Milwaukee Rep Announces Cast For THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

Milwaukee Repertory Theater announced casting today for the moving, true story, The Diary of Anne Frank, their next production in the Quadracci Powerhouse. Anne Frank’s remarkable diary is a testament to the human spirit and its young author’s “boundless desire for all that is beautiful and good.” The play is dramatized from the book by Frances Goodrichand Albert Hackett. Making her Rep directorial debut, KJ Sanchez will direct the play. The cast features Associate Artists Jonathan Gillard Daly, Laura Gordon, Lee E. Ernst, James Pickering andDeborah Staples and guest actors J. Alexander Coe, Kelley Faulkner, Larry Neumann, Jr., and rising Chicago actress Lauren Hirte in the title role. Rep Artistic Intern Ensemble Members Jonathan Altman, Emily Berman, Jess Prichard and J.R. Yancher will also round out the cast. The Diary of Anne Frank runs in the Quadracci Powerhouse from October 23 – December 2 and opens onFriday, October 26.

The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the greatest testaments to living in the present that I’ve ever read, and it never fails to move me to tears, says Artistic Director Mark Clements. “The story may be set against one of history’s grimmest eras, but out of that comes incredible light and incredible hope from the strength of Anne’s spirit. This is a story that every generation needs to hear, and we’re honored to tell it.”

The cast for The Diary of Anne Frank:

Jonathan Altman First Man

Emily Berman Margot Frank

J. Alexander Coe Peter Van Daan

Jonathan Gillard Daly Mr. Frank

Lee E. ErnstMr. Van Daan

Kelley FaulknerMiep

Laura GordonMrs. Frank

Lauren HirteAnne Frank

Larry Neumann, Jr. – Mr. Dussel

James Pickering Mr. Kraler

Jess Prichard Second Man

Deborah Staples Mrs. Van Daan

J.R. YancherThird Man

Jonathan Altman (First Man) is a member of The Rep’s Artistic Intern Ensemble and was just seen in The Rep’s production of Assassins; Emily Berman (Margot Frank), is also a member of The Rep’s Artistic Intern Ensemble and is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan; J. Alexander Coe(Peter Van Daan) will be making his Rep debut and was most recently an Acting Intern with Actors Theatre of Louisville; recent roles include Minnesota State University Mankato’s The Owl and the Pussycat, The Odyssey and The Producers; Coe holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Minnesota State University Mankato; Jonathan Gillard Daly (Mr. Frank), a Rep Associate Artist, was most recently seen at The Rep on the Quadracci Powerhouse stage as The Proprietor in Assassins; other roles include Heck Tate in To Kill a Mockingbird and Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, among many others; Daly is also a founding member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, MN; Lee E. Ernst (Mr. Van Daan), also a Rep Associate Artist, was most recently seen as Samuel Byck inAssassins, Brabantio/Montano in Othello, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and the title role inLombardi; he has performed in over a 100 roles at The Rep since he joined the acting company in 1993; Ernst is also an accomplished fight choreographer and does fight choreography across the country; Kelley Faulkner (Miep), was just seen performing on the Quadracci Powerhouse stage in the Chorus of Assassins; other recent roles at The Rep include Patsy Cline in Always . . . Patsy Cline, Belle/Lucy in A Christmas Carol and Sally Bowles in Cabaret; other credits include Claire in Proof(Theatrefest), Nancy in Oliver! and Emily Arden in State Fair (Walnut Street Theatre) and Roxie inChicago (New Candlelight Theatre), among others; Laura Gordon, a Rep Associate Artist, just finished directing Guttenberg! The Musical! in The Rep’s Stackner Cabaret; she has performed in over 75 productions at The Rep including Death of a Salesman, The Lady with All the Answers; Pride and Prejudice, Enchanted April, The Crucible and Doubt, amongst many others; Lauren Hirte (Anne Frank), a Chicago-based actress, recently appeared with Lookingglass Theatre Company in Icarus; additional credits there include Fedra, Alice in Lookinglass Alice (including tours to New Victory Theatre, NY; McCarter Theatre, Princeton and Arden Theatre, Philadelphia) as well as Hard Times(Lookingglass and Arden Theatre, Philadephia); other credits include Dream and all three productions of The Flying Griffin Circus at the Actors Gymnasium, where she has been teaching and performing for the past ten years; and A Festival of Jewish Stories at the Piven Theatre, where she teaches on occasion and is an alum of their YPC; Larry Neumann, Jr. (Mr. Dussel), making his Rep debut, is a veteran Chicago actor who has performed in over 60 productions throughout the Chicago area in over 30 theaters; recent memorable performances include Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Phil Hogan in The Moon for the Misbegotten and Edgar Allen Poe in The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe (First Folio); film credits include Stir of Echoes,Relative Evil, Let’s Go to Prison, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, Stranger Than Fiction, The Merry Gentleman and Cash; James Pickering (Mr. Kraler), a Rep Associate Artist, returns to the Quadracci Powerhouse after performing the role of Duke of Venice in Othello; other roles last season included Judge Taylor in To Kill a Mockingbird and Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol; recent favorite roles include Richard Harkin in The Seafarer, Dave Moss in Glengarry Glen Ross, Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and Hugh in Translations; Jess Prichard (Second Man), a member of The Rep’s Artistic Ensemble, completed his MFA in Acting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; he has spent two summers with Associate Artist Jonathan Gillard Daly at the The Great River Shakespeare Festival; Deborah Staples (Mrs. Van Daan), a Rep Associate Artist, returns to the Quadracci Powerhouse after performing the roles of Emilia in Othello and Jean Louise in To Kill aMockingbird last season; she was also seen performing the role of the Ghost of Christmas Past/Mrs. Miggott in A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater; this past spring and summer she finished a run ofThe Blonde, The Brunette and The Vengeful Redhead at Writers’ Theatre in Glenco, IL; J.R. Yancher(Third Man), a member of The Rep’s Artistic Intern Ensemble, was just seen in The Rep’s production of Assassins as James Blaine and in the Chorus; he is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.


The Creative Team for The Diary of Anne Frank includes: KJ Sanchez (Director); Dan Conway (Scenic Designer); Rachel Healy (Costume Designer); Thomas C. Hase (Lighting Designer); M.L. Dogg (Sound Designer); Paige Hathaway (Assistant Scenic Designer); Sandy Ernst (Casting Director); Jessica Ventura (Assistant Casting Director); Claire Simon (Chicago Casting Director); Jill Walmsley Zager(Dialect Coach); Amanda Weener (Stage Manager); Kimberly McCann (Assistant Stage Manager);Lenny Banovez (Assistant Director) and Kaitlin Kitzmiller (Stage Management Intern).


Tickets for The Diary of Anne Frank are from $10 – $65 (prices are subject to change). Single Tickets for all of Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s 2012/13 productions are now on sale. Single Tickets can be purchased online at, through The Rep’s Ticket Office by calling 414-224-9490 or in person at 108 E. Wells Street. Group tickets are also available for purchase by callingPatron Relations Manager Christine Yundem at 414-290-5340.

To learn more about The Rep or its productions, please visit

Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works, full-scale musicals and side-splitting comedies housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, StiemkeStudio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements, The Rep is committed to creating plays that are meaningful and relevant to the society we live in – plays that are challenging, visceral and engage the community through the issues they explore.