Conant drama to present moving performance of “Fiddler on the Roof”

 

Note: Click on images to see them in full size. Photos by Jeffrey Pagels.

 

Conant Theatre is presenting “Fiddler on the Roof” as its annual musical. The musical follows Tevye (Zach Gold, ‘18) and his family in the small town of Anatevka, where the Jewish community helps Tevye instill traditional values into his daughters.

Lead actor Gold explained that the play consists of “very upbeat songs to dance in your seat to, like ‘To Life’ or ‘If I Were a Rich Man,’ but there are also very beautiful sounding songs such as ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ and ‘Sabbath Prayer.’”

Giovanna Johnson, ‘18, plays the role of Hodel and thinks that the musical is a perfect opportunity to view students acting out in different personas than their day-to-day selves.

“It is exciting for me to act like I’m from a completely different era while still putting my own touch on my character,” Johnson said.

The musical is a challenge for the production team and the cast, as it is a very different piece compared to the happy, lighthearted musicals recently produced at Conant, like “Annie” and “High School Musical.”

With the unique style of the musical, Gold said, “The goal of myself and the rest of the cast is to make the audience go on an emotional rollercoaster, making them experience jubilance, sorrow, laughter, and even anger, all in the span of two hours.”

Katherine Apperson, the musical director and English teacher, said “The cast’s adaptability and positivity have enhanced the experience[of the musical] and made it more connected.”

Apperson explained how the show is relevant to today’s society. “Racism, prejudice, and nationalism have caused a rift not only in our society, but the world at large. So by performing this particular show, we are hoping to highlight some of those points and leave the audience contemplating the importance of tolerance and acceptance.”

The audience can take away lessons from the show, but it depends on age, maturity of the person, and what the person focuses on, Apperson explained. “For a young person it could be the idea of finding love or standing up to adults. For seniors it can be the reality of uncertainty in the future. For parents it can be the lessons learned through Tevye’s encounters with his own daughters.”

Johnson believes that tradition is one of the important themes in “Fiddler on the Roof.” She said, “Having traditions gives us the opportunity to make memories that we can always hold dear to our hearts and to form new memories as the traditions continue.”

For Apperson, the family dynamic presented by Tevye, Golde, and their children is the most important, as it is so poignant and real.

Apperson said that everyone will be able to relate to a character due to the strong relationships between the members of cast. This makes the audience more invested in the success and heartbreaks, which leads the audience to better connect to the lessons in the musical.

Amy Rodriguez, ‘18, who play Golde, believes the audience will not only learn from the hardships of the Jewish people, but will also have a better understanding of the connection that the cast feels to theater.

The cast, consisting of more than 100 members, has been working hard to bring the story to life and share it with the community.

The show times are Oct. 26, 27, and 28 at 7:00 p.m. There will also be a matinee on Oct. 28 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available for purchase online, by phone at 1-866-967-8167, or the door on performance nights.

Click here to see a behind-the-scenes video of the cast and crew at a rehearsal.

 

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