The Coast News Group

“Anne Frank’ onstage at North Coast Rep

SOLANA BEACH — The Theatre School at North Coast Rep presents “The Diary of Anne Frank” at 5 p.m. Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. Nov. 22, at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Nov. 23 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 24, at 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Suite D.Anne Frank photo -use


Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for ages 17 and under. Call (858) 481-1055 or visit

Del Mar resident Abby DeSpain (who plays Anne), being only 9, “brings an innocence and vulnerability to the show that is heartbreaking.” DeSpain is joined by Andrea Bullar (as Edith Frank, from Oceanside), Kayla Cruise (as Margot Frank, from Encinitas), Christian Payne (as Peter Van Daan, from San Marcos), Audrey Hebert (Mr. Kraler, from Encinitas), Maia Zelkind (as Mrs. Van Daan), Phillip Magin (as Mr. Van Daan, from Solana Beach), Geoff Geissinger (as Mr. Dussel, from Carmel Valley), Sophia Dargie (as Miep Gies), Bryan Dorman (as an SS Officer) and Anna Makris (assistant director, from Del Mar). Local actor John Tessmer plays Otto Frank and serves as the actor mentor for the production.

This production is directed by Siobhan Sullivan Crews and sponsored by

the city of Solana Beach. It presents a new adaptation by Wendy Kesselman from the original stage play by Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett, that weaves newly discovered writings from the diary of Anne Frank with survivor accounts.

Authenticity comes from the hours the cast of local 9- to 19-year-olds spent watching documentaries about Anne Frank (a 13-year-old Dutch girl who recounted her family’s struggles as they hid from the Nazis for two years), visiting the San Diego Jewish Academy and hearing the stories of Holocaust survivors, some of whom will tell their stories at the performances.