Ursuline’s ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ from Stage Manager’s Perspective

Even if you have never seen the musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” at one point in time you may have found yourself humming the catchy tune, “Ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum.”

     The famous melody belongs to the song “If I Were a Rich Man,” sung by Tevye, the lead character in “Fiddler.”

     For the spring musical this year, Ursuline took on Fiddler on the Roof, which showed from March 3 to March 5 at 7:30p.m. and March 6 at 2:30p.m. in the UCPA.

     Fiddler on the Roof is set in Anatevka, Russia, a small Jewish community living under the dictatorship of Tsar Nicholas II, in 1905. At that time, Tsar Nicholas II placed discriminatory laws against Jewish people, evicting them from their homes. When the play begins, the town learns they will need to leave their homes soon to find a better life.

     Filled with conflict and tradition, Fiddler focuses on Tevye, a poor dairyman, who is determined to find well-suited husbands—who are preferably religious and rich—for each of his five daughters.

     In Ursuline’s production, Mason Lee ‘22 (Jesuit) starred as Tevye alongside Grace Keller ’23 who played Golde, his wife. As for the daughters, Elizabeth Jiede ’24 played Tzeitel, Grace Gargullio ’23 played Hodel, Amelia Mappus ’24 played Chava, Ai-Vy Hoang ’25 played Shprintze and Tabby Ellis ’25 played Bielke. Elisa Welch ’24 was cast the Fiddler.

     Isabella Reasonover ’22, the stage manager for Fiddler, shares her excitement for this year’s musical and offers insight on her experience in theater.

     Throughout her three years in Ursuline theater, she has learned that preparing for a musical requires dedication and commitment.

     Reasonover explains that the cast and crew for Fiddlerstarted rehearsing in January and practiced every Monday through Thursday until 7:30p.m. During rehearsals, they built the sets, found props and learned lines.

     Tech week began the week before opening night. During tech week, the cast and crew stayed after school every day until 10:00p.m., running through the entire musical and training the stage crew.

     Although practices were long and arduous, their hard work paid off.

      “It is amazing to be there from the very first rehearsal up until opening night,” Reasonover said. “I [was] able to see the progress of the actors and all of the hard work everybody is putting into this show. It [was] a wonderful experience to be a part of this cast and crew!”

     Fiddler contains many entertaining songs and dance numbers like “Tevye’s Dream” or “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.”

     “I am most excited for the audience to see the dancers do the bottle dance on stage and for the song ‘To Life,’” Reasonover said before the show.

    In one of the most iconic scenes in the show, the men perform a traditional bottle dance during the wedding festivities, which requires them to dance while balancing a wine bottle on their head. There was much difficulty in ensuring the bottles did not fall off during the dance.

      “The dancers are going to be wearing hats and the bottles will have sand in the bottom, but they are actually going to be balancing them. They will not be attached with Velcro or anything else,” Reasonover added.

     Since she is a senior, Fiddler marked the end of Reasonover’s Ursuline theater experience.

      “I am sad to be leaving Ursuline theater, but I am so lucky to have been a part of it,” she said. “I have made so many great friends in theater and it has allowed me to break out of my shell. Being the stage manager is one of the biggest leadership positions I have had, and I have been able to become a better leader.”

     Even though the seniors’ chapters in high school theater are closing, many underclassmen are embracing lead roles and will continue to carry on the spirit of Ursuline theater.

     Ursuline’s production of Fiddler on the Roof offered an unforgettable night filled with captivating musical numbers and beautifully crafted costumes and sets due to the diligence of a stellar cast and crew.

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