West Potomac Tunes Up for 'Fiddler'

West Potomac Tunes Up for 'Fiddler'

For the third time since the West Potomac High School's inception nearly two decades ago, the drama department, led by 'Kathie McCormally has elected to produce the 1964 musical "Fiddler on the Roof", written by Joseph Stein. The show stars senior Dustin Smith as Tevye, the old-fashioned dairyman who struggles to uphold the various traditions of his family in the changing world of the early 20th century. When Tevye's daughter Tzeitel (played by seniors Meredith Richard and Liz Jenkins) expresses desire to marry Motel (junior Ben McVety), a poor tailor, rather than Lazar Wolfe, the butcher (junior Pierce Allen), with whom her father has arranged a marriage, Tevye has to decide between conforming to tradition or making his daughter happy. Other lead roles include senior Kate Griffin as Golde, Tevye"s wife, and seniors Andrew Langan and Renzo Marches as Perchik, a student from Kiev. The show includes such famous musical numbers as "If I Were a Rich Man", "Sunrise, Sunset", and "Matchmaker."

Director Kathie McCormally and music director Kathy Manley have chosen to team up for the fifth consecutive year to produce their customary spring musical. McCormally has been involved in a total of 27 musicals and is in her 10th year at West Potomac. Other McCormally/Manley productions have included "Les Miserables," "Titanic," "Oliver!," and "Man of La Mancha." For their work, the pair's productions have been nominated for a total of 21 Cappies, winning four.

Production for the show is done each Saturday when cast members and other interested students sacrifice part of their weekend to build sets, publicize the productions, set up lights and sound, make props, and design costumes. The set crew, run by Smith, works diligently each week to construct a convincing town setting while the publicity crew paints large roadside sign boards and designs posters to be distributed to the community. The costumes are primarily designed and sewn by junior Laura Herren, who has been part of the Cappie-nominated costume crews for "Titanic" and "Les Miserables."

Due to several conflicts in late April and early May, the performance will occur the weekend of April 20, so the entire production has to be put together in only six weeks, a rather quick interval. Because of this, rehearsals run until at least 6 p.m. every day, underscoring the dedication of the actors and actresses involved. Most of the rather large cast is composed of upperclassmen who have been involved in the West Potomac theater program for their entire high school careers. Several of these students have dedicated over 500 hours of after school time to the theater program, underlining their devotion to the program.