• 2021-2022 Season,  Fiddler on the Roof

    Fiddler on the Roof: Balancing Yesterday and Today

    by Thomas Jenson, assistant dramaturg If Anatevka is like a fiddler balancing on a roof, then the show Fiddler on the Roof also performs an impressive balancing act between its cultural specificity and enduring appeal. Whether or not audiences can relate to the practice of arraigned marriages in Orthodox Ashkenazi Jewish communities, they can understand the tension between personal desire and the social expectations around marriage. The relatability of Tevye’s world—made of hay and cows but also the love of family and dreams of wealth—stems from its timelessness. As a show that premiered 78 years ago and takes place half a century before that, Fiddler on the Roof’s greatest feat…

  • 2021-2022 Season,  Fiddler on the Roof

    Fiddler Study Guide Trivia – Answer Key

    Answers by Spencer Fields and Thomas Jenson, dramaturgs Here are the answers to the study guide’s trivia questions. How many did you get right? False. The show flopped in Detroit, prompting the creative team to make some major changes before they opened to warmer audiences in New York. b. Tevye and His Daughters was not a name considered for the Broadway musical; it was one name among others that Sholem Aleichem gave his original collection of short stories. c. 50. Only 15 of those 50 songs made it into the show. a. 9. The show was nominated for 10 and won 9 Tony Awards. b. 3,242. It was the first…

  • 2021-2022 Season,  Fiddler on the Roof

    Tevye the Dairyman

    by Spencer Fields, dramaturg Before there was Fiddler on the Roof there was the collection of short stories by Sholom Aleichem called Tevye the Dairyman. These stories were highly popular which led their to being adapted into the musical we know and love today. That being said ​​there are some significant differences between Fiddler on the Roof and Tevye the Dairyman that I came across while I was preparing research for the actors about the source text for this musical. One major difference that shocked me was that Aleichem wrote the character Yente, the matchmaker, as a man named Ephraim. I was quite surprised to find this as Yente has…