Hiland drama department to present ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

Hiland drama department to present ‘Fiddler on the Roof’
Dave Mast

The Hiland High School theater production of “Fiddler on the Roof” will take place Nov. 21-24, and tickets are currently available online to see this classic on stage at Hiland High School.


“Fiddler on the Roof” is one of the more beloved and long-running Broadway musicals ever to hit the big stage. Set in Imperial Russia around 1905, it is based on the book, “Tevye and his Daughters,” by Sholem Aleichem.

Tevye and the rest of the cast will come to life at Hiland High School for four performances Nov. 21-24 in the Hiland High School auditorium.

The evening shows Nov. 21-23 will take place at 7 p.m. while the Sunday, Nov. 24 matinee will take place at 3 p.m.

“Fiddler on the Roof” centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his best efforts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family’s lives. He must cope with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love even as each one’s choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of their Jewish faith and heritage.

The musical numbers many relate to this timeless classic include “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “Sunrise, Sunset” and “Do You Love Me.”

“The students have been working incredibly hard, and we have really created some neat sets,” director Alex Looney said. “We hired a set designer and coordinator to design the sets. We have hired an all-professional pit orchestra to play live music, and they are both local and all throughout Northeast Ohio. That really adds a lot to the show, and it is such a phenomenal story anyway.”

The lead role of Tevye will be played by Trent Schlabach, his wife Golda will be played by Lily Reese, Yenta the matchmaker is Chloe Padilla, and the three older daughters who are romancing their beaus will be played by Chloe Beachy, Elise Miller and Emily Troyer. Shane Hershberger is Motel the Tailor.

In addition there will be the introduction of a number of middle school boys who will play Russian boys. “It’s a neat way to generate excitement in some of the younger kids coming up through the program,” Looney said.

Looney said they are excited to showcase their new lighting system, as well as the new crop of wireless microphones now available to the performers that they raised funds for last year.

New this year is the ability to preorder reserved seating tickets online. Tickets for the event are available online for $10 each for reserved seating or at the door for $12. Online tickets may be purchased by visiting www.eastholmes.k12.oh.us/hiland/activities/theatre.

In addition to the musical performances, Hiland has gone the extra mile in providing plenty of value to those who love the arts. There will be a Musical Dinner Gala presented Saturday, Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Hiland High School cafeteria. Now in its third year, they have made some changes to the evening.

Tickets for that event are $25 and include a fully catered meal by Log Cabin Catering, live music and a chance to meet the Hiland cast members. Members of the pit orchestra will provide ambiance music during the dinner.

The $25 price tag includes entry to that night’s show, so Looney said there is tremendous value there.

“What a great way to spend an evening,” Looney said. “I think it is fun for the kids to come in to the meal and interact with the people while they are in character. It’s a fun thing to watch, and it impacts the show because people feel like they are more a part of it.”

Assistant director Melanie Clay said watching the students transform into their characters and learn to connect with people in the public is a neat byproduct of the event.

“Some of the kids are eager, and some of them are absolutely terrified, but once they get out into the dining area in little groups and begin to mingle, they all have a great time,” Clay said. “It’s a good experience for them.”

To sign up for the dinner gala, go to the ticket website and click on the drop-down menu to select the performance plus dinner gala option.

There also will be a VIP reception for businesses that have invested in advertising in the program. The theater department went out and solicited area businesses to invest in advertising for all four of the showcase productions throughout the year.

Those businesses that advertise in all four receive an invitation to the VIP reception on the Friday evening of each performance. Donors will have a chance to enjoy light appetizers while getting to meet some of the performers, as well as entry into that evening’s show.

“It was a way we could give back to the community members who supported us,” Clay said.

There also will be Fiddler T-shirts and other Fiddler-related gifts available for purchase before and after each show.

“We want to make this as special as we can for the kids because they have invested a lot of time into making it great,” Clay said. “These kinds of productions are a lot of work.”

Looney said the entire cast spent 120 hours rehearsing together, but that doesn’t include all of the hours put in learning their parts on their won, the time and effort from the set designers, program creators, parents who make snacks for the kids at practice, and many other facets of the musical.

Looney is the director and will direct the orchestra pit, Clay is the assistant director and is in charge of the drama and stage production, Anney Jeandrevin is the choreographer, Honoree Pouly is the costumer, Amy Vance is the set construction coordinator, and Michelle Miller is the principal pianist for the orchestra.

“It’s just a huge team effort,” Looney said.

Hiland High School is located at 4400 State Route 39 in Berlin.

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