THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK returns to Whitaker Center March 2

Open Stage of Harrisburg’s 14th Annual Production to Feature New Director

Open Stage of Harrisburg presents the highly acclaimed, award-winning play THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. The play is an inspiring story of perseverance and hope, which serves as a timeless lesson that the spirit of a child is impossible to deny. Adapted by Wendy Kesselman, the play was first dramatized by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett from the novel Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, edited by Otto Frank. This production is sponsored by Capital BlueCross.
Local director and actor Karen Ruch is directing this production, the professional theatre’s 14th annual presentation of THE DIARY. The production will play one public performance only, March 2 at 2pm, at Whitaker Center, 222 Market St. in downtown Harrisburg.

Most recently, Ruch directed Romeo and Juliet for Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival and appeared on stage in Gamut Theatre’s Stage Door production of Beowulf. She also directed The Tempest and Lysistrata for Harrisburg Shakespeare Company, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Hershey Area Playhouse. Last summer, she worked with Central PA playwrights, composers and choreographers to create and direct Sonnet Inspirations – a collection of original pieces inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnets. She has worked with several theatre organizations in Central PA, including Gamut Theatre Group, Open Stage of Harrisburg, Theatre of the Seventh Sister, Hershey Area Playhouse, Pennsylvania Youth Music Theatre, Harrisburg Opera, Theatre Harrisburg, and PA Historical Dramas.
Second only to the Bible, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK is one of the world’s most read books. Even if audiences have read the diary and watched the movie, experiencing the live stage play is a unique and moving experience that brings new life to the story and the characters. Set during one of history’s most brutal periods, the Holocaust, the play is based on the actual diary of a young girl who comes of age while hiding from the Nazis in a tiny, overcrowded attic with her family for more than two years. During their confinement, Anne discovers herself as a beautiful, thoughtful, and extraordinary girl. Her story is a constant reminder to us all of the power of the human spirit.
Susquehanna Township High School Sophomore Kara Miller will be playing the role of Anne Frank. Brian Schreffler returns to the production as Otto Frank, Lisa Pantano plays Edith Frank, and Mabel Schreffler plays Margot Frank. Other actors in the production include Kim Greenawalt, Brendan Downey, Tim Lehman, Nancy Kraft, David Hurlbert, Patrick F. Sanders, Preston Schreffler, Aidan Roth, and Ian Potter. The production is stage managed by Jess Roberts.

The Set Designer is Jim Woland, Lighting Design is by Karen Gasser, Sound Design by Mike Banks, and costumes are by Open Stage Resident Costume Designer Gwen Alsedek.
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK will be performed Saturday, March 2 at 2pm in the beautiful Sunoco Performance Theatre at Whitaker Center, 222 Market St. in downtown Harrisburg. Parking is available in the Walnut Street Parking Garage.

Admission to THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK is $15-$30. For all advanced ticket reservations, call 717-232-OPEN (6736), visit, or stop by our box office, located at Open Stage, 223 Walnut St., on the street level of the Walnut Street Garage in downtown Harrisburg.




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Artistic Director continues tradition of August Wilson Pittsburgh Cycle

Open Stage of Harrisburg Executive Artistic Director Donald Alsedek directs another installment of August Wilson’s acclaimed Century Cycle of plays exploring the Black experience in America Following at the intimate Angino Family Theatre. Following last year’s triumph with MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM, Alsedek takes on August Wilson’s African-American epic, JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE. The production opens February 1 and closes February 23. Evening performances Thursday to Saturdays are at 8:00pm and Sunday matinees are at 2:00pm.

“I am pleased to present August Wilson’s work to our audience once more,” says Alsedek. “JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE was a landmark work in Wilson’s career, and a landmark work for the American theatre. It asks important questions about race and identity.”

“JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE is an intoxicatingly hopeful blend of history, mystery, myth, ribald humor, music, dance, and enduring faith,” raves the Chicago Reader. Haunted by seven years on a chain gang, Herald Loomis appears in Pittsburgh to reunite his family. Surrounded by the vibrant tenants of a Black boarding house, he fights for his soul and his song in the dawning days of a century without slavery. “Wilson gives haunting voice to the souls of the American dispossessed,” declares the New York Times. “The clash between the American and the African shakes white and black theatergoers as violently as it has shaken the history we’ve all shared.”

August Wilson (1945 – 2005) authored a ten-play cycle exploring the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade-by-decade, through the 20th century: Fences, Gem of the Ocean, Jitney, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, King Hedley II, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Radio Golf, Seven Guitars, and Two Trains Running. His plays have garnered numerous awards including two Pulitzer Prizes, the Tony Award for Best Play, two Drama Desk Awards, an Olivier Award, and eight prizes for Best Play from the New York Drama Critics Circle – including one for Joe Turner. They have been produced on Broadway, at theatres across the country, and around the world. Wilson himself earned many honors, including Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships, the Heinz Award, and the Whiting Writers Award. He was a member of the AmericanvAcademy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and New Dramatists. In 1999, he was awarded a National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States, and he was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. On October 16, 2005, the Broadway theatre located at 245 West 52nd Street was renamed the August Wilson Theatre in honor of his deep legacy to American drama.

Alsedek has assembled a talented cast of experienced actors to bring Wilson’s world to life, many of whom have performed in Open Stage’s other installments of the Cycle (JITNEY, THE PIANO LESSON, and MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM). The cast includes Daniel Fordham, Sharia Benn, Aaron Bomar, Leonard Dozier, Richard Johnson, Jeremy Patterson, Tierra Fuller, Tanisha Hollis, Madison Bond II, Aneesa Neibauer, Dana Fields

Five accomplished designers have signed on to assist Alsedek on this project, including Resident Costume Designer Gwen Alsedek, Set Designer Steve Krempasky, and Lighting Designer Tristian Stasiulis.

Individual tickets for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone start at only $30. Additional savings are available for groups, students, and those who join Open Stage for Thrifty Thursdays presented by PSEA – meaning discounted seats can be obtained for as little as $15! Open Stage of Harrisburg is affordable to people in the community who are just starting school, starting careers, and starting families – because lower prices are now available for every performance.

With special events during the run of JOE TURNER, theatre-lovers can come and go to their hearts’ content:

Opening night festivities are held on Friday, February 1, including a post-show reception party for the audience featuring complimentary wine and fantastic food.

Student matinees are available on select Wednesdays in February. Tickets are $18 each, and a chaperone is admitted free for every 15 students. For details, call 717-214-3248or e-mail

• A Post-play discussion moderated by field experts follows the 2:00pm matinee on February 10.

See JOE TURNER before it’s gone. Open Stage of Harrisburg is located at 223 Walnut St., on the street level of the Walnut Street Garage in downtown Harrisburg. For tickets or information, call 177-232-OPEN(6736) – or simply click

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THE SANTALAND DIARIES is back – Dec 18-29 2012!

DAVID SEDARIS’ THE SANTALAND DIARIES SLAPS OPEN STAGE SILLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS… AGAIN! Stuart Landon Squeezes into Elf Knickers Once More this Holiday Season.




Crumpet is back by popular demand! And nothing says “holiday spirit” like temper tantrums and sozzled Santas! Open Stage once again mixes up their offerings this holiday season with mature fare in David Sedaris’ wickedly funny THE SANTALAND DIARIES, playing December 28-29. Open Stage regular and staff member Stuart Landon will once again don the green velvet elf costume in the revival of this one-man show.

“Stuart Landon as David/Crumpet is the Zen master of comedy. Watching Landon is nothing less than magical; he brings to the role energy, hilarity and adorable mischievousness. He is that unique snowflake that you grab on to and pray hard that it never melts.”

In 1992, brilliant American humorist David Sedaris debuted THE SANTALAND DIARIES on National Public Radio, delighting listeners with a cheeky look back at his experience of moving to New York City and finding a job as Crumpet the Elf at Macy’s SantaLand. Four years later, Tony Award-winning director Joe Mantello adapted the short story into a one‐man show that has since become a modern Christmas classic.

The play’s main character, David, arrives in the Big Apple with grand hopes of “going straight from Penn Station to the offices of One Life to Live” and becoming a famous soap opera writer. With his lofty career aspirations quickly frustrated, however, he accepts a dare from his roommate and applies for a job as a department store elf. David’s journey takes the audience through the application process; his days of Elf Training; and an entire holiday season filled with thousands of visitors to SantaLand, a variety of difficult Santas, the politics of dealing with elf coworkers, and his struggle to survive an often humiliating job during the crassest, most over-­‐ commercialized, and sometimes depressing time of year without losing his sanity or heart.

Performances of THE SANTALAND DIARIES take place December 18-29 at Open Stage of Harrisburg’s intimate Angino Family Theatre, located at 223 Walnut Street on the street (S) level of the Walnut Street Garage in downtown Harrisburg. The street entrance is off of Court Street. The theatre lobby opens one hour prior to performance.

Evening Performances (8pm): December 18, 19, 20 (SOLD OUT), 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29.
Opening Night Performance & Party: December 18
Limited $15 tickets are available on Thrifty Thursdays, sponsored by PSEA, on December 27th.

THE SANTALAND DIARIES is recommended for mature audiences due to language.

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Open Stage of Harrisburg produces
Holiday Classic is a Treat for the Entire Family

HARRISBURG, PA — Open Stage of Harrisburg is pleased to stage a brand-new production of Dylan Thomas’ A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, a play with music, directed by Executive Artistic Director Donald L. Alsedek. Based on the author’s timeless holiday story and other iconic works, this Child’s Christmas weaves prose, poetry and live, traditional Welsh music into a tapestry of nostalgia and celebration befitting the season. A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES runs from November 23 to December 15, 2012 only at Open Stage, 223 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA. Regular tickets are $30 and Student tickets are $21. For tickets call 717-232-OPEN(6736) or visit
We’ve all sat around the dinner table after a holiday meal and reminisced about holidays gone by. Such memories are the threads of the homespun A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES. The story follows the young child Dylan through his memories of perfect Christmas Days. Thomas’s tale captures the essence of family life in Wales after World War I. The audience is offered a delightful slice of life, from the days when people had time to spend together and when families gathered and entertained one another with stories, poems and songs. It is sure to delight the old and the young and will be a holiday treat for everyone, even if you don’t celebrate Christmas.
“I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.”
Celebrate the season with a brand-new production of legendary Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ classic holiday story.  For a delightful, nostalgic evening to enjoy Christmas again the way it was, and always should be, don’t miss A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, November 23 to December 15, 2012. Call Open Stage’s Box Office at 717-232-OPEN(6736) or visit for tickets.
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Interviewer David Frost uses television to show defeat in a more powerful way than any courtroom ever could… 400 million people were waiting for the truth.

Open Stage of Harrisburg presents FROST/NIXON by Peter Morgan October 5 – 27, 2012. The play is an intriguing look at the events leading up to and including the famous 1977 interviews between television personality David Frost & former President Richard Nixon. Television was used as the medium to provide Nixon with the trial he never received and a nation with the confession it longed for.

Richard Nixon, the disgraced president with a legacy to save, is played by Anthony M.C. Leukus, and David Frost, the jet-setting television personality with a name to make is played by Stuart Landon. They go head-to-head in the historic encounter that changed both their lives. Three years after being forced from office, the steely former commander-in-chief agrees to sit for one all-inclusive interview, and both sides square off in a battle to uncover the truth behind one of the most infamous presidencies of all time.

“FROST/NIXON provides a behind-the-scenes look at a pivotal moment in history and an even more exciting glimpse into the lives of men battling to get back to the top,” comments Landon.

“Because of the focus on the making of the interviews, ones knowledge of the actual Nixon history is not at all necessary to understanding and being entertained by the story. The characters in FROST/NIXON are finely drawn and audiences respond very well to them”, adds Open Stage Artistic Director Don Alsedek, who helms the production. “While the subject matter is political in nature, and very appropriate for this election year, the play is also quite funny and engaging.”

The costumes are designed by Resident Costume Designer Gwen Alsedek, with set design by Jim Woland and lights by Tristan Stasiulis. The cast also includes Jim Lewis as Jack Brennan, Kevin Strawser as John Birt, Michael Kriby as Jim Reston, Brian Schreffler as Swifty Lazar, Philip Wheeler as Bob Zelnick, Trish Baillie as Caroline Cushing, Branka Lukic as Evonne Goolagong, and Gabriel Williams as Manolo Sanchez.

FROST/NIXON plays October 5-27 in the intimate Angino Family Theatre at Open Stage of Harrisburg, 223 Walnut Street, located on the street level of the Walnut Street Parking Garage in downtown Harrisburg.

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