“Anna’s Journal” comes to life

Anna’s Painting by Ezra Dillon

Anna’s Painting by Ezra Dillon

Theatre Kavanah, Vermont’s only production company dedicated to staging the Jewish experience, will present a staged reading of the screenplay “Anna’s Journal” by Vermont author Joy Kipp Nov. 14-17 at Main Street Landing in downtown Burlington.

“Anna’s Journal” centers on Anna Ludkin, a 13-year-old struggling to find her way as a Jewish teen in rural Vermont. Anna navigates the difficult territory of her parents’ disintegrating relationship, school friendships, and blossoming romance with 16-year-old Jamal, who knows what it’s like to be an outsider. As Jamal becomes closer to both Anna and her grandmother, Leah, he begins to suspect something shocking and hopeful: that Leah is none other than Anne Frank, who – he believes – has survived the atrocities of the concentration camp and is living a quiet and anonymous life in Vermont.

“For Theatre Kavanah, presenting ‘Anna’s Journal’ is a double win,” states founding Director Wendi Stein, “We hear a story told in the voice of a young Jewish girl growing up in small-town Vermont, a perspective rarely seen on stage, and we get to showcase the work of a talented Vermont writer.”

For the unfamiliar, a staged reading is a form of theatre with minimal sets or full costumes. The actors read from scripts and incorporate nominal stage movement. “It has been challenging, but that’s why this performance is cool on so many levels,” informed Stein.

“Another challenge,” mentioned Stein, “was finding a young African American actor to play a lead role. That is until Matt Shepardson stepped up. He was an amazing find.”

“A few months ago a childhood friend’s mom alerted Wendy that I might be interested in the role,” said Shepardson, a CVU grad. “I did a couple of plays in high school so I signed on immediately. The cast is wonderful. My character goes through a lot of changes during the play so I am enjoying my role immensely.”

“Anna’s Journal” show dates and times are as follows:
Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 pm
Friday, Nov. 15 at 2 pm
Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2:30 and 7:30 pm

Tickets are on sale through the Flynn Regional Box Office, www.flynntix.org, or charge by phone at 86-FLYNN.

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