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‘Fiddler on the Roof’ explores tradition in a time of change

It’s a classic American show and tickets for it are already selling fast.

“Fiddler on the Roof” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. July 8-11 at the Mineral Area College Theatre. Reserved tickets are $7. Tickets for MAC students/senior citizens are $3. Tickets are available at the book store by calling 518-2106.

Director Rick Giles said it is one of his favorite classic American musicals. It’s an old-fashioned style of musical comedy, he said.

Giles said when it originally came out, it was during a time of change in America — from extremely conservative to a more liberal viewpoint. It was a time of figuring out if they should hold onto old traditions or accept new ways.

In Fiddler, the town milkman, Tevye, played by Rod Keown, faces the same problems when three of his daughters insist upon going against Jewish traditions. It takes place during a time when the Russians are trying to kick the Jewish people out of their homeland.

Keown said Tevye isn’t the most learned man but he is smart in the ways of the world and is good at reading people. He is the guy everyone goes to for advice when they get into trouble.

“He’s always quoting or should I say misquoting the Bible,” Keown said.

His oldest daughter, Tzeitel, played by Holli Wallace, has made a pledge to be with a poor boy named Motel Kamzoil, played by Tyler Counts, but she hasn’t told her parents. Motel is a tailor who is terrified of Tevye.

Her father and mother, Golde, played by Jen Stokes, want the girl to marry an older man, Lazar Wolf, played by David Orzel.

He’s a butcher — the richest, but the tightest man in town, Orzel said.

Hodel, the second oldest daughter played by Brooke Aubertin, really wants her sister to get matched up so she can be matched up.

A “revolutionary” Perchik, played by Aaron Pearlstein, ends up falling for her. He’s a student from Kiev who comes to town and tells people of the changes going on in the world. He likes her mind and that she argues with him.

“He inspires some of the insanity,” Pearlstein said.

The youngest daughter, Chava, played by Christel Schrum, causes more agony when she falls for a Russian, Fyedka, played by Johnathan Mell.

“Each of the husbands progressively get worse,” Mell said.

When they marry, her parents disown her. Mell said by the end of the play there is hope that her parents will accept their marriage.

“It’s a very humorous play,” said Dave Aubertin, who plays the Constable who is forced to kick the Jews out of town. “It’s a comedy musical.”

Aubertin’s four daughters and wife are involved in the play. Brooke plays one of Tevye’s daughter’s. Brenna plays Bluma. Brittney is Rivka. Bre is the technical director for the play and wife, Dawn, is the choreographer.

They have all been involved in many plays including “Babes in Toyland.” He hopes Bre will be able to attend college in New York for acting.

He said there are a lot of families participating in the play. Dave Orzel, his wife and daughter are in the play. Rudi Rudroff and his daughter are in the play. Kala Loughary and her nephew are in the play.

Behind the scenes are the Chatmans. Lesley and Thomas are the animal handlers for the rabbit and chickens in the musical.

“They needed chickens and we have chickens,” said mom, Dee Chatham. One of the chickens is a rescue chicken they found standing by a stop sign on the highway.

She said their job is to keep the animals comfortable and make sure they don’t get stressed.

Former MAC theater director, Dr. G. Richard Reney plays the Rabbi in this play. He said it was 19 years ago that he directed this play at MAC. Last year, he also appeared in a production of Fiddler.

Other members of the play include Alexi, Caleb Forrest; Anya, Morgan Fuemmeler; Avram, Rudi Rudroff; Beggar, Gary Jones; Berella, Aubri Smith; Betel, Jennifer Gann; Bielke, Sarah Rudroff; Fiddler, Norman Thomas; Fredel, Drew Spell; Grandma Tzeitel and Mirala, Susan Dix; Hershel, Ricky McCullough; Jacob, Austin Mauller; Jewish Woman and Frumah-Sarah, Kala Loughary; Label, Joey Engler; Mordcha/Inn Keeper, Charlie Boyer; Mendel, Justin Robinson; Moishe, Sawyer Wampler; Ruchel, Kira Prier; Sasha, John Lampe; Shaindel, Linda Orzel; Shloime, Caylen Nielson; Shprintze, Ashley Crocker; Sima, Ana Orzel; Svacha, Victoria Buckingham; Tovah, Regina Brown-Vaughn; Yakov, Adam Sanchez; Yente, Dawn Fuemmeler; Yitzuk, Clayton Kassabaum; Yussel, David Jackson and Zhiva, Hillary Gokenbach.

Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at

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