‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at WHS
The songs are timeless.
The story of love and family is universal.
“Fiddler on the Roof” is a musical that is a half century old, telling a story of people who lived a century ago, and yet it feels as fresh as a spring bouquet.
Written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, with choreography from Jerome Robbins, “Fiddler on the Roof” features some of Broadway’s most beloved songs, such as “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset” and “Matchmaker.”
The Watauga High School production of “Fiddler on the Roof” will hit the stage on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 11 to 13. Performances are at 7 p.m., and tickets are $10 per person. Advance tickets are available at the high school, and the show is assigned seating.
“‘Fiddler on the Roof’ was the first musical I was in as a kid,” said Sarah Miller, drama instructor at WHS and director of the musical. “This was back in 1981, when the Blue Ridge Community Theatre did a big spring musical every April. Janet Speer was our director, and we had a big chorus with kids and their families in it. Graydon Eggers was in that production in 1981, and he will be one of the musicians in the current version.”
According to Miller, all of the roles in the current production of “Fiddler on the Roof” are played by drama students at Watauga High. The music will be played live by a band comprised of WHS students, ASU students and faculty, and local musicians. Shauna Godwin is serving as the choreographer, and Lisa Combs is the musical director.
“The kids are more familiar with the musical than you might think,” Miller said.
“This has always been one of my family’s favorite musicals,” said Annelise Coffey, the actor who plays Golde. “I get to sing ‘Do You Love Me,’ a duet with the character, Tevye. It’s very relatable to modern day romance.”
“Fiddler on the Roof” tells the tale of a Jewish village in Russia, right before the Bolshevik Revolution. The village is called Anatevka, and the story revolves around a dairyman, named Tevye, who is trying to pass on the virtues of faith and family to his five daughters amid the anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia.
“I am so proud of my cast and crew,” Miller said. “They have put hundreds of hours per student into this musical production.”
The WHS production of “Fiddler on the Roof” includes more than 50 actors.
The Villagers of Anatevka include Annelise Coffey as Golde, Vance Langdon as Tevye, Lauren Lehr as Tzeitzel, Michael Navarro as Motel, Sidney Ginn as Hodel, Sam Weeks as Perchik, Lily Smith as Chava, Nick Younger as Fyedka, Annie Johnson as Shprintze, Zach Moody as Lazar Wolf, Ali Maupin as Bielke, Candace Parker as Fruma Sarah, Renee Taylor as Yente, Emily Cheshier as Grandma Tzeitel, Gavin McGee as the Rabbi, Christian Backman as Mendel, the Rabbi’s son, Evan Jones as Avram, the bookseller, Brian Greer as Mordcha, the innkeeper, Ginny Griffith as Shaindel, William Bushman as Nachum, the beggar, Caleb Zimmerman as the Horse Man, Zac Jones as the Mule Man, Max Schlenker as Yussell, the hat seller, Caleb Thomas as the bagel seller, Carrie Mae Sweeney and Gabby Godwin as the women at the tailor shop, Nick Akers and Ben Watson as the concerned me at the wedding, Maggie Idol as the fish seller, Jonathon Carlson and William Bushman as the men at the tailor shop, Ian Hawkins and James Ellington as the angry men at Tevye’s house, and Nikhil Daas and Andy Li as Yashiva students with Yente.
The Russian soldiers include Oisin Reed-Kelly as the Constable, Aaron Richie as Sasha, and Jonathon Carlson, Alex Derrick, Caleb Stoudt and Nick Younger as the other Russian soldiers.
The Chava Ballet dancers include Lily Smith, Madi Casey, Emily Chesier, Kylie Dolbier, Corinne Giles, Sidney Ginn, Gabby Godwin, Lauren Lehr, Ann Littlejohn, Carrie Mae Sweeney, Nick Younger, William Bushman, Jonathon Carlson, Brian Greer, Ian Hawkins, Zac Jones, Andy Li, Michael Navarro and Sam Weeks.
The Bottle Dancers at the Wedding include William Bushman, Ian Hawkins, Jonathon Carlson, Zac Jones, Brian Greer and Andy Li.
The “Rumor” women include Katie Alexander, Emily Cheshier, Heather McCurry, Olivia Moffett, Carrie Mae Sweeney, Katie Bradley, Kristina Foster, Jenna Messer, Candace Parker, Ginny Griffith, Paige Miller, Sarah Mize, Olivia Phillips, Rachel Vierheller, Maggie Idol and Aimee Sigmann.
The Families of Anatevka include Family No. 1, featuring Kylie Dolbier, Erin Greene, Ginny Griffith, Alex Derrick, Zac Jones, Michael Navarro and Olivia Phillips.
Family No. 2 features Brooke Bacot, Laurel Beebe, Drew Bentley, Gillian Cone, Brandy Hicks, Shannon Ray, Kendall Schaffer and Caleb Thomas.
Family No. 3 features Madi Casey, Megan Critcher, Kaitlyn Gragg, Ian Hawkins, Elise Lehr and A.J. Ugenti.
Family No. 4 features Jenelle Boisvert, Gabby Knight, Andy Li, Oisin Reed-Kelly, Ben Watson and Lily Weeks.
Family No. 5 features Ann Littlejohn, Anna Prewitt, Tyler Swanson and Caleb Zimmerman.
Family No. 6 features Jessica Banyon, Brook Blackwell, Nick Bozeman, Bennett Lloyd, Emily Rayner and Max Schlenker.
Family No. 7 features Nick Akers, William Bushman, Nikhil Dass, Devinne Snook and Jill Turner.
Family No. 8 features Patrick Coston, Kristina Foster, Andrea Howell, Avee Huffman, Maggie Idol, Candace Parker, Rachel Vierheller, Sam Weeks, Nick Younger and Heather McCurry.
Family No. 9 features Katie Alexander, Emily Cheshier, Gabby Godwin, Evan Jones, Sarah Mize, Rhiannon Reed-Kelly and Jonathon Carlson.
Family No. 10 features Christian Backman, Jonathan Gragg, Connor Heinen, Larissa Lowenberg, Jenna Messer, Amie Sigmann, Carrie Mae Sweeney and Brian Greer.
Family No. 11 features Teri Church, James Ellington, Kelsey McQueen, Paige Miller, Zack Moody, Samantha Schaffer, Renee Taylor, Daniell Mayes and Aaron Richie.
Family No. 12 features Katie Bradley, Rebecca Dowdy, Corinne Giles, Caleb Stoudt, Gavin McGee, Olivia Moffett and Bailee Taylor.
The crew for “Fiddler on the Roof” includes stage manager and student director Rebekah Shoemake, stage manager and assistant student director Jenna Messer, assistant choreographer and dance captain Gabby Godwin, props mistress Juliana Bond, program designer Erin Greene, T-shirt and poster designer Michael Navarro, light board design and operation Emma Reeves-Sirois, spot light operators Avery Pitts and Hannah Adcox, sound board operators Reed Thomas and Buck Roberts, hair and make-up specialists Jesslyn Forsythe, Jackie Howell and Stephanie Prewitt, costume designer Jordan Stokes, and house managers Aly Miller, Sarah Gailes, Mary Fuller and Tess Moody.