Upper School Presents Powerful Rendition of Fiddler on the Roof

The crowd in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre leaped to its feet at the conclusion of the Upper School’s moving performance of Fiddler on the Roof to offer a standing ovation.
The musical, directed by Department of Performing Arts faculty member Jason Reiff, took place on Friday, February 22, and Saturday, February 23. The story is a beloved tale that centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family's lives. Fiddler on the Roof has several well-known tunes, including “Tradition,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were A Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset.”

The production was a labor of love for the 34 actors, 29 members of the student production team, the creative team and the orchestra. Ian Accetta ’19, who played Tevye, said “I fell in love with the character from the first time I read the script. He felt like a very real character, a very real person, who was struggling to balance a lot of things that he cared about in his life in the face of unstoppable forces.” When it came to channeling that character on the stage, Accetta stated that “It was an absolute privilege to play him.”

While there are many joyful moments in the story, Fiddler on the Roof also addresses the serious themes of persecution and anti-Semitism. “This musical has connections to current events and issues of social justice,” said Jen Carnevale, Chair of the Department of Performing Arts. And, she shared, “[the students’] joyful and tearful performances moved us all, as did their embodiment of survival and resilience.”

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