Rather than fiddling away the past two months, the Mason High School drama club has been working hard on its latest production, Fiddler on the Roof. The play premieres tonight, Thursday, April 23, and according to Drama Club advisor Allen Young, it was specifically chosen because of its theme of cultural identity and its outstanding literary crafting.
“There are a lot of considerations that go into picking our season,” Young said. “The play is about tradition and pride in your culture. That is a theme for the ages. The play is exceptionally well written. You really can’t say that about a lot of musicals. A lot of musicals are thrown together. They might have good music or they might have good dancing, but Fiddler on the Roof really works together as a piece of literature and a piece of theater. There are great songs that everyone knows. That combined with the story, and the thematic materials really makes an exceptional show.”
According to senior Ryley Arnold, the play’s lead, Fiddler on the Roof is about a Jewish family living in Russia during the time of the Russian revolution. The play is about Tevye and how he adapts and evolves to the changing norms of his culture.
“I play Tevye,” Arnold said. “The play is about a man named Tevye living in an orthodox Jewish town in 1908. Tevye’s daughters are growing up and falling in love with a man. However, according to him, they aren’t going about it the right way. During the course of the play, Tevye has to deal with break(ing) traditions and how to evolve as a person beyond how he has been told to be and how he has told to feel.”
The audience, both young and old, can connect with this play, Arnold said.
“It’s the 50th anniversary of Fiddler,” Arnold said. “I know that a lot of parents and grandparents, that have seen Fiddler before, are excited to see it. For our generations, many teenagers can connect to the topic of social acceptance discussed in the play. “
According to senior and assistant director Katey Jo Henry, the cast has put much work and effort toward the production of the play, and it’s a very rewarding experience. There are even difficult dances and songs on which the cast has done a good job, Henry said.
“We have had rehearsal every day for the past two months,” Henry said. “The cast has put in a lot of work with dancing, learning lines and singing. The dances are pretty strenuous for some of the guys. Our actors did a really good job modernizing the show. I enjoy being able to work really hard on something and watch it come together.”