StageOne Family Theater will present And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank in public performances on Sunday, February 7 at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Saturdays February 13 at 2 p.m. and February 20 at 7 p.m. in the Bomhard Theater in the Kentucky Center for the Arts. The company will also present the show for school field trips.
A mural, Never Again, created by Bowling Green High School students will be displayed at the Kentucky Center at the same time.
Both the Kentucky Center for the Arts and StageOne got $50,000 grants to produce this play, and they are offering free and subsidized tickets to eight partner schools. They also enlisted Holocaust Educator Fred Whittaker, who teaches at St. Francis School, to provide professional development for teachers in the partnering program.
Those teachers are engaged in helping their students explore sections of Anne Frank’s diary in depth. Projects they engage in throughout the year will encourage students to find ways to relate Anne’s story to their own experiences and to share those interpretations with others through a variety of arts.
In addition to the diary, some high schools will be considering Elie Wiesel’s Night and the play And Then They Came for Me and connecting them with events today. For example, 43 different languages are spoken at Seneca High School, so students are exploring the theme of unity. Highland Middle School has a gang problem, so they’re exploring the groups people belong to, how people get drawn into them and how they make personal choices.
This approach takes Holocaust education beyond facts and numbers. It recognizes that 6 million is impossible to comprehend and brings it down to individual stories, stirring responses of empathy and compassion and encouraging students to choose to make the world a better place.
Anne Frank is a good starting place because students recognize her as a girl like themselves and can relate to her.
This is a continuation of a collaboration between the Kentucky Center and the schools that was inaugurated last year.