Winter Musical The Fiddler on the Roof


| Abi Martin

Rodrigo Carmena-Black as the Fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof

- Hope Dawson, Editor

On Friday, November 22, the students of the Fine Arts Department put on the musical Fiddler on the Roof. A play that follows a Jewish family in the fictional Russian town of Anatevka and illustrates the changing traditions this family has to endure. Tevye played by (Hyrum Farnsworth), starts the production by describing the customs in the small town, and as the story continues the audience sees these customs reform through the marriage of his three daughters, Tzeitel (Gracie Farley), Hodel (Emily Trnka), and Chava (Jaylin Anders).

| Abi Martin
jaylin Anders, Emily Trinka, and Gracie Farley performing “Matchmaker” from Fiddler on The Roof

The first marriage with his eldest daughter, Tzeitel, who was in agreement to marry another man, Lazar Wolf (Samuel Bayouth), pleads her father to let her marry another man, Motel (Michael Buller), instead. Tevye agrees and they marry. The second marriage with Tevye’s second eldest daughter, Hodel, who marries Perchik (Braden Henson). Rather than asking for permission to get engaged, which is customary, they ask for his blessing because they are already engaged. Tevye grants their wishes and gives his blessing for their marriage. The third eldest daughter, Chava, fell in love with a Russian soldier, Fyedka (Gabrial Osburn). She pleads to her father to allow this marriage, but her father refuses due to marriage outside the Jewish faith is unacceptable to him. The couple secretly elopes and Chava is disowned by her family. These three marriages throughout the play demonstrate the conflict of love versus tradition. 

| Abi Martin
Caden Lovelace dancing as a Russian Dancer during “To Life” in Fiddler on the Roof

When asked about the decision to put on Fiddler on the Roof director, Lori Crawford said: “I was excited to have the opportunity to present the pertinent message about the perseverance of the Jewish people who preserved their culture in the face of terrible persecution, as the characters struggle to uphold tradition and accept inevitable change. This lesson about the harms of discrimination can also be applied to other marginalized groups. Initially, the choir director suggested Fiddler and felt we had the vocal talent for it. I had assisted with directing it at a previous school, so it seemed like a good choice for my first musical at North.” Choreographer Candace Dragg was also questioned on what it was like to come up with the choreography for the musical, in response she said: “I actually just recreated the work of Jerome Robbins. There is written choreography for Fiddler On the Roof. I enjoyed the process of setting choreography that was written for professionals at an advanced level, and seeing what they could do as high school students. They picked up the choreography well and did a fabulous job!”. For working on the musical for three months we questioned actor, Stephen Rodgers, what it was like to finally be putting on the show he said it was “extremely stressful, and difficult but in the end and very rewarding.” We asked Gracie Farley, actor, what she hopes the audience takes away from the performance and Farley stated: “I hope the audience realizes how relevant the story of Fiddler on the Roof is today. People all over the world are still being judged, displaced, and even killed for simply living their lives. Please keep in mind that you never truly know what someone is going through, so the least you can do is be kind to those around you.”

| Abi Martin
JC Byerly and Michael Buller in Fiddler on the Roof

The students’ hard work is apparent throughout the show; from the amazing choreography, the superbly performed songs, the technical stage, and light directing, the show was been quite a hit at Norman North. The actors characterized the period convincingly taking you back to Russia in the early 20th century. Compliments to all the students, teachers, and parents who dedicated themselves to making this show possible.