“God would like us to be joyful, even when our hearts lie panting on the floor.”
—From the song To Life
When I think of Fiddler on the Roof I think of the precarious nature of being alive twinned with joy. What a moment to be producing this wondrous musical—as we live in a time when traditions are being upheld, changed or dismantled; from same-sex marriage to the possibility of a female president in America, we can rejoice in our ability to change radically or preserve traditions.
I chose Fiddler because the play is rooted in family and community. It’s the concept of tradition and, specifically, changing tradition that is such an exciting, contemporary idea. I can’t wait to introduce this perfect American musical to young people who can carry on its music and its message for another 50 years.
This story focuses on the idiosyncratic beauty of human nature: the tyranny and joy of families, tradition, love, marriage, community, immigration, anti-Semitism, racial and cultural hatred. Gold-standard musicals live on because they are about important ideas and demand to be interpreted over and over again. All of these themes are operating at full tilt in our world today and Fiddler takes each one head on. We have created a real community on stage and share all the full-bodied life and emotion that are in these stories and this music. Additionally, cultures from all over the world have performed and enjoyed this musical as they have related to and embraced the clash of tradition and change.
Kansas based actor Robert Summers will reprise the role of Tevye in our production. He has appeared as Tevye over 200 times, including the 2013 National Tour. New York based actors include: Roxy York as Tevye’s wife, Golde; Kelly Karcher, as the second eldest daughter, Hodel; and, Shayna Schmidt, as the third eldest daughter, Chava. Also from New York is choreographer James Kinney, whose Broadway credits include: Fosse, Dance of Death, Barry Manilow’s Harmony, and the most recent revival of Sweet Charity, starring Christina Applegate, in which he also served as the production’s Assistant Dance Captain.
The cast is robust with local talent as well, including Claes Mattson as Lazar Wolfe; Corey Armstrong as Rabbi; and, Sara Norcross as Grandma Tzeitel. There will be some young and familiar faces gracing the stage, too, including Lola Dorsogna and Madelyn Trimpi sharing the role of Sphrintze; Kellan Johannensen and Adi Wilson sharing the role of Bielke; and, Hugo Morel and Jacob Merrill playing Yeshiva Students. The cast includes 33 actors, all of whom bring their individual talents, energy, and depth of experience to the production.
Thank you for joining our shtetl, and l’chaim — to life.
For more information about ArtisTree Theatre Company and Pentangle Arts’ production of Fiddler on the Roof, call (802) 457-3500 or visit www.artistreevt.org. To order tickets, call the Pentangle Box Office at 802-457-3981 or visit www.pentanglearts.org.
January 25, 2015
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