"Fiddler on the Roof" - Students Speak

“Fiddler on the Roof” – Students Speak

The lives of nearly 40 Midcoast students, grades 7-12, are currently immersed in an intensely educational performance experience - the 8th annual collaboration between Heartwood Regional Theater Company and Lincoln Academy - Fiddler on the Roof.  Weeks of dedication and rehearsal will culminate as this well loved Broadway musical opens on Nov. 1st, under the direction of Griff Braley, Beth Preston and Sean Fleming, with additional choreography coaching by Robin Vermilion and Debi Irons. 

Heartwood and Lincoln Academy are working hand in hand, continuing to provide opportunities in which students are nurtured, encouraged and challenged through the process of live performance. 

Fiddler on the Roof, winner of nine Tony Awards, is remarkably rich - in music, most certainly – but also in history and metaphor, poignancy, drama and comedy. 

The secret of delivering a musical with punch, is to realize the depth and breadth of characters and their relationships, with one another and their world.  “This musical, in particular, provides a valuable training ground for scene work, both dramatic and comic, with these young actors,” notes Director, Griff Braley.   LA student, Thalia Eddyblouin says of this training, “Griff treats us like real actors and expects us to ‘act’ like them.”

Abbey Hutchins, an LA senior who has been singing and acting most of her life, continues to enjoy the learning curve. “Throughout this rehearsal process, I have learned how to add depth to a character, even in a comedic scene.”

In juxtaposition with the many passive activities available to students, it’s encouraging to know there are youths who enjoy challenges and are willing to commit the necessary time and energy to achieve success.  LA Senior Devin Domeyer exclaims, “I’ve enjoyed working on this show, which is very demanding both vocally and dramatically, and the payoff will be monumental!”

Wonderful discoveries of talent are part of the process, sometimes even for the students, themselves.  Mickey McAtee, in the role of Perchik, has never sung in a show – or anywhere in public – before.  “The most valuable experience for me in this show is learning that I can sing!”

And of course, students cannot help but absorb subtleties from the script, itself.  Mena Han-Lalime expresses it this way, “I am learning why traditions, rather than always changing the old ways, is important to people.”

But it’s not all work.  Anyone passing through rehearsal will hear occasional outbursts of laughter and realize there is a close, corporate life within this cast and crew.  Over the weeks of rehearsals, students meld together into a very close team, and the camaraderie becomes integral to the final success of the project.  “This show has given us a chance to make friends and have fun doing something we enjoy!” notes actress, Audrey Harper.

Success is achieved by doing common things uncommonly well.  In the Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy, these students are fully engaged in the basics, and their success is imminent. 

Join them as they present six performances during the first two weekends of November: a 3:00 matinee on Sunday, Nov 3rd and five 7:30pm evening performances on Nov 1-2, 7-9.  Tickets are $8 for students thru high school, $16 for adults.  Seating is unreserved, unless specially requested in advance.  Reservations very strongly recommended: 563-1373 or info@heartwoodtheater.org (please do not contact Lincoln Academy for reservations).  For more details, visit www.heartwoodtheater.org

Generous show sponsors include Chesterfield Associates, Supplies Unlimited and Colby and Gale; Damariscotta Hardware is the Youth Programming Season Sponsor; Granite Hill Estates is on board as the Season Productions Sponsor, and Bath Savings Institution once again anchors Heartwood, as the Season Sponsor.

 Fiddler on the Roof is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). Based on the Sholem Aleichem stories, by special permission of Arnold Perl.  Book by Joseph Stein, Music by Jerry Bock, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, produced on the New York Stage by Harold Prince. 


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