Hopes to spark dialogue around active citizenship
Toronto District Christian High School (TDChristian) in Woodbridge is staging a powerful drama about a Jewish family that went into hiding during the Second World War.
Evening performances beginning at 7 p.m., are on February 14, 15, 16, 21, and 22, with a 2 p.m. matinée on February 16.
“This is a tremendous story of joy in the midst of suffering, and hope in the midst of fear,” says Richard Peters, director and drama teacher at TDChristian.
The Diary of Anne Frank recounts the experiences of a young Jewish girl and her family in Amsterdam as they took refuge in the home of a Dutch family during the German occupation of the Netherlands.
Justin De Moor, vice-principal of communications, notes that the real-life story raises some profound points about the potential meaning of active or responsible citizenship.
He points out that in the Anne Frank story the Dutch family that harbours the Frank family in their home is actually doing something illegal according to the current law.
“That brings up the debate (around) is that what a responsible citizen should do? Should they ignore the orders of authority for the greater good or to preserve life?”
Besides sparking dialogue about some profound issues, the Anne Frank drama is expected to have special meaning in a school where a large percentage of the population has roots in the Netherlands.
“Some members of community, parents or grandparents, may have lived during (this) and may have some memory of it,” says De Moor.
An impressive stage set provides the backdrop to the Anne Frank performance, which is being delivered by two casts of students on an alternating basis.
TDChristian has an emphasis on the dramatic arts which is taught by Peters, actor and member of the professional stage and film unions.
Peters says the Anne Frank drama, like other good dramas, offers much more than just an opportunity for students to hone their acting skills. It also gives them a chance to understand humanity a little better, both a person’s capacity for great goodness and great evil.
For more information about the Anne Frank performances happening this weekend and next, call TDChristian (905) 851-1772.