Saturday, November 17, 2018




JULY 2018.
A Review.

Triona Mc Morrow.

In the play Anne Frank Lives by Watertown, MA. based playwright Lawrence Kessenich , the scene is set early on with a powerful monologue from Anne. Her accent is very effective, the lighting and set help to create just the right atmosphere.

This plot is well-conceived. Anne survives Bergen Belsen having been rescued by a Nazi soldier and driven out of the camp. She stays with a couple on her way back home; they nurse her back to health. However, on her trip to Amsterdam the bus she takes crashes, she bangs her head and suffers amnesia. She then goes to New York where she is offered a job and then Anne begins to tell people she is Anne Frank.

She is admitted to a psychiatric hospital with a diagnosis of delusional behavior. We are wondering throughout whether she is Anne Frank; this creates great tension and suspense. We meet other delusional characters at the hospital like Marie Antoinette and FD Roosevelt. This adds to our uncertainty as to whether this is the real Anne Frank. 

The psychiatrist at the hospital played by Preston Fritz Smith has a big role in guiding Anne. He is convinced she is deluded. He plays the part with the gravitas we would expect.

Otto , her father played by Chaz Mc Cormack, is convincing in the role and her encounters with Otto are fraught and very real. She has convinced Otto that she is his daughter, because of details she included in her letters to him. However, although she finally free to leave the hospital she does not go with Otto. She has decided that she does not want to be Anne Frank any longer because she is afraid that people would think that everything about the holocaust was fiction.

Anne does leave the hospital alone. There is a scene, where a nurse silently dresses her for the outside , as if she is empowering her-- it is very effective. This contrasts with the start of the play where the nurse undresses her—a very powerful as a tool of dis-empowerment
The ghosts of Peter played by Gabe Calleja , Margot, played by Marine d’Aoure and Marie, played by Megan Grace Martinez work well in the play.

Thirsa van Til plays a very convincing and sustained Anne Frank. The rest of the cast perform well, it is almost a monologue with the rest of the cast supporting Thirsa.

The spare set and lighting were very atmospheric.

There is great attention to detail in the script. There was a small piece of plaid fabric attached with a paper clip to the program. The fabric was similar to the cover of Anne’s diary, the significance of the paper clip was that they were invented by a German Jew.

This was a very enjoyable immersive experience of theater. I believe this play would travel well.

 Triona McMorrow lives in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. She was shortlisted for the International Frances Ledwidge Poetry Competition in 2009, 2011 and 2016. She was shortlisted for the Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust Poetry Competition in 2013 and shortlisted for the Rush Poetry Competition in 2017.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Sunday Poet: Deborah Leipziger

Deborah Leipziger


Deborah Leipziger is an author, poet, and professor. Her chapbook, Flower Map, was published by Finishing Line Press (2013). In 2014, her poem “Written on Skin” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Born in Brazil, Ms. Leipziger is the author of several books on human rights and sustainability. Her poems have been published in Salamander, Voices Israel, POESY, Wilderness House Review, Ibbetson Street, and the Muddy River Poetry Review.

Written on Skin

In cursive and script your kiss
Is indelibly written on skin.

Even now, the cut from your birth
Echoing the rain is written on skin.

The numbers from a time of horror
Are held written on skin.

Just as the rings record the age of the tree
My ages and years are written on skin.

The wood from the forest for the violin
Its music etched in wood, written on skin.

The umbilical cord coiled around my neck
Is still there, pulsating purple, written on skin.

The parchment of history of storied sacrifice
Is written on hides, written on skin.

In ink and dust, blood and bruise
My history is written on skin.

The newspaper stories of massacre
Collapse and famine are written on skin.

Your touch on my earlobe, fingerprints on my face
Words and deeds unbidden, written on skin.

The phrase “Written on Skin” is the title of an opera by George Benjamin.

Published in Muddy River Poetry Review