St. Michael-Albertville High School theater members are hard at work perfecting their fall musical, Fiddler on the Roof.
Set in Russia around 1905, the story centers around a man named Tevye and his struggle to hold onto his family’s Jewish culture amidst prejudice between Jewish and Russian cultures. Tevye is played by senior Josh Kainz. Tevye’s wife, Golde, is played by sophomore Kelsey Frederick.
“Fiddler is a classic show that a lot of high schools do because of the messages that are in there,” Director Josh Mann said. “It’s about fighting prejudice and discrimination. It’s a show of hope.”
Assistant director, Brandon Berger, said the kids have been working very hard to make the show a success. He said the production includes a cast of 60 performers and 30-40 students who are either in the pit orchestra or performing tech crew jobs such as building sets, running lights and stage managing.
“It’s awesome to see that many kids involved,” he said.
Junior Nolan Montcalm plays Motel in the show, a poor tailor who yearns to marry Tevye’s oldest daughter. This is Montcalm’s seventh production with STMA High School’s theater program, and he said he’s enjoying this show quite a bit because it’s his first character where the audience always wants to root for him.
“This show has some sad and dark spots to it,” Montcalm said, “but that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable because there are plenty of laughs and plenty of spots where you want to go aww.”
He said he feels Fiddler on the Roof has a good blend of happy scenes while also giving the audience a chance to look more introspectively at the world.
“Even today, people are put down for what they identify as, the color of their skin, or who they love,” Montcalm said. “This show resonates with that and shows what it’s like from the minority perspective.”
Opening night takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7. Friday and Saturday evening shows also begin at 7 p.m., while Sunday’s show starts at 2 p.m. All performances take place at the high school’s Performing Arts Center (PAC), and theater-goers can purchase tickets on the website stmaknights.com. Mann said the show is suitable for all ages.