Traditions Challenged in “Fiddler on The Roof”

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Traditions Challenged in “Fiddler on The Roof”

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The 51st musical from the FHS Theatre Department, “Fiddler on the Roof,” will premiere tonight at 7:00 pm.

“Fiddler” tells the story of the Russian-Jewish peasant and dairyman Tevye as he tries to balance tradition against the pressures of his changing world. Set in Czarist Russia i the early 1900s, just before the revolution, the musical is filled with laughter, tears, emotion and hope.

“I play Tevye the dairyman,” senior William Clyburn said. “I’ve really liked this role, because it’s something that I can relate to and we’re just really similar. We both kind of cover up feelings with humor sometimes, so I really relate to him.”

There is much hard work that goes into the creation of the musical. The students have immense pressure to not only perfectly memorize, but fully live out their lines when performing. Mastering various singing voices is a must as well, as the play features many memorable songs such as “Matchmaker,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Tradition” and more.

“I love musicals probably the most because the songs come to mean something different to you than just words,” senior Presley Wilson said. “The songs become a symbol of your hard work and memories you have with the people involved in the show. I have heard every note of theses song tons of times and they start to mean something really personal to you.”

Choir Directors Michael Tyer and Melissa Smith help teach and rehearse songs with cast.

The cast and crew rehearses almost daily after school from 4:00-7:00 pm, but they often run late, especially as opening day approaches.

“We really had no bumps or difficulties on the way of making this play, but we always want to make it the best it can be so we just keep adding stuff to it;” Technical Theatre teacher Amy Thornton said. “We like to make all the ideas work, so the biggest problem was keep having to add things.” 

“Fiddler” features many singing and dancing numbers, so it is imperative that the cast is able to master both steps and notes. The cast, with varying degrees of dancing experiences, has rehearsed choreography for many of the scenes. 

Cast learning and rehearsing dance.

“Most of the chorus has never taken dance classes or lessons before, but through our strict rehearsal process we all get the dance down just as students who are advanced dancers do,” senior Rory Sims said. “The show itself is a scary thing to try to do, but we pulled it off amazingly due to the incredible direction of Mrs. Powdrell and the amazing tech work of Mrs. Thornton.”

“Fiddler on the Roof” will premiere February 1 at 7:00 pm. Additional showings will be held February 2, 8, and 9 at 7:00 pm and February 3 and 10 2:30 pm. Tickets are $15 at the door or at the information desk at front of the school.