’s production at EPT. Playing Otto Frank, Anne’s father, is Shiloh’s real-life father, John D. Kittles, also of Eunice. After having taken on the lead role in EPT’s “What the Bellhop Saw”, he branched out to Crowley for a role in “A Flea in Her Ear”, and came back to Eunice for a supporting role in “A Nice Family Gathering”. He has also operated the sound board for EPT. Denise Fusilier, an EPT board member from Eunice, returns to the stage after a long absence following her last show, “Sylvia” to play the role of Anne’s mother, Edith Frank. She was also featured in “Over the River and Through the Woods” at EPT. Denise can often be found back stage handling stage manager and costume duties. Anne’s sister, Margot, is played by Bailey Miller of Basile. Bailey is familiar with the stage from having participated in pageants and talent shows, and this is her first theatrical role. She has also been featured in some digital short films. Sharing the space in the annex with the Frank family is the Van Dann family, headed by Hermann Van Dann, portrayed by Shawn Darbonne of Eunice. An avid theatre-goer and enthusiast, this is Shawn’s stage debut. Also making her stage debut, playing Mrs. Van Dann, is Emily Heinen of Eunice. Although this is her first time on stage, Emily brings an understanding of Mrs. Van Dann’s plight to the role. Randy T.C. LaCombe of Crowley plays the Van Dann’s son, Peter. Randy has been in several plays in Crowley including The Acadia Players’ most recent production of “The Bold, The Young, and The Murdered”, in which he played an actor playing a soap opera character. The last person to join the Frank family in the attic is Mr. Dussel, played by Shane Guilbeau of Lafayette. Shane delighted EPT audiences with his comedic turns in “What the Bellhop Saw” and “The Murder Room”. He has been in several productions in Lafayette and has recently completed filming for a TV series and an internet ad. Playing the role of Miep Gees, the woman who visited the families daily and brought them supplies and provisions, is Kristi Burleigh of Ville Platte. Kristi has been in several EPT productions, including “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Dorothy Meets Alice”, “Schoolhouse Rock Live!”, and “Camelot”. Brett Faulker of Eunice, an EPT board member and frequent set-builder, portrays Mr. Kraler, the business partner of Mr. Frank who keeps the family hidden and brings them news of the outside world. Brett previously was seen on the EPT stage in “Bus Stop”, “I’ll Be Back Before Midnight”, and “Jake’s Women”. Evening performances will be held September 11, 12, 18, 19, and 20 at 7:00 p.m. A matinee will be held Sunday, September, 14 at 2:00 p.m. Dinner theatre (with steak and trimmings) is scheduled for Wednesday, September 17 at 6:00 p.m. at Ruby's on Second St., with the performance immediately following. All seats are $10; dinner is an additional $20. Tickets can be purchased at David Ltd. Salon or by calling David at 546-0163 or Debi at 457-2156 to charge by phone. The theatre is located at 121 S. Second St. in Eunice. This play includes very brief use of smoking of herbal cigarettes. Season tickets are still available for $20 each; the season ticket allows the bearer entrance to EPT’s two remaining shows, the ability to make seating reservations, an invitation to the Irving Awards, and a ballot for the awards. Patron and angel packages are also available.