Fiddler on the Roof

Matthew Troutman

  • The cast scurries around in the dark minutes before the curtain rises; the actors sing “Tradition” backstage as the cast moves into the first number of the show. Backstage crew members make sure no one misses a prop, entrance or quick change for the three nights of Fiddler on the Roof March 30, 31 and April 1.

    As assistant stage manager, I perch in my corner to ensure the set transitions are ready and help actors prep for the next scene.

    Fiddler is a musical about family and traditions in a small community.
    My main focus is making sure actors know their lines and mark entrances and exits. Once we get into show week, things get hectic.

    A typical rehearsal schedule starts Monday night when the entire cast sings the big musical numbers. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, actors rehearse acts one and two or learn dialogue. After a few weeks, rehearsals become run-throughs which involve whole show rehearsals and then getting notes back on elements that need changed. Then it’s show week, when actors don costumes and the cast and crew members run through everything in the show.

    With the addition of so many newcomers, this production seemed like it was going to be hard to pull off.

    This show is the second biggest musical I helped prepare. My freshman year, as assistant stage manager for Oklahoma! I was unable to see the full show in action, but I knew it ran smoothly. With this production, I was able to see a lot of the action.

    Junior Anna Oberheide played Golde, Tevey’s wife in the play said that props were well handled.

    “The props and physical aspects of the set were all handled with this understanding of change each night. It was very organized and set up to where you can get the things you needed in a quick second,” said Junior Anna Oberheide

    Sophomores Emma and Claire Cox were part of that crew. Emma said props for Fiddler were; challenging.
    “We had a lot to move around and work with. It was also really interesting because everything had to be turn-of-the-century items, it’s always fun to work with,” Emma said.

    So many things go into producing a big musical. The technical theater class, those who stayed after school to build the set, and director Leslie Coats gave us the drive and direction needed to build this set and do this production the actors worked hard and the commitment to get on stage.

    It also takes commitment to sit in the audience to follow, listen and watch this show. The reason director Leslie Coats did this musical was to allow us to experience a little piece of the world vastly different from ours. Coats thought it would be a great challenge for everyone to meet and it has something in it for everyone to take something away from it.

    “With every step on the journey of life, we weigh our decisions and make our own choices. The question is what is important to us,” Coats said. “ In a rapidly changing world, what values drive your decisions in life and what sacrifice do you have to make. In your unique version of the world what do you think challenges you? Is it your views on the world, or is it your morals in life.”