Meet the Cast (Part 2): The Diary of Anne Frank

Tiffany L. Neri

“THE Diary of Anne Frank” is a Tony-award winning play that showed the daily horrors real people had faced trying desperately to survive the Holocaust. It is based on the diary of a girl who spent two years in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands. This poignant story is one that still resonates until today, reminding people of a time in history that must never be repeated.

For the first time ever, Cebu will see the story performed by a local cast—with most of the production’s team aged under 30. Brought on stage by Broadway Youth Cebu, the creative direction is a collaboration between Cebuano international director Allan Nazareno, and Cebuana debuting director Tiffany Neri.

As for the cast, here’s Part 2 of a sneak peek of who they are, the characters they play, the challenges they’ve faced, what they have learned and why Cebu should see “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Nathaniel Sheene Niño

“Mr. Hermann Van Daan”

“Hermann Van Daan is the other father figure of the Secret Annex. Unlike Otto Frank, Hermann is more of a man that acts on impulse and always speaks out his mind about what he thinks is right. One of the main things that I struggle with when portraying the character is his ideals of what a woman should be. Back in the ‘40s, there was a different standard for women than the one we have today, but it shows how remarkable Anne Frank was for still being able to resonate with women today.

Anne Frank made me learn about making the best out of a terrible situation. Even if we feel like the world is coming down on us, we shouldn’t give up on the world. We have to find a reason to keep living every single day, even in death.”

Clariza Mae Sevilla

“Mrs. Petronella Van Daan”

“Being a stage manager and an actor means I have to work twice as hard to fulfill my obligations as a member of this production. Getting an in-depth look at how things behind the scenes run, as well as being ‘in front of the scenes’ gives me a greater sense of respect for everyone involved in a theatrical production.

The play emphasizes the effect war can have on innocent people. Anti-Semitism claimed the lives of millions of people who died in a world that had succumbed to ignorance and blind faith. “The Diary of Anne Frank” is extremely relevant to the growing international tensions prevalent in our society today. This story deserves to be told because we have to learn from the past. If we don’t bother, then how are we going to keep history from repeating itself?”

Dave San Nicolas

“Peter Van Daan”

“My character is a shy awkward 16-year-old boy. When I act and play the character, I feel like I’m portraying myself because I feel like Peter and I are very similar people. From this, I learned of the hardships the people during the Holocaust had to endure and how much they had to suffer.

Cebuanos should watch “The Diary of Anne Frank” to learn about the history of the people during the Holocaust and how the Nazis brutally murdered all those innocent Jews.”

Glenn John Ogapong Jr.

“Mr. Kraler”

“Victor Kugler, also referred to as Mr. Kraler in Anne’s diary, is one of the helpers of the Jews hiding inside the secret annex. For me, playing this role is very challenging since the characters we are portraying are real people. The hardest part for me is getting into character, especially since I haven’t experienced the things my characters has experienced.

Even though “The Diary of Anne Frank” isn’t a new story, it remains relevant to our time. It teaches us about the past, gives us insight on the present, and helps us shape a better future. “The Diary of Anne Frank” is definitely a must-watch play!”

Jaienne Braveree F. Suralta

“Miep Gies”

“‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ is more than just a story of a young girl who kept a diary while she was in hiding—it is the story of every character in the play, their struggles and suffering during the war. It is the story of the pains and anguish of every Jew who had to go through such inhumane ordeals under the Nazis. The story is a good reminder for us how important it is to accept each other’s differences so we can maintain peace. It is a reminder, hopefully, so that this sort of human-inflicted hardships on other human beings should never happen again.

I feel honored to have been chosen to play Miep because, she was regarded as the “heroine” who hid and saved those eight Jews for two years. One of the challenges in playing her is that she is an adult and I’m only 13 and the youngest of the team.”

Want to watch Anne Frank?

Aligned to the BYC mission of using theater as a teaching tool to expand the capacity for empathy among young people, “The Diary of Anne Frank” will be showing at 7 p.m. on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2020 at the University of the Philippines Cebu Performing Arts Hall. #WeMustNotForget