03.10.2013

New venue to house new play ANNE in Amsterdam

On October, 2nd, the deputy Mayor of Amsterdam and Alderman of Economic and Cultural Affairs, Carolien Gehrels, officially unveiled the name and location of the theatre which is being constructed for a new innovative production based on the original Anne Frank’s Diary, ANNE.   Initiated by The Anne Frank Fonds Basel, the world premiere of ANNE in April 2014, which is being produced by Imagine Nation in collaboration with the Dutch National Theatre, will parallel the opening of the new venue Theater Amsterdam, currently being built especially for the production in the harbor close to the city centre. The Anne Frank Fonds (AFF) Basel was founded by Otto Frank, the universal heir and rights-owner of the Frank family estate, and is instigating the project to provide a contemporary rendition of one of the most important texts of the 20th century, bringing it to new audiences. The play has been written by Dutch authors Jessica Durlacher and Leon de Winter. Imagine Nation, the media company founded by Kees Abrahams and Robin de Levita, has been chosen by the Anne Franks Fonds Basel to be responsible for the production of the project. ANNE has been created in close collaboration with the Dutch National Theatre, who will take on the artistic responsibility. Robin de Levita, partner of Imagine Nation will be responsible for the production of the project. Kees Abrahams, CEO, Imagine Nation, says: “Looking at history it is obvious ANNE will be staged first in Amsterdam. Due to the size and technological features of the play it became clear that no existing theatre could accommodate the demands of this performance. We are therefore building  Theater Amsterdam to host all the technical and visual facilities and provide an unprecedented audience experience.”

Robin de Levita, responsible for the production of ANNE and co-founder of Imagine Nation, adds: “It is a great honour and a challenge to create this new work on the legacy of Anne Frank. It is our ambition to create a play, with music, which can be seen by all generations and will preserve this story about such an important chapter of recent history.” Carolien Gehrels deputy Major of Amsterdam adds: “This is a great moment for Amsterdam. If, in 100 years we could look back in time at our city icons, Anne Frank will certainly be one of them, next to Vincent van Gogh and Rembrandt. This theatre is a great initiative by Kees Abrahams and Robin de Levita for our city that is continuously growing”. Buddy Elias, Board member of the Anne Frank Fonds and Anne Frank’s cousin adds: “The play ANNE conveys the story of the world-wide renowned and beloved Anne Frank from a new perspective. This production is based on her Diary. Her story needs to be told anew to each generation. Therefore the Fonds has taken the initiative to have the Diary restaged in a contemporary production. For the Fonds, authenticity and integrity are fundamentals for the dramatization of the story. Hence the search for and choice of authors and producers that are strongly bound to the story by personal family history, a story that has now been respectfully and brilliantly realised.” Jessica Durlacher, playwright, adds: “With ANNE we retell the story of Anne Frank using a wider perspective. Our script contains the story of the adolescent girl developing into a woman within the unnatural environment of her secret shelter, as well as that of Anne as a talented author who understood the dangers of her threatened existence.”  Leon de Winter, playwright, says: “We hope this play will show the Anne Frank story as authentically as possible. She was extremely talented; by the age of 15 she already had developed into a great author. She actually wrote herself into maturity, and it has been a challenge for us to adequately express this evolution of Anne Frank in the play. Theu Boermans creative director of the Dutch National Theatre, adds:  “Anne is a national icon and it is a great honor for us, the Dutch National Theatre, to be able to contribute to a play of such importance”.

On the picture above: Robin de Levita, Kees Abrahams and deputy Major of Amsterdam, Carolien Gehrles (from left)

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