Two historic figures come together on stage - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Two historic figures come together on stage

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By: Brittany Paris
bparis@klkntv.com

Anne Frank and Emmett Till, two names that have etched themselves in history book. But now, they're meeting on stage.

Anne & Emmett, a play opening Thursday night at the Haymarket Theatre, has the two teenagers meeting in memory.

"I have them come together. And the face that they're disparate, they're different from each other, what happens is you find out they're the same and they get that," Janet Langhart Cohen, playwright, said.

Frank, the 14-year-old girl who hid in an attic to avoid a concentration camp during the Holocaust, and eventually died of Typhus in 1945.

And Till, a young African-American boy who was brutally murdered in Money, Mississippi in 1955 for whistling at a white woman.

Cohen hopes her play touches a cord.

"I wrote the play as a call to action to society to do something, to act. Not just be amazed or entertained, but to go do something," she said.

She hopes it inspires change. Cohen says it's easy to talk about Frank, but many people are unaware of Emmett Till.

"Her people, her ethnicity, encourages us all to remember. Never forget. And others tell black people, 'Forget. Get over it,'" she said.

Till helped spark the civil rights movement.

"Because a lot of good people, black and white, just said, 'Enough. This is a little boy,'" Bobby Bonaventura, Anne & Emmett director, said.

Former Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton and Janet's husband, Bill Cohen, says this play isn't just about Emmett or Anne. He says they're representatives for the countless others who went through a horrific period in history.

"It's not just about what happened to him, which was brutal, but what has happened over the centuries," he said.

"When you hear bullying, when you hear a racial joke, when you hear something anti-semantic, speak up," Janet Cohen said.

To find out performance dates and times, click here.

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