Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre prepares to open “Fiddler on the Roof”

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 8:30 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre’s (FLOT) production of “Fiddler on the Roof” is being rehearsed for the Salisbury Theatre at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) this spring.

The classic musical takes the audience back to a small village in Eastern Europe in the early 20th century.

According to actor Sylvain Demers, who plays the lead role of Tevye, “There’s a lot of humor, as well as good music and a little bit of tragedy, so there’s a little bit of everything.”

Auditions took place in January, with rehearsals starting toward the end of February. Since then, the cast and crew have worked to bring the 1964 musical to life.

The story concerns a milkman and father trying to raise his daughters at a time when those of Jewish faith face persecution.

The show is directed by Theresa Reed, a long-time staple of Fairbanks theater. “This is about regular, ordinary people who are beset by all kinds of things, yet they depend on their faith and they end up with hope,” Reed explained.

Demers said the show contains universal themes, “and the relationships that are presented and develop in it are just wonderful for an actor to explore.”

More than 40 performers occupy the stage, many new to FLOT, a demonstration of the show’s scale. “It’s a very large cast,” Demers said, adding, “You always think community theatre isn’t going to come together, but I think it has come together pretty smoothly, and everybody has done fabulous work.”

Reed said, “It’s a great story, and I think my cast is committed to this story.”

Also in on the action is a more than 20-person orchestra, playing the iconic score under the direction of George Rydlinski.

According to Demers, “There’s good humor, and then you can get teary eyed at some points.”

The play opens Friday, May 11 and runs for two weekends at the Salisbury Theatre on UAF’s Troth Yeddha campus.

More information can be found on the Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre website.