February 10, 2015 | 10 a.m.
By Christine L. Erntson, Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Bethel University’s Department of Theatre Arts thrilled audiences with its production of Fiddler on the Roof, a story of love and acceptance presented with music and humor, last weekend. The performance, which included a 40-member cast of actors and dancers, was developed as part of a January interim course, and included a full pit orchestra as well as a creative lighting and set design that perfectly captured the story.
In 1905 czarist Russia, a poor Jewish milkman named Tevye (senior Garrett Anderson) works to instill the traditions of his faith in his five daughters in the face of an ever-changing society and growing culture of anti-Semitism. Three of his daughters are of marrying age, so Tevye and his wife Golde (senior Ashley Stevens) work to overlook Jewish tradition to allow their daughters to marry for love. But Yente (senior Emily Face), the village matchmaker, has found the perfect match for the oldest daughter Tzeitel (senior Kate Callen): a wealthy middle-aged butcher named Lazar Wolf (junior Jason Moyer). Tzeitel instead pledges her love to a humble tailor, Motel (senior Josh Palmer), and Tevye creates an outrageous dream to convince Golde to allow their daughter to marry the man she loves. Each of the daughters then strays further from Tevye’s traditional values in the men they chose, and he struggles to accept this modern, “new style” of love.
Fiddler on the Roof, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, is the winner of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score, which includes musical favorites "If I Were a Rich Man," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," and "Sunrise, Sunset."
Meg Zauner, associate professor and chair of the Theatre Department, directed and choreographed Bethel’s production; Steven Thompson, professor of music, served as vocal and orchestra conductor; Rick Rees, professor of Theatre Arts, designed the sets and costumes; and Kerri Baker, manager of conference and event technical services, designed the lighting.