Converse Opera Theatre and Theatre/Converse will join forces to bring the musical masterpiece Fiddler on the Roof to Upstate audiences for four performances: March 19 and 20 at 7:30pm, and March 21 at 2pm and 7:30pm, all in Converse College’s Twichell Auditorium.
In addition to the wonderfully talented students of Converse’s Petrie School of Music and the Converse Theatre Department, the production will feature some key guests —including NPR music commentator and Petrie School dean Miles Hoffman in the role of The Fiddler; Spartanburg’s own Rabbi Yossi Liebowitz lending his unmatchable expertise to the role of The Rabbi; and Converse Opera Theatre director Rebecca Turner and her husband Stafford celebrating their own 25th wedding anniversary in the lead roles of Tevye and Golde, who in a hilarious and touching scene finally admit their love for one another after 25 years of married life.
Adult admission is $22; all students (with student identification) and children will be admitted free. For ticket information, please call the Twichell Auditorium Box Office at 864-596-9725.
An equally talented cast will be working fervently backstage to make it a show to remember. Seasoned director and Converse Theatre Professor Brent Glenn is serving as director of Fiddler. Others providing expertise include
Katie Quigley ’10 (Stage Manager)*, Emily Thomas ’12 (Assistant Stage Manager)*, Heather Mallory*, Samantha Renaud, Chevelle Walsh*,JoAnne Switzer, Melanie Coulter
Rebecca Jones, Faithe Elliott, Nina Gallegos, Arneé Martin
Laurann Gallitto, Gia Monteleone, Anna Owens, Yonna Aiken
and Becky Elam.
(*Denotes members of Alpha Psi Omega, a National Theatre Honor Society.)
The music director and conductor for Fiddler will be John Ratledge, director of choral activities and professor of music at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and one of the nation’s most distinguished choral conductors. The costumes are colorful and convincing, and a stunning original set has been constructed by co-star Stafford Turner and Megan McFarland. “The set design is loosely inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall, whose paintings had a major impact on the 1964 premiere of the original production. Many of his paintings are of eastern European villages and often feature a fiddle player balanced precariously on a roof, an image that inspired the title of the play,” says Turner.
Rebecca Turner says of the show, “Fiddler on the Roof struck such a powerful chord with audiences that it ran for a staggering 3,242 performances, and for a time held the record for the longest-running production in the history of Broadway.” Based on the Tevye stories by the great Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, Fiddler on the Roof, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, won the Tony award for Best Musical in 1965 and went on to become one of the most popular musicals of all time.
Set in the village of Anatevka , the story follows the devout Jewish dairyman Tevye and his wife Golde as they navigate their way through a changing world. In a culture where sons are a man’s pride and joy, Tevye finds himself – naturally – the father of five independent-minded daughters. As they reach marriageable age the daughters insist on trying to find love in a society that requires a matchmaker to arrange practical matches. And as Tevye tries to understand and to deal with the rebellion of his children, an even greater danger looms: the anti-semitic violence and oppression that threaten the very existence of the people of Anatevka.