Playwright Claudia Haas has written the poignant and beautiful Dear Anne, From Nina based on the pen pal exchange between the Frank sisters and two American sisters in Iowa. Stage Partners Education Director Maria McConville chatted with Claudia to find out how she encountered this story, what inspired her to bring it to the stage, and how she hopes the play will inspire young people to stand up to injustice.
An Interview with Playwright Claudia Haas:
MARIA MCCONVILLE: I was fascinated to find out that Anne Frank had, for a brief moment in time, an American pen pal! How did you come across this story? Were you asked to write the Play or did you ask to write the play?
CLAUDIA HAAS: I saw an article in the BBC about the brief penpal exchange. It sent me on a research mission through google to learn more. When I discovered there was a museum dedicated to the small but important exchange of letters in Danville, Iowa, I knew I needed to pay them a visit. Danville is only about a day’s drive from my home in Minnesota, so it was all just luck that I was able to explore in-person. I had recently come home from a trip to Amsterdam where I visited the Anne Frank House. Seeing the cramped hiding space versus the openness of the farm in Iowa was very poignant. I