Aurora – Fiddler on the Roof, the award-winning musical marking its golden anniversary in 2014, opens April 25th for an 11-show run at Aurora Community Theatre, 115 E. Pioneer Trail. Performance schedule includes: 8 pm Fridays and Saturdays Apr. 25 – May 17; 3 pm Sundays May 4 and 11, and 8 pm Thursday May 15.
Rich in historic and ethnic detail,Fiddler on the Roof connects warmly with audiences through the music of Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein that is based on the stories Sholem Aleichem told, with the special permission of Arnold Perl.
Set in 1905 in the little village of Anatevka, Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of Tevye, a poor dairyman, who tries to instill in his five daughters the traditions of his tight-knit Jewish community in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. The universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion, leaving audiences crying tears of laughter, joy and sadness.
“I will endeavor to create an Anatevka that encompasses the entire theatre,” Art Suskin, director, said. “In effect, the audience will feel like villagers, living in the world of the play, not just because of the powerful story and characters but because they are physically part of the story.” Suskin said that in addition to the stage itself, he will use the aisles and the back of the house for staging.
Suskin said he will direct Tevye and other characters in the play to “speak and sing directly to individuals in the audience from time to time.”
Marc C. Howard, serves as both producer and choreographer while Tim Shaffer, music director, will also conduct the performance orchestra.
Mark Durbin will perform the role of Tevye with Eve Phythyon as his wife, Golde. Their five daughters will be played by Marissa Durbin (Tzeitel), Kelley Edington (Hodel), Brittany Smile (Chava), Sydney Willis (Shprintze), Molly Cohen (Bielke).
Full cast includes: Michael Litherland (The Fiddler), Sue Jeromson (Yente), Justin Roth (Motel Kamzoil), Kyle Burnett (Perchik), Jeffrey Koudelka (Fyedka), Tom Horsfall (Lazar Wolf), Ken Parsons (Constable), William Liptak (Rabbi), Bryan Edwards (Mendel), Michael A. Turle (Mordcha), Santino Palma (Avram), David Abner (Nachum), John Webb (Yussel), Liz Fuller (Grandma Tzeitel), Jessica Harris (Frumah-Sarah Wolf), Lisa Durbin (Shaindel), Michael Scaffide (Sasha).
Villagers include: Keith Stiver, Bernie Keister, Austin Hopson, Genevieve Adelman, Adrienne Figelman, Anna Koduru, Kathy Pekarcik, Meghan Suster, Hannah Kulawiak, Emma Moughan, Ariel Russell, Emily Stephens, Anna Truax, Michael T. Turle, Aiden Adelman, Averie Adelman, Emma Grossberg, Lily Olsen, Rick Harrison.
Ann Nyenhuis takes the lead as both stage manager and props manager with help from Katie Hintze, assistant stage manager/props, Marti Franks, assistant stage manager, and Alex Caliguire, deck crew. Wes Shofner heads up scenic design and set construction with assistance from April Sike, Joe Mira, Dennis Burby, Dave Nyenhuis, Neil Rubin. Harold Crawford is the costume designer; Cory Molner, technical director/lighting designer; Margaret Hamilton, sound designer, Winn Douglass, hair and make-up; Rabbi Michael A. Oppenheimer, dramaturge.
In addition to Tim Shaffer, conductor, the live orchestra will include rehearsal accompanist Damen Rae on keyboards with Gregory Voss, violin, George Cyphers, clarinet and soprano sax, Marianne Paul, cello, Michelle Worthing, flute, Bruce Amsel, bass, Stefan Mazur, trombone, Tyler Harding, percussion.
Fiddler on the Roof opened on Broadway in 1964 to critical acclaim, becoming the first musical theatre run in history to surpass 3,000 performances. The play won nine Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Composer and Best Lyricist (Bock and Harnick), Best Book (Stein), Best Direction and Best Choreography (both to Jerome Robbins), Best Costume Design (Patricia Zipprodt) Best Leading Actor (Zero Mostel) and Best Featured Actress (Maria Karnilova). The musical ran for eight years, in 1972 garnering a tenth Tony for Longest Running Musical in Broadway history and in 1991 an eleventh award for Best Revival of a Musical.
ACT extends sincere appreciation to The Atrium of Anna Maria and the Campus of Anna Maria of Aurora for their generous support of Fiddler on the Roof.
Fiddler on the Roof is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)
Tickets at $16 for all adults, $11 for age 18 and under are available online, anytime, including seat selection at auroracommunitytheatre.com or by calling 330-562-1818. Group discounts can be arranged by calling the box office. Opening night tickets include a complimentary after-show gala and the opportunity to meet cast and crew.
Aurora Community Theatre is located at 115 E. Pioneer Trail, near the intersection of SR 43 and 306, at the gazebo, in the center of Aurora. ACT extends appreciation to The Denise G. & Norman E. Wells, Jr. Family Foundation for their generous underwriting of the Wells Main Stage.