Florida School of the Arts presents “Fiddler on the Roof”

Fiddler on the Roof

When times change, the people must change as well.

Adapting to change is among the many important life lessons in one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals, “Fiddler on the Roof.” Based on “Tevye the Dairyman and His Daughters” and other tales by Sholem Aleichem, the musical tells the story of the poor Jewish dairyman’s struggle to maintain long-held Jewish customs while helping his daughters achieve the happiness they seek. Set in 1905 in a Jewish settlement in Russia, the overwhelming air of change hangs over the characters, forcing them to adapt or be left behind.

Under the direction of Patricia Crotty, Florida School of the Arts students will bring the classic musical to life February 19 – 21 at 7:30 p.m., and February 22 at 2:30 p.m., in the Florida School of the Arts Main Stage Theatre located on the St. Johns River State College Palatka campus. Admission is $5. The performance is appropriate for all ages.

“We chose ‘Fiddler’ because it’s a great story, and after big contemporary pieces, like ‘Les Misérables,’ we really wanted to perform one of the older Broadway classics,” Crotty said. “We also have a strong set of performers who can handle the complexities of the show. There are several roles and songs that give us the chance to feature many of our students who possess a high caliber of talent. My favorite part of directing this musical is to work with the students and see them grow and develop as they tackle the material.”

The musical recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Crotty believes the show’s staying power stems from its universal messages which are as relevant today as they were 50 years ago. “There are places in the world where people who have so much in common live side by side, but are not able to get along, and there are people being driven out of their traditional homes in many parts of the world,” she said. “This musical is about relationships and asks how one holds onto what’s important in an ever-changing world which, I think, is still a very pertinent question today.”

“Fiddler on the Roof” contains music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and prose by Joseph Stein. “Most adults today have probably grown up hearing these songs or watching the hit 1971 film.” Crotty said. “So, we’re estimating a large turnout for the show.”

The cast for “Fiddler on the Roof” includes: Ben Lamoureux as Tevye, Corey Adams as the Fiddler, Alexandria Holloway as Golde, Chloe Cordle as Tzeitel, Adriana Caraballo as Hodel, Kassidy Canova as Chava, Sydney Harber as Shprintze, Rosvic Siason as Bielke and Grandma Tzeitel, Briauna Shope as Yente, Joseph Grosso as Perchik, Butler Robertson as Motel, Clinton Dickinson as Lazar Wolf, Emerson Smith-Von Weigen as Mordcha, Brandon Mayes as the Rabbi, Jordan Leggett as Mendel, Jeno Tate as Avram, Remy Vignati as Nachum, Jacob Henry as Yussel, Dwight Leslie as Fyedka, Ed Marin as the Constable, Tareca Siplin as Fruma-Sarah, Willie Beaton II as Sasha, Kristem Cuestas as Boris, Ilana Gould as Shaindel, Katelyn Patterson as Rifka, and Alicia Hill as Mirala. The villagers include Carlysle Garland, Maisha Esdaile, Kristem Cuestas and Willie Beaton II. The Russians include Daniel Ortega, Dion Pratt and Elizabeth Exantus.

Understudies are Corey Adams, Todd Allen, Willie Beaton II, Kristem Cuestas, Jordy Diaz, Clinton Dickinson, Maisha Esdaile, Carlysle Garland, Ilana Gould, Sydney Harber, Jacob Henry, Alicia Hill, Emma Kriausky, Megan LeClair, Jordan Leggett, Ed Marin, Kelsey Martin, Brandon Mayes and Katelyn Patterson.

Musical direction for the show is provided by Kandie Smith, with choreography directed by Jessica Mayhew.

FloArts Scenic and Lighting Design Instructor Robert O’Leary said the production and lighting for the stage was made to reflect both the lighthearted and darker aspects of the musical. “There’s a sky, rich with color, representing a universe of hope through family and tradition, as well as a muted earth tone town, somewhat worn and weighed upon, indicating the worldly predicament of the inhabitants of the settlement,” O’Leary said.

“The theatre design and technology students have worked countless hours to practice their art and make something meaningful for our audiences,” he continued. “What one sees on opening night is the collaborative work of a tightly knit artistic team.”

The “Fiddler on the Roof” production team includes Stage Manager Tobias Evans, whose responsibilities varied across the board from assisting in set construction to recordkeeping.

Student Lighting Designer Alberto Tellez has produced intricate light plot and cue programming to bring audiences closer to the world of the musical as well as into the mind of Tevye.

Sound design for the show is engineered by Chris Gaston, a Palatka High School alumnus, who will work his magic on the sound board and run microphones for the large cast.

The beautiful, multicolored backdrop and other scenic units were designed by Paint Charge Lynona McKinzie.

The technical director and automated scenery operator for the musical is Jason Correia, who practices his skills to run the scene shop and crew to create working scene designs, work schedules, cut lists, and material lists in order to keep the FloArts scene shop, managed by Doug Brown, up to industry standards during production.

Other technical and production staff for the show include Jordy Diaz and Molly Hannigan, assistant directors; Ariel Ryals-Trammell and Todd Allen, assistant stage managers; Katie Blaylock, props master; Ashley Philpott, master electrician; Luis Colon, master carpenter and automated scenery operator; Shannon O’Leary, light board operator; and Savannah Healy, assistant sound board operator.

Carpenters, welders, painters and electricians who helped bring “Fiddler on the Roof” to life are Jason Correia, Lynona McKinzie, Alberto Tellez, Ashley Philpott, Chris Gaston, Luis Colon, Shannon O’Leary, Katie Blaylock, Savannah Healy, Todd Allen, Michael Baker, Nicole Acosta, Briar Boggs, Danielle English, Robert McGurn, Victoria O’Dell, Briauna Shope and Jason Cazella.

The costume staff designing and producing the rich, period-appropriate clothing and accessories is comprised of Costume Design Instructor Emily Strickland; Rachel Allen and Katy Page, assistants to the costume designer; Tracy Floyd, costume shop manager, cutter/draper and wigmaster; and costume construction crew members Rachel Allen, Dana McDonald, Brittany Bauer, Emily Vaughn, Angel Warren, Jade Campbell, Katy Page, Maisha Esdaille, Ben Lamoureux, Clinton Dickinson, Sydney Harber, Carlysle Garland, Emma Kriausky, Janae Donawa and Katelyn Patterson.

Florida School of the Arts is part of the academic and administrative structure of SJR State and awards the two-year Associate in Science degree. The School serves the entire state of Florida and is located on the SJR State Palatka campus. For more information, call 386-312-4300 or visit the Web site at

Florida School of the Arts students Alexandria Holloway and Ben Lamoureux rehearse their roles as Golde and Tevye in the upcoming production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” The musical runs February 19 - 22 at the St. Johns River State College Palatka campus.



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020