Coming soon – for thousands of Arizona middle schoolers

Professional live theatre performances for student audiences of “The Diary of Anne Frank” are scheduled from Feb. 10 to 13 at the 900-seat Madison Center for the Arts at 5601 N. 16th Street in Phoenix.

The Detroit-based Jewish Ensemble Theatre (JET) is the longest continuously operating professional Jewish theatre in North America. It has produced the show annually throughout Michigan for more than two decades.

And now, thanks to the dedication of Sally Ginn, who has homes in both Detroit and the Valley, along with her dedicated group of volunteers, JET is coming to the Valley, and some 4,500 local students will see the show.

Student attendance fulfills core curriculum requirements for middle schoolers. To enhance the experience, JET will provide projected subtitles in Spanish. There is a minimal charge for student tickets. If they are unable to pay, donations will cover the fee.

Sally explains that this exciting happening is being made possible through the cooperation and generosity of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix, with the support of private donors in the Phoenix area. The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center and the Phoenix Holocaust Association have signed on as partners.

The plan is that in future years a local cast will continue what would become a tradition, as it is in Detroit. The Detroit executive director will audition local members of Actors’ Equity prior to the scheduled local performances.

Having personally experienced anti-Semitism in her lifetime, Sally says, “Connecting to, and supporting this project simply spoke to me as a way to introduce Anne Frank to a generation who likely has never heard of her – and to learn a valuable lesson about the horrors of the Holocaust.”

Educators can call 833-378-5300 for information on student matinees.

There will be a public performance of “The Diary of Anne Frank” on Feb. 13 at 7:30 pm at the Madison Theater for Performing Arts. Tickets are $16 adults and $10 for students. There will also be an option for adults to buy special VIP tickets to honor Lanny Lahr.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” for adults

The 7:30 pm performance of “The Diary of Anne Frank” on Feb. 13 at the Madison Center for the Arts will have a special, roped-off section for adults only honoring Detroit native, longtime Valley resident and philanthropist Lanny Lahr. Contributors will enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 pm, prior to the show.

Sally Ginn, who has homes in both Detroit and the Valley, explains that she was encouraged by Lanny’s Detroit relatives to contact him. “He jumped on the bandwagon when he realized the long-term impact that this event will have on young audiences.” (See article on page 34).

“I love this idea,” Lanny says. “Sally gets credit for wanting to share the show with an adult Arizona audience in addition to the middle-schoolers, and I’m happy to help. Many of my friends already plan to attend, and I am hoping that everyone will follow their lead. We have a big theater to fill – and I’m doing my best to fill it.”

To make tax-deductible reservations, at $100 per person, mail a check to Sally Ginn, JET/Phoenix, 3164 E. Rose Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85016. If you plan to use a credit card, go to and click on outreach programs. For more information, contact Sally at 248-210-5141.

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