Sadie Halvorson has taken the stage in other Academy of Children’s Theatre productions.
But this time she has the starring role in the company’s The Diary of Anne Frank, which opens March 25.
And she feels the weight.
“I’m a little nervous,” said 12-year-old Kennewick girl, who plays Anne. “But I’ve been learning my lines and learning where to go on stage. I am pretty confident that this is going to be a really good play.”
Performances are 7 p.m. March 25-26 and April 1-2 and 3 p.m. March 26 and April 2 at the Richland theater.
Adapted from Anne’s famed diary, the play finds the young Jewish girl and her family in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam during World War II.
They lived in a secret annex in a building owned by Anne’s father’s company, along with another family and a friend.
“They had to be so quiet — they couldn’t run water or anything during the day,” Sadie said.
The play explores their daily lives, their fears, their hopes.
I was so inspired by how, even though she wasn’t sure — she didn’t know what was going to happen to them — she wanted her words to live on. She kept writing, despite all she was going through. She wrote everything down.
Sadie Halvorson, 12, who plays Anne
Anne was an outgoing, vibrant girl who “didn’t want to be held back by anything,” Sadie told the Herald. “I was so inspired by how, even though she wasn’t sure — she didn’t know what was going to happen to them — she wanted her words to live on. She kept writing, despite all she was going through. She wrote everything down.”
Along with Sadie, the cast includes Colin Brislawn and Ellicia Elliott as Anne’s parents, and Kendal Miller as her older sister.
Zack Taylor and Tiffany Varker play Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan, the parents of the second family hiding in the annex. Varker’s real-life son Carson plays the teenage Peter Van Daan.
The cast is rounded out by John Davis, Alex Eberle, Gabrielle Clegg, Jackson Yale and Micah Paulsen.
Emily Richman is directing.
She praised the child and adult actors who are bringing to life the important story.
“The cast has done a wonderful job of making it relevant and real,” Richman said.
Sadie, especially, has shined in the role of Anne, Richman said.
The seventh-grader at Desert Hills Middle School has been part of ACT for a few years.
She likes acting because it gives her the chance to become other people. “You get to learn how to be that person. You get to learn all these things,” Sadie said.
She has learned a lot playing Anne: The girl and her family didn’t give up hope. They loved each other, they found humor, they kept living — even in hiding.
And Anne didn’t put down her diary. She kept writing.
“She wanted to go on living after her death,” Sadie said. “And she does.”
Because of the play’s subject matter, it’s recommended for people 13 and older.
ACT is at 213 Wellsian Way.
IF YOU GO
What: The Academy of Children’s Theatre production of The Diary of Anne Frank.
When: 7 p.m. March 25-26 and April 1-2 and 3 p.m. March 26 and April 2.
Where: ACT Black Box Theatre, 213 Wellsian Way, Richland.