Fall Play: Stepping Into The Spotlight


The small cast of ten actors hold their breath in anticipation of performing this year’s Fall Play, a choice that is sure not to disappoint audiences. The Diary of Anne Frank, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, is set to open at Geneva High School the weekend of November 4th.

“It is a dramatization of the diary of a young girl named Anne Frank, who, along with her family and some family friends, had to hide in a small apartment/attic above a store front during the Nazi invasion of Holland,” Director Jason Fontanetta said.

The ever-popular book has inspired various television miniseries and movies, each interpretation slightly different with a common thread running through them. Beneath the surface, the play is a lot more than just the story of a girl.

“I think, in the end, it’s the message of hope,” Fontanetta said. “It’s a message that Anne believed that people were inherently good and… with the current political climate that we’re so very heavily divided, that I think sometimes we lose sight of the fact that… at heart, people are inherently good.”

With a message as important as this, many might be deterred from taking on such a difficult task. But not Fontanetta.

“The beauty is we can put on this show that’s been put on many times before, but we can interpret it uniquely and we can tell it in a way that has probably never been told before,” he said.

But, with every show come challenges, and Anne Frank is certainly no different. In fact, the heavy content present within the story adds to the challenges.

“I think that real challenges for myself as well as for the actors in the play is going to be trying to honor these people by presenting them with an authentic voice and… almost as an honorarium to do right by these people, by telling their stories as truly as and as authentically as we can,” Fontanetta said.

As the director of The Diary of Anne Frank, Fontanetta has worries about potential obstacles and the importance of the message presented, but he isn’t alone. Abby Hecht, who is an experienced member of the backstage crew, voices her thoughts on the gravity of the show’s message.

“If we do this correctly, it would be a great experience for people to see the story of Anne Frank acted out,” Senior Abby Hecht said. “It’s extremely important to learn about the brutality of the Holocaust and learn from the past.”

Nonetheless, she is confident in the abilities of the cast and crew working on the play. Not only is Anne Frank put on for the entertainment of the audience, but for the actors as well.

“I’m most excited to see people work their hardest and have it turn into something really great,” Hecht said.

This hard work comes from a passionate cast of students on stage and behind the curtain working tech, the size of which grows every year.

“When coming into tech, you’d be surprised at the amount of people who have no idea what tech really does or are very intimidated by the more technological side of tech,” she said. “Even though it’s a bit scary, especially coming into it as a freshman, give everything a chance and try out all the different things we do; you’ll find your fit eventually.”

Coming from the other side of the curtain, Zach Davies gives his own advice to people who are less experienced.

“The biggest piece of advice I can give is to take any role you are given,” actor Zach Davies said. “The show is going to be fun no matter what and being in the ensemble can be just as fun as being a lead.”

In the end, The Diary of Anne Frank has a lot to offer for all on and offstage, and each person involved can take away something different from the experience.

“Optimism is a survival tool that can make the dark times feel not as bad,” Davies said.

The cast and crew are expecting a big turnout on the opening of the show the weekend of November 4th to see the masterpiece they’ve worked hard to bring to the spotlight.