Molly Katz, Executive DIrector of Half Moon Theatre, on YOURS, ANNE

Originally published by Arts Mid-Hudson

Selecting shows for a professional theatre company to produce each season isn’t easy. There is no shortage of superb works that Half Moon Theatre can bring to Hudson Valley audiences, so picking one can be a challenge!  Several months ago members of the Jewish community and community leaders such as Rabbi Leah Berkawitz from Vassar Temple in Poughkeepsie expressed an interest in a show called “Yours, Anne.” The theatre’s artistic director, managing director and I decided that this show is not only moving and beautiful, but it is a poignant and appropriate response to political and cultural situations in our world right now - including the plight of millions of Syrian refugees. Together, we felt that “Yours, Anne,” a musical adaptation of “Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank and “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, was definitely a story that needed to be told.

In addition to the on-stage performance of “Yours, Anne,” which opens March 25, a panel discussion moderated by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum’s Director Paul Sparrow will be held on March 19. The subject matter of this show and the parallels it has to the modern world provide an opportunity for a deeper conversation outside of the theatre. Our panel of speakers who will discuss the show and how it relates to issues in the world today are Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and musical director for the American Symphony Orchestra; Edna Nahshon, professor of Theater and Drama at The Jewish Theological Seminary; and, Enid Futterman, writer/librettist of “Yours, Anne.”

Founding Half Moon Theatre was deeply personal for me and celebrating our 10th anniversary season is nothing short of thrilling. I moved to the Hudson Valley as a member of Actor’s Equity Association (AEA) and there were no opportunities for me to work. AEA members are, unfortunately, not permitted to work with community theaters or your union membership will be revoked. I quickly realized that there was a niche to fill for year-round professional theatre in our community and together with other actors, set out to fill that void. Currently, we feature professionally trained actors and union professionals who have had careers in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but who have now made the Hudson Valley their home.  

Forging meaningful partnerships and establishing relationships with the community has been key to our success. Our most notable partnership thus far is with the Culinary Institute of America. We are proud to present all of our mainstage shows, including “Yours, Anne,” at the beautiful Marriott Pavilion at the CIA and we look forward to our future as the Hudson Valley’s premier year-round professional theatre.

See you at the theatre!

For more information:

“Yours, Anne” will be performed from March 25 through April 2 at the Marriott Pavilion on the Culinary Institute of America, 1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park. For more information and to purchase tickets go to www.halfmoontheatre.org. Group discounts and student matinees are available.