This Fiddler Raised The Roof

Theater looks back on their spring production


Through her many solos, Paige Parsley (12) shines under the spotlight. Behind the scenes of Parsley’s closing performance in Fiddler, work was being done to ensure perfection. “Our backstage was pretty crammed, so moving set pieces on and off [was a problem],” Parsley said. “There were a few mic issues. Other than that, there were very little problems.”

Sets were finished, actors went off-book and the lights finally shone on the theater’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” The cast and crew, including Paige Parsley (12), performed Jan. 27-29 and now taking the time to unwind and reflect on the musical.

“There were very little things that went wrong,” Parsley said, “so it was really smooth. We had a lot of fun and heard a lot of good feedback. They went really well.”

The behind-the-scences tech team, led by stage manager Lainey Wolf (10), was also successful in orchestrating a well-rounded production.

“I’m very happy with how everybody performed, especially my tech team,” Wolf said. “They got everything where it needed to be when it needed to be there.”

While the end result was an excellent piece of theater, there were small hiccups that took place. Lead actor, Isaac George (12), wasn’t immune to making a few mistakes of his own but he learned how to overcome them.

“A line was dropped here and there, but all the main plot points were spoken,” George said. “I messed up a few words too, but none of it was big. We were all able to save it. You just have to get it as it happens, but sometimes you can skip a few lines if you have to, or make up stuff until somebody catches it.”

Behind the scenes, issues with moving sets and working mics happened. Throughout it all, though, the team persevered and conquered every problem.

“There were a couple minor issues but we worked through them,” Wolf said. “Some people dropped out last minute, we had some injuries and stuff. We figured it all out in the end.”

Something that helps with solving these issues is the audience. According to Parsley, the crowd can help determine the performance of the play.

“The opening night and the Saturday night audiences were the best ones,” Parsley said. “They had the best energy and the energy of the audience affects how we perform. It really helps when they’re engaging and laughing and cheering.”

As the audiences came and went, the cast and crew approached their final curtain call. The ending of the play has an overall somber tone, and Rebecca Holland (12) comments that this created an even more forlorn atmosphere.

“The show is just really sad because they’re leaving Anatevka and it’s really emotional,” Holland said. “To be a bunch of seniors leaving high school, leaving theater and this community that we’ve created, it felt really bittersweet because we put on an incredible performance but it was also that last time we were going to show this. All our hard work paid off.”

Even before closing night, the actors were crestfallen from knowing the musical was close to its end.

“We all were crying beforehand,” Parsley said, “so going on was even difficult because you’re still teary eyed. It was really special just to savor the last moments. It was fun, but it was really hard to end it all and have to say goodbye.”

Specific scenes drove this feeling even closer to home, such as the intimate exchange between Holland and her co-star Kacie Endsley (11).

“There’s this really sweet moment where Chava, Golde’s daughter, dances and Golde comes in and kisses her and walks off,” Holland said. “It’s about Chava leaving and that was really precious because Kacie, who plays Chava, is an underclassman. As a senior, it felt like saying goodbye to all the underclassmen. You’re a family in theater and we played a family on stage, which is really sweet.”

When the curtain closed and the musical ended, the crew still had work to do. Every set needed to be removed, which was an emotional task for Wolf.

“I think the hardest part of a show is always trying to take everything down afterward,” Wolf said. “When you have to start striking your set and taking it all down, that’s a really sad part of the show because you worked so hard on all of it.”

Ultimately, the theater team worked together to produce something unforgettable. Holland still remembers the impact her character, Golde, had on her and her outlook outside of theater.

“Golde says a couple lines at the end where she’s like, ‘Leave. It sounds so easy,’ or, ‘Eh, it’s just a place,’” Holland said. “Those lines, as I was saying them for the last time, hit really hard.”