By Bre Payton
Patrick Henry College
Fiddler on the Roof
After two years in the works, Patrick Henry College’s Eden Troupe is finally bringing Fiddler on the Roof to life April 17-20. Featuring a memorable cast of characters and unforgettable music, Fiddler on the Roof is one of the most ambitious plays Eden Troupe has tackled to date.
“Fiddler on the Roof is beloved by so many people, so the bar is set incredibly high for this project,” said Cody Holt, who plays the milkman Tevye. In fact, the expectations and challenges were so high, the play almost didn’t happen.
Holt and fellow senior Andrew Lonon, who is directing music and playing Motel the tailor, have been waiting to bring Fiddler on the Roof to the college since their sophomore year.
During the spring of 2011, they crunched some numbers with Eden Troupe board member Charlotte Blacklock, director of the play, and quickly realized this would be uncharted waters for the campus’s theater group.
“In fact, it seemed so ambitious that at the time we decided it was just a dream, it would never really happen,” Lonon said. “But last fall we looked it over, and decided it might be possible. It would be crazy, but possible.”
The cast and crew tackled the play head-on. “The cast has been fantastic, and they have been quick learners,” said Tia Stockton, choreographer.
“The cast is full of energy, talent, and creativity,” Lonon says. He’s excited about what each cast member brings to the story. “Our cast has brought together this play in a way that I don't think another cast would be able to do,” he said.
For many in the cast and directorial team, Fiddler on the Roof is more than just a fun story. For Holt, it’s an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing Tevye.
“The other night we rehearsed the final scene, and as I rolled my cart off stage and the fiddler played her last few haunting notes, I got chills up and down my spine,” Holt said. “I just couldn’t believe I had the chance to play Tevye and be a part of this production.”
PHC senior Emily Morcos, who plays Tevye’s wife Golde, says she loves how relatable each of the characters is.
“The amazing thing about Fiddler on the Roof is how far removed from our own culture this little town of Anatevka is,” she said. “Yet we can strongly identify with each of the characters.”
Holt says PHC students should especially identify with the themes of the play as Christians and conservatives in a postmodern world.
“PHC’s goal is to continue traditions that are either changing or have been cast aside by our culture at large,” he said. “Conservatives as a whole can identify with the Tevye, who is trying desperately to cling to tradition,” he said. “At the same time, as students we can often see ourselves in Motel and Tzeitel, or even the radical student Perchik.”
Come see Eden Troupe’s production of Fiddler on the Roof April 17-20 at 7pm in Town Hall. Tickets can be purchased here. For more information, check out the Facebook page.