Anne & Emmett Banner


The Haymarket Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska proudly presents its production of Anne & Emmett, written by Janet Langhart Cohen, a civil and human rights advocate. The play stars Jessie Tidball, Devon Tate, Landon Beard, Dave Landis, Kwakiutl Dreher, and Jordan Deffenbaugh and is directed by Bobby Bonaventura.  Performances  are on November 21, 22, 23, 29, 30 and on December 1, 5, 6, and 7, 2013.

Jessie Tidball stars as Anne Frank, the 15-year-old Jewish girl whose diary provided a gripping perspective of the Holocaust. Devon Tate and Landon Beard star as Emmett Till, the 14-year old African-American boy whose brutal murder in the South galvanized the American Civil Rights Movement. The play’s premiere at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC was postponed when an African-American security guard was shot to death by a neo-Nazi, reminding us that hatred is not a monstrous relic of the past, but an evil that continues to plague people around the world.

The play opens with the two teenagers meeting in Memory, a place that isolates them from the cruelty they experienced during their lifetimes. The beyond-the-grave encounter highlights the startling similarities between the two youths’ harrowing experiences and the atrocities of anti-Semitism and Racism. Anne recounts hiding in a cramped attic with her family after Adolf Hitler ordered the Nazi military to round up Jews and put them in concentration camps en route to gas chambers. Anne died of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp in March 1945, a few weeks before British troops liberated the concentration camp. Emmett tells Anne how he, in 1955, ended up being brutally attacked by a group of racists and thrown in the Tallahatchie River with a cotton gin fan tied to his neck. This happened after he whistled at a white woman while visiting his uncle in Money, Mississippi. “Anne & Emmett” is both moving and inspirational for audiences of all ages.

Performances run November 21, 22, 23, 29, 30 and on December 1, 5, 6, and 7, 2013. Regular evening performances are 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Matinee Performances are Sundays at 2 p.m. Regular Admission is $15 and Student/Senior is $12.

November 21 is our opening night gala, where Janet Langhart Cohen will be in attendance. The event starts at 6 p.m. and is complete with food and drink provided by Brix & Stone. Tickets are $60 single/$100 couple. All proceeds from this event benefit the Anne & Emmett LPS tour.  For ticket information visit For more information about the play, visit


Anne & Emmett is made possible by:

Anne & Emmett Sponsors



About the Playwright:

Janet Langhart Cohen is President of Langhart Communications, and an Emmy-nominated journalist, as well as an author and playwright. Her career began in television on CBS in Chicago. During her 25-year career, Mrs. Cohen has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and BET; hosted numerous morning shows, covered special assignments for Entertainment Tonight, hosted several national programs, including “On Capitol Hill with Janet Langhart” and was an overseas correspondent.  She was the first African-American woman to host a national television show in America. A mentee of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she was active during the Civil Rights Movement. Mrs. Cohen has interviewed many prominent leaders of the 20th century including presidents, world leaders, Rosa Parks, countless celebrities, and even white supremacist David Duke. Mrs. Cohen is the wife of former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and was known as “First Lady of the Pentagon,” due to her active and visible public role to support the military and their families while her husband was in office for which President Clinton acknowledged her contributions during his last State of the Union address. She wrote From Rage to Reason: My Life in Two Americas and, with her husband, co-wrote Love in Black and White, a memoir about race, religion, romance.  She also is actively involved in the provision of higher education for underprivileged children and wrote this play to live in the classroom.