By Conrad Dudderar
The curtain will rise this week on the Yukon High School Fine Arts Department’s musical production of a Broadway classic.
Three public performances of “Fiddler on the Roof” will be presented Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium, 850 Yukon Ave. Showtime is 7 p.m.
Touching audiences worldwide with its humor, warmth and honesty, this universal show is a staple of the musical theater canon.
YHS choir director Darin Chapin is the high school’s producer of Fiddler on the Roof.
“This show is the combined efforts of Yukon High School choir, instrumental, theater, and tech arts programs with 102 students presenting this full-scale production,” said Chapin, who has served as producer for YHS musical productions since 2011.
“The show follows a small Jewish community that is trying to navigate their cultures’ traditions, a changing culture and a hostile relationship with occupying forces.”
Winner of nine Tony Awards when it debuted in 1964, Fiddler on the Roof is the brainchild of Broadway legends Jerome Robbins and Harold Prince, songwriters Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, and bookwriter Joseph Stein.
Set in the little village of Anatevka, the story centers on Tevye, a poor milkman, and his five daughters.
With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with traditional values in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia.
Rich in historical and ethnic detail, Fiddler on the Roof’s universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion, leaving audiences crying tears of laughter, joy and sadness.
Fiddler on the Roof is the perfect mix of audience-pleasing humor and heart.
It’s simply one of the most famous shows ever written, Chapin noted.
“It has some really interesting themes that we thought were just good,” he said. “It has the tension and relationship between the older generation and the younger generation. There is also the theme of racial tension between this small Jewish community and the occupying force at that time, the Russians.
“It also has great music and great costumes. And the characters are really rich and deep.”
Notable songs include “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “Sunrise, Sunset.”
CAST MEMBERS, PRODUCTION TEAM
Auditions were conducted during the second full week of December. Rehearsals began Jan. 3.
Cast members of the YHS Fiddler on the Roof musical production are:
Teyve: Luke Matthews
Golde: Ashley Rodriguez and April Shoun
Tzeitel: Aspen Hein
Hodel: Sophia Glover
Chava: Haley Graham
Shprintze: Britten Bengs
Bielke: Camilla Davis
Yente: Alex Enmark, Emily Gorbet
Motel: Zach Gibson
Perchik: Alex Eddy
Fyedka: Jace Blalock
Lazar Wolf: Ryder Sunderman
Constable: Bradley VanHoutan
Mordcha: Matthew Perez
Grandma Tzeitel: Skyler Sachau
Frumah-Sarah: Lia George
Fiddler: Laura Stewart
Ensemble: Amelia Blumhof, Brynn Bristow, Audrey Bushman, Samuel Dehay, Bailee Fowler, Evie Hammett, Donnie Hines, Robin Hughes, Latoya Kelley, Evelynn Martinez, Joey Martinez, Gabriel Martinez, Zoey McCready, Aliyah Miller, Rayann Moore, Brieona Nelson, Railey Nine,
Makenna Nine, Aubrey Parker, LaVey Powell, Madi Reiner, Crystal Suniga, Hannah Thomason, Christopher Wright, and Sara Wright.
Joining Chapin as members of the YHS “Fiddler on the Roof” production team are:
- Stage director is Megan Braden, directing her 12th musical and 49th show at YHS.
- Musical director/orchestra conductor Collin Bannon, in his second year as YHS co-choir director.
- Choreographer Elizabeth Dragoo, a local theater performer, director, teacher, and choreographer.
- Technical director Wes McAtee, the Yukon Fine Arts Center’s director for 30 years.
- Orchestra director Sarah Workun, in her first year as a Yukon band director and seventh year as a music educator. James Rivera is in his first year as Yukon’s head band director.
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
“We hope you will make plans to join us for this full-stage production of this iconic show,” Chapin said.
The YHS choir director has embraced his role producing the high school’s musical productions during the past 12 years – with Fiddler on the Roof the latest example.
“Whether you’re in the chorus or have a main stage role, it’s a different technique of singing and a different way to deliver than what we do on a daily basis,” Chapin explained.
“It also invites the students to step out of their regular ‘self’ and be someone else. It gives us a way to learn about different cultures and different time periods.”
Chapin especially enjoys watching the collaboration among several YHS fine arts departments.
“It’s really cool to see students that have all of these different disciplines come together – in a musical, or an oratorial or an opera,” he said. “It just elevates the entire art.”
Advance general admission tickets to YHS’ Fiddler on the Roof are $15 each. Tickets for students and seniors are $13 each.
Children ages 6 years and under are admitted free.
Purchase tickets online before the performance at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/71349 or Google “Yukon High School Choir.”
This Yukon student production is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.
For more information, call (405) 265-4442.