Sock ‘n’ Buskin performing ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ virtually Saturday-Sunday

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Cast members act out a scene from ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’

Pelham Memorial High School’s Sock ‘n’ Buskin club is performing a play centered around “The Diary of Anne Frank.” The directors, Neil Schleifer and Thomas Beck, have produced a play that will not be conventionally done on the stage; instead, it will be released as a virtual play on Friday. 

The story brings us to the Annex, in 1942, where the Frank family and others hide from Nazis. Over the course of two years, Anne documents this time in her diary, and her words live on today. This play brings a message of bravery in a time of hatred, intolerance, fear and violence.

The students playing these characters weighed in on their roles as well as the trials of performing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Austin Kelly, a junior at PMHS, who plays Mr. Van Daan, summarized his character: “I’m a middle-aged businessman who is overweight and addicted to cigarettes. My job in the attic is to cause problems, eat food and hate my wife.”

His wife, Mrs. Van Daan, is played by Natalie Pursel, a junior at PMHS, who described her character as well. “She’s a wife and mother living in the attic with the Franks. She’s loud, shameless and very flirtatious,” Pursel said. “My overall experience has been very positive. I found that this performance was less stressful than full, in-person productions since we could sit at home on a computer instead of running all over creation in preparation for places. It’s also very nice being able to wear pajama pants the whole time.”

“Mr. Schleifer and Mr. Beck are very good at getting us to workshop characters and really become them, not just act as they would,” said Kelly. This representation of important characters was emphasized in the cast’s frequent workshops and meetings. 

The play is definitely something to share with family and friends, and it’s message lives on through today. Even stuck at home, we should be brave. “The Diary of Anne Frank” performed by Sock ‘n’ Buskin is a must-see. 

Tickets are available now at this link, and the play will be available Friday through Sunday. 

Cast: 

Malia McLellan as Anne Frank

Oliver Tam as Otto Frank

Bella Rosado as Edith Frank

Chloe Catana as Margot Frank

Natalie Pursel as Mrs. Van Daan

Austin Kelly as Mr. Van Daan

Vikram Jallepalli as Peter Van Daan

Allison Feldman as Miep

Ethan Luce as Mr. Dussell

Soren Bushong as Mr. Kraler