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Wootton Carrie on 'Fiddler' Tradition

Wootton Theater

Seniors Andrew Kurland and Marie Coyle say “Fiddler on the Roof” is a perfect goodbye to Wootton theater. Kurland and Coyle have each performed in six plays at Wootton, and both have lead roles in “Fiddler,” which runs March 19-21 and March 26-28.

“Andy has been one of my best friends since seventh grade,” said Coyle. “That’s why I get so emotional at the end, because this play is the last one I’ll be in here.”

In many ways, “Fiddler” is a play about goodbyes, as dairyman Tevye and his wife Golde raise their five daughters through changing times in Anatevka, Russia early in the 20th century. “It’s got pretty much all aspects of a musical anyone could ask for,” said Kurland, who plays Tevye. “If you like great comedy and great music, this is the show for you.”

“THAT WAS MY DREAM role,” said Kurland about playing Tevye, an endearing and complex character who sings in baritone. Tevye’s reverence for tradition is tested as his daughters reach marrying age, and pogroms loom in the lives of Anatevka’s citizens.

“He’s very likable; he’s a very easygoing guy … but he also has a serious side, in which he can make some very poignant statements,” said Kurland. “I like the fact that he’s a person who bends the entire show when it comes to the traditions of Anatevka, but he never breaks.”

In the role of Tevye’s wife Golde, Coyle also shows depth of character and animation.

“She would do anything for her family,” said Coyle. “She has a sense of humor, but she’s still sharp-tongued.”

Tevye and Golde need both their senses of humor and their strength of character. In Russia’s tsarist era, Anatevka’s Jewish residents are under increasing threat by the Russian constable and anti-Semitic pogroms. “It shows the trouble Jewish people have lived through in the world,” said sophomore Hugo Galindo, who plays Lazer Wolfe, a butcher tagged by Tevye as the ideal husband for his oldest daughter.

Although “Fiddler” deals with serious themes like anti-Semitism, tradition and family, it also has humor and its musical score is often lively and upbeat with songs like “Tradition,” “Sunrise, Sunset” and “If I Were a Rich Man.”

“I’M REALLY, REALLY DRUNK,” said senior Brandon Gage of his role. “I’m drunk, and I dance with Tevye and I’m dancing on the table … singing unnecessarily high notes.”

Gage speaks of his role as Sasha, a Russian who celebrates Tevye’s arranged marriage for his oldest daughter Tzeitel. Performing in his sixth Wootton play, Gage enjoys the play and finds it thought-provoking as well.“It’s about tolerance, and living with people who are different than you are,” said Gage.