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Solo Theater Performance of Otto Frank by Roger Guenveur Smith at HHRC

The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine presents Roger Guenveur Smith’s innovative theater performance Otto Frank, featuring sound created live by Marc Anthony Thompson on Sunday, October 20th at 3 p.m. at the Michael Klahr Center, on the campus of the University of Maine at Augusta. The free 60-minute performance will be followed by a discussion with the artists.

Marc Anthony Thompson and Roger Guenveur Smith
Marc Anthony Thompson and Roger Guenveur Smith

Roger Guenveur Smith has been inspired by Otto Frank to create a solo performance informed by both tragedy and triumph. As a steward of his daughter’s legacy, Frank navigated loss, adolescent ambition, and the criticism of those who questioned his motivations, the authenticity of the diary, and even the Holocaust itself. How does one simultaneously serve the living and the dead, and at what cost? In collaboration with sound designer Marc Anthony Thompson, Smith interrogates our present moment through a rigorous examination of our not-so-distant past.

Acclaimed stage and screen actor Roger Guenveur Smith visited the Klahr Center last fall with support from the New England Foundation of the Arts to examine the HHRC’s artifacts from the Holocaust as part of a research tour that included New Hampshire’s Keene State College and the College at Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. The result of his research is a stirring new solo performance piece exploring the story and legacy of Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank.

Smith (credits include Do the Right Thing, The Birth of a Nation, Rodney King) blends the historical and performative in a piece about the man who lives on past loss to share his family’s experiences and memories through his daughter’s famous diary.

Roger Guenveur Smith and Marc Anthony Thompson will also return to the Klahr Center on Monday, October 21st for a lunch and learn that is open to students, staff, faculty and members of the community. A light lunch and beverages will be provided. The artists will discuss their creative processes.

The performance is made possible with support from the University of Maine at Augusta Cultural Events and Diversity Committees. Seating is limited, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early for the best seats.

Event Summary

  • Sunday, October 20th at 3 p.m., Otto Frank, performance and discussion with artists at the Michael Klahr Center on the University of Maine at Augusta campus. This performance has limited seating and is free and open to the public.
  • Monday, October 21st at Noon to 1 p.m., Lunch n’ Learn with artists discussing their creative processes at the Michael Klahr Center on the University of Maine at Augusta campus. This event has limited seating and is open to students, staff, faculty, and members of the community. A light lunch and beverages will be provided.

For more information about the programs, call the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine at 207-621-3531 or contact David Greenham at david.greenham@maine.edu.