(PHOTO COURTESY OF CIVIC THEATRE)
By Macy Douglas
Southsider Voice intern
Gemma Rollison has the leading role in “The Diary of Anne Frank” at the Civic Theatre in Carmel. Rollison, 18, is a Southside homeschooled student who has been interested in dance and theater from a young age.
She is currently a Great American Song Book Ambassador and part of a competitive, nationwide Broadway program focusing on music of the Golden Age. She has also been in plays for Indy Bard Fest, Agape, and His Light Prayers. Some of her favorite roles include Marion Paroo in “The Music Man,” Kathy Selden in “Singin’ in the Rain,” and Miranda in “The Tempest.”
The production closes this Saturday (Feb.25), with available shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Civic Theatre website or by calling The Center for the Performing Arts box office at 317-843-3800.
“The Diary of Anne Frank” is a new adaptation of an old story. This version was created by Wendy Kesselman. The Dramatist Play Service, Inc. says, “It is an impassioned drama about the lives of eight people hiding from the Nazis in a concealed storage attic, The Diary of Anne Frank captures the claustrophobic realities of their daily existence – their fear, their hope, their laughter, their grief.”
As Anne Frank, Rollison has received praise from Broadway World, saying, “This particular play presents a unique challenge: finding a young actress with enough range to show Anne during her teenage transition. Luckily, Gemma Rollison was up for that challenge and handled it with grace... Gemma shined as the bubbly 13-year-old Anne.”
Rollison’s sister, Arabella Rollison Overton, was there for the opening night and had this to say about her performance, “She did an amazing, amazing job at capturing Anne’s vivacious spirit and normal life while at the same time delivering the impact of the story. This was a difficult role and she did so well!”
Rollison is the daughter of Tracey and Doug Rollison, longtime Southsiders. Her dad is an ’83 Southport graduate and was involved in the theater program as well as sports. Gemma plans to keep pursuing her acting career in the future and her family fully supports her dreams.
Arabella Rollison Overton (left) with Gemma Rollison on opening night of “The Diary of Anne Frank” at the Civic Theater in Carmel.