Photo courtesy of Ronna Kovner Photography
An original musical based on the life of
The Diary portrays the stories of Anne Frank and a Present Day Girl also named Anne. On their thirteenth birthdays, Anne Frank receives her beloved diary and Present Day Anne receives the book Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl. While reading the book, Present Day Anne is astonished at how similar the two girls are. She is also saddened to realize that in her present day world bigotry and hatred still exist. As she continues to read, Present Day Anne learns the story of how Anne Frank, her family and four others lived in hiding for twenty five months.
"I applaud the heart and soul of Lloyd and Barbara Cooper's work, The Diary. And I know that Otto Frank would feel the same knowing that this lovely performance piece is very true to the original story of Anne Frank and her family. The Coopers have obviously done extensive research into the background of the Franks and, based on their findings, have created a moving work with many songs that truly bring tears. I cannot wait until the Broadway world sees the production of The Diary and experiences the dramatic message of this epic classic that they've translated so lyrically into song. Beautiful."
- Cara Wilson-Granat
Dear Cara: Letters From Otto Frank
Love, Otto: The Legacy of Anne Frank
"What a beautiful and moving tribute to Anne, Otto and all those hiding in the Achterhuis and their brave helpers. I know that Anne, Otto and Miep would be very pleased. What a beautiful gift you have given to the world. I hope that many more people will be able to see it."
- Father John Neiman, longtime dear friend of Otto Frank and Miep Gies
"BRAVO! The music and the lyrics touched my soul and reminded me how important it is that we all remember this part of our history so it is never repeated. The show was a reverent and compassionate homage to Anne's story as seen through the eyes of a modern day 13 year old girl reading Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl. Though their circumstances were different, their feelings and longings were very similar. The show emphasized the importance of hope and the indomitable human spirit. It is a story that needs to be heard by every generation. It is a perfect musical for high schools and middle schools as well as theatres. May this show live on."
- Linda Benning, Coronado High School and Coronado School of the Arts
My favorite aspect about The Diary is that it gives an account of history in a new context. While you see the historical moments take place, you are also reminded that they relate to the feelings that people still feel everyday. It has a unique way of integrating history into the present day, and making it more accessible to the audience. The songs that I sing as Anne are full of emotion. The highs and lows of being a teenager were all contained in her diary and all of the words in my songs are directly related to what she wrote.
- Kimberly Hessler, Anne Frank in The Diary, Scherr Forum Theatre.
"Loved your treatment of Anne's story, the comparison of the modern day Anne and Anne Frank, the similarities, and I especially liked the relationships of the two Mama's to their teenage daughters... oy vey, can I ever relate to that! Congratulations on a creation from the heart. Go forth and book!"
- Polly Seale, actress/singer/dancer/writer
A true work of love by Lloyd and Barbara - showing that commitment, determination, insight and of course talent produces. Life's lessons are universally realized through (their) understanding of consciousness through these two families dealing with life's challenges even though decades apart. This musical, relating to then and now, is a classic.
- Alcid Gosselin
"Cooper's score reflects the simple eloquence of Richard Rodgers' songs, as with Anne's touching duet with sister Margot, Something That I Truly Miss."
- Cary Ginell, THE ACORN
"As a musical experience it ranks at the top of the list, really in a class by itself. During the final scene, I was affected each performance by the impact of what had happened to that family. I really think you and Barbara have created a wonderful show and hope the momentum can only help many others to share the experience. Thank you for your creation and for having me be a part of it."
- Gary Rautenberg, Orchestra member of The Diary
Click here to see The Diary Preview Video
A short compilation of scenes and songs from the production presented by Thousand Oaks Repertory Corporation at the Scherr Forum Theatre on August 24, 2013.
Cast: Kimberly Hessler (Anne Frank), Emily Albrecht (Present Day Anne), Barbara Matteson Cooper (Present Day Mom), David Gilchrist (Otto Frank), Tracy Ray Reynolds (Edith Frank), Julia Garber (Margot Frank), Farley Cadena (Mrs. van Pels), Michael B. Levin (Mr. van Pels), Alex Sanchez (Peter van Pels), Chard Hayward (Fritz Pfeffer), Hank Adams (Victor Kugler), Rachel Wachtveitl (Miep Gies), Natalie Swinford (Bep), Terry Fishman (Johannes Kleiman) and Tyler Houston (Karl Josef Silberbauer)
Video produced by Richard and Mary Andert, West Hills Videography
For licensing information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A perusal script and score is available upon request.
The Diary Facebook Page
The Diary has a cast of fifteen:
(Ages listed are the actual ages of the historical figures for reference)
The Residents of The Secret Annex
Anne Frank: Plays age 13 to 15, belts (or mixes) to D (an octave above middle C)
Otto Frank: Age 53, Baritone
Edith Frank: Age 42, Mezzo (to C an octave above middle C)
Margot Frank: Plays age 16, Mezzo (to E an octave above middle C)
Hermann van Pels: Age 44, Baritone
Auguste van Pels: Age 42, Mezzo
Peter van Pels: Plays age 16, Bari/Tenor
Fritz Pfeffer: Age 53, Baritone
Present Day Anne: Plays age 13, belts (or mixes) to D (an octave above middle C)
Present Day Mom: Contralto, Eb below middle C to G above middle C
Victor Kugler: Age 42, Baritone
Johannes Kleiman: Age 46, Baritone
Miep Gies: Age 33, Mezzo
Elisabeth Voskuijl (Bep): Age 23, Mezzo
Karl Josef Silberbauer: Age 46, Bari/Tenor
Instrumentation (six musicians:)
Piano (optional Harpsichord, Celeste on synth)
Percussion (Set, Triangle, Mark Tree, Tambourine, Wood Blocks)
Reed I (Clarinet, Alto Sax)
Reed II (Flute, Clarinet, Tenor Sax)
In a completely dark theatre we hear a haunting theme played by a solo clarinet accompanied by a solo violin.
In the opening number (I'm Thirteen Today) Anne Frank is celebrating her thirteenth birthday with family and friends. Present Day Anne is also celebrating her thirteenth birthday. Anne Frank receives a diary from her parents and Present Day Anne receives the book Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl from her mother.
Anne Frank begins writing in her diary (Dear Kitty) while Present Day Anne reluctantly begins to read the book.
The Frank family had moved to Amsterdam in 1933 in order to escape the Nazis and the persecution of Jews in Germany. But by June of 1942 they were facing the same kinds of laws and persecutions in their new home. A series of anti-Jewish decrees severely restricted their freedoms. All Jews were required to wear a yellow star in full view so they could easily be identified. During an encounter on the street with a Nazi soldier, Anne Frank bravely declares she is proud of her faith (Even You Cannot Take My Faith From Me.)
Anne Frank's parents (Edith and Otto) had been devising a plan to go into hiding in the event things in Amsterdam became intolerable. On July 5th, 1942 the Frank's doorbell rings and a post office employee hands Edith a registered letter. Seeing the return address (Central Office For Jewish Emigration) she realizes it is a call-up notice. At first she thinks the summons to labor service is for her husband. Upon reading it she learns it is for her daughter, Margot, instead. Their plans for going into hiding must be accelerated. They will leave tomorrow morning (This Day Has Come Too Soon.)
On July 6th, 1942 the entire Frank family leave their home to go into hiding in a Secret Annex above the offices of Otto Frank's business. They will be assisted by Otto's four business associates. The family travels on foot from their home to take residence in the Secret Annex (The Journey.)
As she continues to read, Present Day Anne sees more and more how she is identifying with things Anne Frank wrote about, particularly her feelings regarding her mother (How Can These Different Girls Feel The Same?)
Upon arriving, Anne and Otto immediately begin unpacking, cleaning and preparing the Secret Annex to be their new home (Our Temporary Home.)
Present Day Mom attempts to help Present Day Anne clean up her room, but to no avail (Just Do It.)
Present Day Anne and Mom have a typical mother/daughter argument. In the Secret Annex, Edith and Anne have a similar disagreement. The two Annes sing about their frustrations with their mothers (Apparently She's Not That Kind Of A Parent To Me) and the mothers realize that no matter what their daughters say or do, they will always love them (I'll Feel The Same Way.)
Otto Frank is deeply indebted to the helpers for their assistance in hiding his family and friends. Victor responds (How Could I Say No To A Friend?)
Present Day Mom is shocked to learn that Present Day Anne blames her for the death of her father when he re-enlisted in the military to fight for his country (She's Blaming Me.)
The two Anne's declare that no matter what happens in their lives, they will never give up (Without A Fight.)
Present Day Anne mimics her mother (Just Do It Reprise) and Anne Frank argues with her roommate, Mr. Pfeffer (The Table.)
After a burglary in the offices below the Secret Annex, Edith relates her fears about being discovered and declares that no matter what happens, she will never lose her faith or how she believes (This Can't Be Real.)
Anne Frank, her sister Margot and the Helpers sing about their different faiths and the holidays they each celebrate (This Special Time Of Year.)
Anne knows that her father has noticed how much time she has been spending with Peter and asks Otto if he disapproves. He says he doesn't, but he feels that she should be careful about her feelings and to take it slowly (Be Careful With Your Heart.)
Peter shares things with Anne he has never shared before. Anne feels that she can help Peter by being his friend (Will You Still Want To Be With Me?)
Present Day Anne tells her mother how deeply the diary is affecting her. She says she is horrified by the treatment of the Jews as described in the diary. Mom agrees and points out that there is still much bigotry and hatred in the world today and sings about a time when the world may finally be at peace (It's Just A Dream.)
On June 6, 1944, the residents of the Secret Annex gather around the radio and listen to Eisenhower's D-Day speech. After hearing the good news that the liberation has finally begun, they realize that soon they could be free once again (Something That I Truly Miss.)
Anne Frank writes in her diary about her continued faith in mankind no matter what happens (People Are Really Good At Heart.) She also writes about her two different Annes - the Anne she shows the world and the Anne she keeps hidden inside. She wonders if the words she is writing will live on or will never be read by another soul. Present Day Anne, as she is reading this, wishes that Anne Frank could have known how far and wide her diary would reach and how it would affect so many people. She also realizes again how alike the two girls are as they sing together (You Are Me.) At the end of the song, Anne Frank is looking into a mirror on the stage right wall of her room and Present Day Anne is looking into a mirror on the stage left wall of her room. As the girls finish singing, they appear to be looking right at each other.
On August 4, 1944, the residents of the Secret Annex are discovered by SS Sergeant Silberbauer. He escorts the eight residents and the two male helpers out of the Secret Annex. Anne is last in line, followed by Silberbauer. They cross downstage while Present Day Anne sings (People Are Really Good At Heart Reprise.)
Productions of The Diary
Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
The Scherr Forum Theatre
2100 East Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Thousand Oaks, California 91362
Presented by Thousand Oaks Repertory Corporation
August 22 - August 25, 2013
This was the world premiere of The Diary
Book, Music and Lyrics by Lloyd Cooper
with additional material by Barbara Matteson Cooper
© 2013 by Lloyd and Barbara Cooper
The Diary is entirely based on historical facts. Information obtained from research was used in its creation. Although some situations are described in Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl and in other sources, this musical has no direct quotes from any of the publications used as reference material.