IRWIN – Rosedale Bible College, 2270 Rosedale Road, will present Nov. 13-15 the popular musical “Fiddler On the Roof,” a play about Tevye, a Jewish man struggling to raise five daughters under difficult circumstances.
Based on stories by the Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, the play is set in Imperial Russia in 1905, a time of turmoil and change. The young people in Tevye’s little community are moving away from the religious traditions he holds dear; even his own daughters want to choose their husbands and marry for love.
Add to this the wave of anti-Jewish rioting that threatens the village, and it’s no wonder Tevye is faced with decisions he never expected to make.
The play, said director Christa Wolf, “has been beloved by generations ever since it debuted on Broadway in 1964.” Written by Joseph Stein, with music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, “Fiddler” enjoyed a Broadway run of over 3,000 performances. Most people, said Wolf, are probably familiar with the play because of its adaptation to film in 1971.
Wolf teaches drama at RBC and has directed 25 full-length productions. “It’s our goal in the RBC drama department to stage a musical every three years,” she said. “I’ve always liked “Fiddler on the Roof,” so when Ken Miller, the musical director, said he was up to the challenge, it seemed like the timing was right.”
Last year the college invited some children from the community to round out the cast for RBC’s production of “Cheaper by the Dozen.” “The success of that show helped me feel confident that if we opened auditions to the community for this show we would be able to get the cast we needed and we did,” said Wolf. The cast includes more than 40 people.
“We’ve expanded the stage to accommodate fully choreographed musical numbers, and the accompaniment will be provided by a live orchestra,” she said.
Because of the length of the show (nearly three hours), some violence and some thematic material, “Fiddler” is not recommended for children 6 and under.
Performances are at 7 p.m. on Friday, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets will be sold online, by phone and at the door if still available. Visit rosedale.edu or call 740-857-1311, ext. 119 for more information.
Rosedale Bible College is an evangelical Mennonite junior college.