For your holiday viewing pleasure, here is a theatrical treat that someday may be historical, too.
It’s the stage debut of Hannah Kraft, in the premiere of The Graduation, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown.
Hannah hails from one of America’s great acting families. Her uncle is Matthew Broderick, and her aunt is Sarah Jessica Parker. The late actor James Broderick was Hannah’s grandfather.
The Graduation was written in the 1960s by Hannah’s late grandmother, the painter and screenwriter Patricia Broderick, who later wrote the screenplay for Matthew’s 1996 movie Infinity.
And Hannah’s director? None other than her mother, Janet Broderick, whose oratorical skills are on display every Sunday in her role as St. Peter’s rector.
What’s it like being directed by your mom?
“My mom is a funny character. She knows a lot more about acting than she’s willing to admit, but she still is a mother,” said Hannah, a senior at Newark Academy.
“So, when she thought of something, she said it. She was very honest which was nice, despite being my mother. But, it was harder because I would take her criticisms very seriously sometimes because she is my mom after all.”
Hannah said she did not seek any pointers from her famous uncle and aunt, looking instead to her co-star, Devon Bailey Griffin.
“I learned the most from Devin throughout the whole process. She went to acting school and is a professional actress herself and her confidence and natural comfort on stage inspired me a lot,” said Hannah. Michael Giuliano and Patty Paulman rounded out the cast for the March 2013 performance.
Although her acting debut seemed “a little scary” and made her “very nervous,” Hannah said the experience proved to be fun in the end. And she learned a lot about her grandmother.
“I didn’t know my grandmother that well. My family told me she was always really brilliant and funny, and I thought this play definitely proved that to me,” she said.
For now, however, Hannah does not envision joining the family business.
“I don’t think I would enjoy being an actress, honestly. It was a fun experience and I would do it again, but that’s not my career path.”
Hannah said she’s leaning toward teaching. She helped establish a bi-lingual bible camp at St. Peter’s this summer, and enjoyed working with kids.
“I definitely love teaching,” she told MorristownGreen.com. “This is a different kind of teaching, where you know you’re helping someone.”