JAMESTOWN – The musical theater classic Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein will be performed at Jamestown High School this weekend. With part of the admission proceeds donated to the Ukraine relief effort.
The musical’s director Lauren Scharf says students are thrilled to retake the stage, as this is the first full-scale performance since the pandemic.
“It takes place in a little town of Anatevka in the year 1905, and the story is centered around Tevye, the dairyman, and his five daughters. And it really chronicles the story of the traditions that exist within their town and how they are broken over the course of the show,” explained Scharf.
Over 60 JHS students are involved in the production, from the pit orchestra to stage crew, to the cast. Junior Madeline Dejoy who plays Tevye’s wife Golde, and senior Camden Austin, who plays Lazar Wolf, are among those taking the stage.
“The practice schedule is very lengthy and can be stressful at moments but it is a very fun experience,” assures Austin.
Being back to full-scale production has also spurred the cast to make the most of this year’s musical.
“Both of our first JHS musicals were shut down with Once Upon a Mattress in 2020. Really, this is our debut, for a real JHS musical and it’s really amazing that we get to put this on, finally,” says Dejoy.
Junior Evan Corey, who manages sound for the show, explained that there is more going on behind the scenes than the audience may expect.
“Working with a budget this small, working with different styles of mics where some of them are from here, some of them are from Little Theater, some of them are from other schools. The way that each one is managed is a lot different and the information displayed is a lot different,” explained Corey.
Ticket proceeds go towards funding next year’s musical, as well as a special cause.
“However, this year we are donating some of our proceeds to Save the Children in the Ukraine Relief Fund, since there is such a tie to our musical with what is actually happening in Ukraine and in Russia right now,” explains the director.
Throughout the show, the presence of Imperial Russia and Tsar Nicholas II are in the spotlight. The Jewish characters live in shtetls owned by the government, where they are never truly free. For Dejoy, the parallels to current events are unsettling.
“It’s really important to do this musical at this time, and it was really important for us to help teach the younger students and everyone else in the cast about what’s happening in Ukraine,” says Dejoy.
Performances are scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m, with a matinee Saturday at 2 p.m. in the JHS auditorium. The community can buy general admission tickets for $8 at the door or online at our.show/jhsmusical.com.