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CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097
April 2, 2003
'DIARY OF ANNE FRANK' TACKLES OF ISSUES OF TOLERANCE
OSWEGO -- The upcoming SUNY Oswego production of "The Diary of Anne Frank, " opening at 8 p.m. April 25, serves as a testimony to the importance of tolerance, director Paul Savas said.
While the play deals specifically with the ordeals of Anne Frank and her family as they hid from the Nazis in the 1940s, Savas noted that there is a more universal message to it.
"Although a very unique young lady, she was not alone," said Savas, a visiting professor of theatre at SUNY Oswego. "This production is dedicated to all the Anne Franks in the past, present and future -- all the souls that we have lost, are losing now and may very well lose to hate and prejudice all over the world."
In January, Savas conducted several days of research at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Holland, thanks to a $1,000 grant from SUNY Oswego's Office of International Education and Programs. Savas spent his time reading through the on-site library, exploring the secret annex where the family lived in hiding, and talking to expert staff.
"They have an organization of more than 100 people keeping the spirit of the diaries alive," he said.
When Anne Frank's father Otto survived the Holocaust, "he tried as much as he could to spread the wonder and goodness of his daughter's spirit to as many people in the world as possible," Savas explained.
Otto Frank's mission, in sharing the family's story, was "to reduce prejudice and hatred through cross-cultural understanding, especially through international youth," Savas said. "The Holocaust didn't happen in a vacuum. It can happen anywhere if people don't respect those who are different from them."
The play also ties into the Oswego Reading Initiative, which asked the campus community to read Ruth Gruber's Holocaust-related book "Haven." Gruber's book was a firsthand account of nearly 1,000 refugees, most of them Jewish, who escaped the Holocaust and war-torn Europe by coming to Oswego's Fort Ontario, the only shelter in the United States made available to such refugees.
A preview performance of "The Diary of Anne Frank" will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 24, with all seats at $5.
"The Diary of Anne Frank" will open at 8 p.m. Friday, April 25.
Additional 8 p.m. performances are scheduled for consecutive Saturdays, April 26 and May 3, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 4. Tickets are $10; $9 for seniors, students and children; and $7 for SUNY Oswego students.
For reservations, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141.
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