The 15th annual Indianapolis Fringe Festival continues into its second week, including the offering from Carmel High School, And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank. The play combines the the stories of Anne Frank and survivors Ed Silverberg and Eva Schloss.
Maggie Cassidy, a theater teacher and director at CHS for 12 years and this show’s director, has been a part of Fringe for 14 years. “I love to direct Fringe plays because they are intimate and artistic. It isn’t about glitz and glamour; it is about true and beautiful storytelling,” she says.
“The story of the Holocaust is one that should continue to be told,” she adds. “I love to do plays based on historic events/true stories. I love to research that event, time period and its people. I thought this play was beautiful and heart wrenching. The play is a combination of two real survivors sharing their stories on video and actors recreating the events on stage.”
The actors are made up of seniors, juniors and one sophomore from CHS. “I think it is a wonderful experience for the students. They get a chance to perform for a wider audience. We cast the show at the end of the 2018–2019 school year, but have only been in rehearsal for three weeks. I think it gives them a truer experience of what professional theater is like. It gives the kids and the theater program at CHS really great exposure,” she says.
“We often do something heavy, almost always a drama, almost always something based on real events, always a small cast, and almost always something that provides a message for the audience. I think that we must often remind our young people and our audience about the events that took place under Hitler in WWII. Survivor Eva Schloss says, ‘I fear greatly that the lessons of the past will be forgotten, if only because we all tend to push aside what is unpleasant. Therefore it seems to me very important that the surviving witnesses should continue to testify.’ Survivor Ed Silverberg says, ‘It is, after all, the next generation that must keep alive the knowledge of this dark episode in human history, so that it may never be repeated.”
The show runs Aug. 16–18 and Aug. 20, 24, and 25. For tickets and more information, go to www.indyfringe.org.