Fiddler on the Roof ~ Behind the Scenes at the BHS Spring Musical

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BHS Performing Arts program director Katrina Faulstich helps design a beard for one of the characters – Courtesy image (c) 2018 all rights reserved

Submitted on behalf of the Performing Arts Department at Bedford High School

Bedford High School Performing Arts proudly presents the beloved musical Fiddler on the Roof opening on Wednesday afternoon with shows March 13 to 16!  The classic story of Tevye, the poor dairyman, his family, and tight-knit community will be told by a dedicated cast of 52 students, a crew of 32 students, and seven student musicians playing in the pit. Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of Jewish people in a shtetl in Russia in 1905, as they witness threats to their long-held traditions and become the victims of prejudice by non-Jewish Russians. Audience members of all faiths and backgrounds will connect with this story and its universal themes of tradition, family, and love.

Fiddler on The Roof will be performed in the Bedford High School auditorium on March 13th at 4:30 pm, March 14th at 7:00 pm, March 15th at 7:00 pm (this show is filling up!), and two shows on March 16th at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Tickets are $11 for students and senior citizens, $13 for adults who buy tickets in advance, and $15 for adults who buy tickets at the door. Tickets can be bought online at www.bhschorusandtheater.weebly.com/tickets, by calling 781-918-4490, or at the door if there are tickets available. We encourage patrons to buy tickets ahead of time for the best seats and lower ticket price. Ticket availability will be posted on the website.

Recently the cast and crew recently took a break from rehearsals for some Q&A and shared some powerful insights into the show’s themes and characters.

HODEL, PLAYED BY ISABELLE GITLIN, CLASS OF 2019

What do you like about your character? What role does your character play in the story?
My character Hodel is incredibly fearless and headstrong which I admire very much. She isn’t afraid of the unknown and welcomes. In the story, Hodel is the second daughter of Tevye and Golde who believes she knows what she wants in life, but is quickly shown that there is more to life than the small village of Anatevka.

What can we learn from the show (set over 100 years ago) as it relates to what’s going on in the world today?
The setting may be different but the themes of the show transcend various races, cultures, and religions. Fiddler’s themes of family, tradition, and tolerance are so relatable. The struggles Tevye’s family faces can be applied to a family completely different and still possess the same struggles. It’s a universal tale which is what makes it so beautiful.

What important themes does the show explore?
The show explores the themes of family, tradition, and tolerance. These themes intersect with each other during various parts of the show. Family and tradition are usually combined since families have traditions that are passed down through generations. However, as seen in Fiddler, certain traditions are broken as younger generations begin to understand what they want and who they are. Tolerance is also very significant in the show since the Jewish population of Anatevka has to constantly deal with the oppression of the Russian soldiers. Tolerance, however, is also prevalent in family situations and not being so quick to judge one another and learning to accept each other.

What are some highlights from the show that you think the audience will enjoy?
The audience will definitely enjoy the more well-known numbers such as “If I Were A Rich Man” and “Matchmaker,” but there are other show-stopping numbers that include the full cast that are intricate and superb! I think the audience will just really enjoy the story because as mentioned before it is just so real and emotional.

PERCHIK, PLAYED BY BEN WOODWARD, CLASS OF 2019

What do you like about your character? What role does your character play in the story?
 I like how my character interacts with other characters and finds common ground with them despite his radical ideas. Perchik is a Russian revolutionary who enters the traditional town of Anatevka with very progressive ideas of society. This creates conflict with many characters but others are inspired by Perchik, which is a large step towards the modernization of Anatevka.

What can we learn from the show (set over 100 years ago) as it relates to what’s going on in the world today?

I think the show teaches a lesson about balancing traditional beliefs with progressive ones. This balance creates a society that has unifying core values and the freedom to grow.

What important themes does the show explore?

Breaking with tradition, the importance of family, what home means.

What are some highlights from the show that you think the audience will enjoy?

The entire second half of the show is surprisingly emotional, and I think audiences will be both shocked and moved by what happens.

SHPRINTZE, PLAYED BY LAUREN ABRAHAM, CLASS OF 2020

What do you like about your character? What role does your character play in the story?
I play Shprintze, Tevye’s fourth youngest daughter. My favorite thing about her is her positive attitude and optimism.

What can we learn from the show (set over 100 years ago) as it relates to what’s going on in the world today?

Embracing cultural differences will always be an important part of society.
 
What important themes does the show explore?
Breaking tradition and starting something new, and the importance of family and friends.

What are some highlights from the show that you think the audience will enjoy?
“To Life” has a great dance and an upbeat set of music, it’s my favorite part of the show.

ENSEMBLE, JULIA SIMONEAU, CLASS OF 2019

What do you like about your character? What role does your character play in the story?
One thing that I really like about my character is I can make it my own. I am one of the ensemble members, so I can create my own back story and try to connect it to my life to help me get into character better.

What can we learn from the show (set over 100 years ago) as it relates to what’s going on in the world today?
Although this show is set over 100 years ago, I still feel we can learn the importance of family. Just like there was separation of Jewish families during this time in Anatevka, right around now there are hundreds of families who are being separated at the Mexican border. I think it is just so important that we learn to cherish the time we have with the people we love because if we think about it, that could be one of us.

What important themes does the show explore?
The show talks a lot about the importance of family and togetherness. The whole idea of leaving home is really emphasized, especially at the end of the show with “Far From the Home” I love and the Chava sequence – both are really captivating just because a lot of people, especially the senior class, can relate to this as it shows the idea of leaving your childhood and home behind.

What are some highlights from the show that you think the audience will enjoy?
I think the audience will really enjoy “To Life” and the bottle dance because they are really unique, upbeat dance numbers that you probably wouldn’t find in any other show.  I also think the whole part with Far From the Home I Love and the Chava sequence

TEVYE, PLAYED BY ERAN ZELIXON, CLASS OF 2019

What do you like about your character? What role does your character play in the story?
My character is Tevye. He’s a really good person and father. He loves and respects his family deeply. He learns from them, he’s challenged by them and really has their best interests at heart throughout the show. He makes a lot of sacrifices for his kids. I feel they get a lot of their best qualities from him and they are the same qualities that help them lead their own way which he has to adapt to. I love about my character and there’s a lot I can learn from him.

 


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