This production was performed in an underground parking garage in Long Beach and in the underground parking garage of the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.
Stage Director and Designer Mitisek conceived this production by weaving scenes from Anne’s Diary with the personal memories of Holocaust survivor and author Laura Hillman throughout the performance. Laura Hillman, who was 16 in 1942 when she and her family were sent to a deportation camp, tells of finding love during the Holocaust and her survival as one of the 1,100 Jews on Schindler’s List. Anne and Laura’s stories create a bridge from the past to the present reminding us of a dark time in history and a lesson which should never be forgotten.
...presented at Sinai Temple in Westwood. In its parking garage! Such structures are places most of us want to get out of as quickly as possible. And that was exactly the point of presenting this opera in one, the company's general and artistic director, Andreas Mitisek, said in a pre-performance talk.
Mitisek's use of spoken text was smart. But he wanted more, and he invited Laura Hillman -- an author, poet and Holocaust survivor -- to periodically read from her own writings. Born in 1923, six years before Anne, she was like Anne today, had Anne survived. Mitisek's direction was a fairly typical application of the expressionist theatrical techniques common in contemporary German and Austrian stagings. But it worked. This production functioned on an authentically high level. Mitisek conducted with complete authority, and his nine-piece ensemble was exceptional.
Scenery Designer: Alan E. Muraoka
Lighting Designer: Heather Carson / Dan Weingarten
Anne Frank: Ani Maldjian
Holocaust Survivor/Speaker: Laura Hillman