Rain Scott-Catoire's hero in middle and high school wasn't the pop star of the moment.
Her hero had only one dress and would die in a Nazi concentration camp.
Her hero was Anne Frank. She was 14 and Jewish. And generations of readers have come to know her through the diary she kept during World War II while hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam.
Now Scott-Catoire gets to bring her hero to life in LSU Theatre's "The Diary of Anne Frank."
The show opens Nov. 9 in the Reilly Theatre, preceded by a pay-what-you-can performance Wednesday night and a preview performance Thursday.
Sanaz Ghajar, an Iranian-American director, writer and DJ, is directing the play on a minimalist stage constructed in the center of the theatre.
The few props place more emphasis on the characters and their story, a story Scott-Catoire first read in eighth grade.
"I was close to her age when she wrote her diary, and I was fascinated by her courage," she said. "We read the play, then watched the movie in class, and I was sobbing the rest of the day. Then I read the diary on my own."
Scott-Catoire is 19 now, but Frank remains her inspiration. Even though it's only her first semester in LSU's School of Theatre program, the Central High School graduate auditioned for the lead.
"I just knew that I loved Anne Frank coming into this play," Scott-Catoire said, "and if I could meet anyone in history, it would be her."
But Anne isn't the only character in this story, which opens on July 6, 1942, in Amsterdam as two Jewish families are settling in a secret annex.
There's also her parents and her sister, Margot, as well as Mr. and Mrs. van Daan and their son, Peter. The play follows these families as they live their lives in hiding, constantly in fear.
Anne’s words are present throughout, providing a gateway into her most intimate and personal moments, as well as that of those around her.
For Scott-Catoire, Anne Frank has become even more of a hero as she speaks the words of the 14 year old.
"In every rehearsal she becomes more real — a real person in real situations," the young actress said. "And I admire her even more."
'The Diary of Anne Frank'
An LSU Theatre production
WHEN: Nov. 7-10; Nov. 13-16 and Nov. 18. Performances at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Reilly Theatre, Tower Drive, LSU
TICKETS/INFO: Pay-what-you-can Nov. 7; $12 Nov. 8 preview; other performances $22; $17 for seniors, faculty and staff; $14, students. (225) 578-3527 or lsu.edu/cmda/theatre. Tickets also available at the door.