Three Anne Franks


Maya Macdonald



Three actors audition to play Anne Frank in a production that could not obtain the rights to a single word from Anne’s diary. As interpretations vary, we begin to see the difference between who Anne Frank was and who we need her to be. With biting humor, this play explores complications of privacy and authorship, appropriation, race and Jewish identity, and the performance of history.




Maya Macdonald a Playwrights Realm 2019-2020 Writing Fellow, where she developed her play brunch (Honorable Mention, The Relentless Award, Semi-Finalist, Theatre503’s Playwriting Award in London). Her plays include: Raw Pasta (Finalist, Leah Ryan FEWW, Semi-Finalist, The O’Neill and Seven Devils Playwrights Conference), Three Anne Franks (Finalist, Berkley Rep Underground, Finalist, Rattlestick Playwrights Commission), Leave the Balcony Open (Finalist, Princess Grace Award). Maya is a member of the 2020 Project Y Theatre Company’s Playwrights Group. She received her BA, from Bennington College, and an MFA from Hunter College under the guidance of Annie Baker, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Brighde Mullins where she received the Irv Zarkowr Award for Excellence.



1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?


While I have written plays since I was very young, something shifted for me when I was cast as a nameless woman covered in blood running from an attacker not once, but three times, in three separate plays. I either had no lines or simply said “noNoNOO!” I suppose this was one of the many moments that makes me excited to write plays for female performers where they get to do more than just show up and get murdered.


2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?


I have auditioned for the role of Anne Frank many times. And no, I was never cast as Anne. I was told I was “more of a Margot, but too much of an Anne to be a Margot.” I was offered a job as the props mistress and accepted. It was a fascinating experience to live on the sidelines of this play within a real historical artifact: a diary of a young girl we all think we know, but none of us really did.


3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?


darkly funny, rhythmic, eclectic, feminine


4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?


I grew up in a modern dance family and so I would say movement has been a great influence on my work. I love works that blend genre, or what we perceive genre to be and I love actors who can bring these kinds of plays alive.


5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?


I am often assumed to be a vegetarian. I am not a vegetarian. At least not yet.


6. What are some of your favorite plays?


I tend to re-read the last scene from Angels in America frequently.


7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?


My play brunch was a part of the INKed Festival as part of my fellowship with The Playwrights Realm and I’d love to share the script with you.  You can read it here on New Play Exchange: https://newplayexchange.org/users/11358/maya-macdonald