What a wonderful experience we had in Fiddler on the Roof.
We did that show in High School and I’ve seen it a couple of times since then, but I never really got the depth of the messages of that play. It’s about a family living in trying times, trying to hold on to their faith and their traditions and their way of life while everything around them is changing. Traditional marriage is challenged by three of his daughters, and they eventually lose their home and have to leave and find somewhere else where they can practice their religion in peace. Through it all, Tevye strives to treat others with kindness and compassion, even when he is not being treated fairly himself.
As a company, we experienced many trials, more than in any other play I’ve done. First there were major set backs with the new location, the sets were weeks behind schedule, which was a huge problem when it came to dress and tech rehearsals. Someone who had seen the show on opening night said he laughed so hard when Golde was meant to go through the door of the house. Her mic was live, so it picked up her whispering, “The Door. won’t. open!”
Then there were the injuries. I think the count was 7 people injured or out of commission by the end of the show. One guy had to jump into the role of Lazer Wolf at the last minute and do the last 4 shows. He had 24 hours to learn his part. He did a great job, but I’m sure he was praying pretty hard. Backstage he ONLY ran lines. No chatting, eating, or anything else. Great guy.
One of the best things about community theater is meeting new friends. I hadn’t done a show at Alpine Community Theater for the past two years, so when we started auditions and I saw so many people I knew, it was like coming home. And I love the new people I met this year. What a great group of people. I hope we actually see each other around and don’t have to wait until the play next year.
It was fun doing a show with Natalie again. We were in only one scene together, but it was still nice to have her there. She stepped up and came at the last minute to fill in for someone on one of her off nights. I called her at about 6:30 and told her to get ready, I was sending someone over to pick her up to bring her to do the show. She missed the first scene, but filled in for the rest. She was a trooper.
My big complaint about the experience was the heat. The stage is indoors and air conditioned, but the dressing room/green room/ back stage area is OUTSIDE. Yep. So, on Saturday, when we had to do a matinee, it was torture being outside in the heat in our big costumes and makeup. Then we had to turn around and do another show that night. LONG, exhausting day. I must apologize to my fellow cast members for the things I said in my misery. I just can’t take the heat like that.
I LOVED playing Fruma Sarah. SO much fun!! Because of the much makeup and set up involved in that costume, on my Fruma Sarah nights I didn’t get to be in any other scenes, but that’s ok. I got to do all those villager scenes the next night. And my fellow ghost sister wife and I got to be great friends. After auditioning for three other plays and getting rejected, I was kind of feeling like I had no talent at all. But to be able to do this part, this “steal the show” part, it was a great boost to my confidence. Never mind that it’s only one scene, it’s the most fun scene of the show, and I LOVED it! The director never really told me how to do that part, so I just went full out crazy with it, and had so much fun. I figured if she didnt’ like what I was doing, she would tell me to do it differently, right?
The show ended on Monday, and we had a cast party on Tuesday. It was a little bit of a let down, but we’ll get over it. Be thankful that it happened, not sad that it’s over.