MEDIA THEATRE'S DESIGNERS AND STAGE CREW PREPARE FOR 'DIARY OF ANNE FRANK'

For the most part, actors are the focal point when raising awareness of a production to the public. A fair amount of information is given as to who is playing which role. It’s been this way almost since theatre began, as the actor is the most visible representation of what the show is communicating to the audience as well as a strong image to create interest.

However, there are plenty of creative artists, designers, and stage crew members behind the scenes. To that end, The Media Theatre’s team for “The Diary of Anne Frank” is certainly worthy of receiving public acknowledgement.
K. Whitney Rogers, Costume Designer, and Whitney Rayl, Costume Assitant, discuss "Diary of Anne Frank"
“The Diary of Anne Frank” is the legendary play based on the journal of a young girl who, with her family, hid from the Nazis during WWII in an attic in Amsterdam for two years. We are basically seeing the traumatic time period through her eyes –The eyes, mind, and soul of a youth who had aspirations which went unfulfilled and a delightful wonder for her future. It’s at The Media Theatre January 29 through February 16.

The play represents a challenge in each technical department. Director Jesse Cline has assembled a team that is certainly up to the task. He is the Artistic Director for Media Music Theatre Company, the professional non-profit organization which produces the Broadway Series at The Media Theatre. Cline was recently named Best Director of A Musical (2013 Broadway World Philadelphia Award) for his production of “Mame”.
Production Manager Robert Towarnicki assists in preparing the set for "Diary of Anne Frank"
Overseeing “The Diary of Anne Frank” with Cline is The Media Theatre’s Production Manager, Robert Towarnicki. He has a Masters in Theatre Arts from Villanova University. He worked with the properties department there for eight shows and was behind the scenes of several other productions in various aspects. This is his sixth show at The Media Theatre in which he oversees all design aspects of a production and, after the show opens, maintains its production values. A ‘hands on’ man, he lends his talents to the building of each set as well (and, as a matter of fact, was the Set Designer for the recent production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”).

The Technical Director is Rob White. He works directly with the Production Manager in keeping an eye on lights, sound, and other technical aspects. White hails from Gettysburg College with a Bachelors in Theatre Arts. He is a scenic carpenter and assists in the building of each set at The Media Theatre.

The set Towarnicki and White built for “The Diary of Anne Frank” was designed by Matthew Miller, whose designs have been seen at Mauckingbird Theatre Company, Cape May Stage, and Adirondack Theatre Festival. He has an MFA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Miller stays busy when not designing by instructing stage management and design at Temple University.
Technical Director Rob White makes sure each portion of the stage floor is painted
Troy Martin O’ Shia returns to The Media Theatre for this production as Lighting Designer. He is the Tech Coordinator/ Lighting Director for the Uarts and Brind School and a founding member of Hase & Associates, LTD. Media Theatre audiences have seen his lighting designs in many productions during the past few years. He was recently honored with Broadway World’s Best Lighting Design in their annual awards for the Philadelphia region for Media’s production of “Spamalot”.

Carl Park, another Broadway World honoree for Best Sound Design for “Spamalot”, returns to add his creative input for “The Diary of Anne Frank”.  He’s a resident of Media and has worked with Longwood Gardens, Wilmington Grand Opera House and the Delaware ShakespeareFestival.

K. Whitney Rogers is Costume Designer. Her work was seen during the past year at The Media Theatre with “Death on the 16th Fairway” and “Spamalot”. She also designed the summer teen musical “Hair”. She has been involved with the entertainment business her entire life in some aspect and will be assisted during “The Diary of Anne Frank” by The Media Theatre’s Wardrobe Supervisor, Whitney Rayl.

The Properties Designer is Allison L. Ward. With an MA in Theatre from Villanova University, her work has been seen at Delaware Theatre Company and Bristol Riverside Theatre. She was a Fellow at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

The set for “Diary of Anne Frank” will also involve the work of Graphic Designer Chris Jordan. He’s been associated with The Media Theatre for the past three years in several aspects including Stage Management, Marketing, and creating the billboards seen on I-95 which are seen by thousands each day, raising awareness for the theatre and each of its productions.
Anastasia Korbal, who plays the role of Anne Frank

Add each ingredient created by the aforementioned designers and it brings us to what audiences will see during this professional production of “The Diary of Anne Frank”.  The actors will bring the roles to life on the stage, each of them adding their own level of expertise to fulfilling the direction given them by Cline.
Now, as you watch the show and become involved and moved by Wendy Kesselman’s adaptation of Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s original script, you’ll know more about all of the talent necessary to bring the story to life. Each prop, costume, ray of light, sound or staircase on the stage has a deeper meaning than you may initially realize—and each was  designed by a creative team so that you, the audience, would have a deeper understanding of The Frank Family’s time in the attic during WWII as the Nazis were approaching.


“The Diary of Anne Frank”, based on one young girl’s account of this harrowing time in world history, is ultimately inspiring due to its message of hope. The show is sponsored by PECO and is at The Media Theatre January 29 to February 16. For tickets and information call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

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