Small Theater, Huge Emotional Impact

Watching live theater in an intimate performance space can be an amazing experience.  The shows at Center Stage Playhouse in the Bronx are a great example.  I went to see their final main stage production of the season, The Diary of Anne Frank, and it was a powerful performance.  Directed by Ed Bartosik, using the newly adapted script by Wendy Kesselman of the original play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, the show can truly be called a work of art.

Small, under 100-seat theater spaces are a perfect venue for plays such as this.  The audience is close to the action and can totally escape into the story, feeling as if they were right there in the annex with the Frank family.  It's better than any home theater television set up or any megaplex movie theater (even the 3D variety).

The nuanced performances of the talented cast certainly helped the audience connect.  The actors were all at the top of their game: Joe Boover as Peter Van Daan, Daniel W. Clark as Mr. Kraler, Jill Conklin as Mrs. Van Daan, Clemmie Evans as Margot Frank, Larry Gutman as Mr. Frank, Sarah Giller as Mrs. Frank, Lucille P. Loiselle as Miep Geis, Henry J. Sbrocco as Mr. Van Daan, Laurence Wallace as Mr. Dussel, and the amazing Della Saba as Anne.

Some spectacles like Phantom of the Opera work best in large theater palaces on Broadway, but nothing beats the emotional impact of watching actors perform a quality production right in front of you in a small theater space.