Skip to main content

The City Journals

Elk Ridge Middle to present “Fiddler on the Roof”

Jan 29, 2019 11:36AM ● By Julie Slama

Students at Elk Ridge Middle School prepare to perform “Fiddler on the Roof” in early February. (Photo courtesy Elk Ridge Middle School)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Since this past fall, about 100 Elk Ridge Middle School students have been gathering after school to learn songs, dances and how to memorize. They also have been collaborating, accepting feedback and learning to accept each other even if there might be differences.

It’s not an after-school club but rather rehearsals for this month’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

“Very few middle schools perform a full musical, so our goal is to have the students be learning and enjoying what they are doing while bringing the community a quality show,” said Director Rebecca Schmidt, who teaches at Elk Ridge Middle School. “Our kids are dedicated and hard workers, so when they come to a scene, many of them already have learned their lines and worked ahead. I’m really impressed with their commitment.”

Students will perform “Fiddler on the Roof” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7 through Saturday, Feb. 9 in the school auditorium, 3659 West 9800 South. If needed, an additional performance will be added if the tickets sell out. Tickets cost $3.

The show features ninth-grader McKay Maynes as Tevye, ninth-grader Ashley Romrell as Golde, ninth-grader Holly Snow as Tzeitel, ninth-grader Lyndsey Hunt as Hodel, eighth-grader Rebecca Rios as Chava, eighth-grader Cade Poulter as Motel, ninth-grader Boston Pond as Perchik and ninth-grade Jack Rose as Fyedka.

Joining Schmidt directing is student director Bingham High sophomore Sara Applegate. The stage manager is ninth-grader Aubrey Robertson, and choir teacher Keith Goodrich oversees the choreography and music.

The Tony-Award winning musical is about Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family's lives. Tevye learns he must cope both with the actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love instead of having arranged marriages, especially as each one’s choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of their Jewish faith and heritage. At the same time, Tevye and the family must cope and adapt with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.

“I picked ‘Fiddler’ because there is a good message about versatility and family as well as a lot of leads and parts for the ensemble,” Schmidt said. “I wanted the students to realize even in the face of opposition, they can overcome difficulties. With our community having refugees, it’s message is relevant, and that’s a discussion we have.”

For more than 12 weeks, students have learned choreography, music and blocking in addition to memorizing their lines. 

In addition, 35 students who make up the tech crew have worked on building pieces of the set.

“We had 160 audition, had call-backs and narrowed it down to about 100,” Schmidt said. “It was fun to see after a couple weeks how comfortable they became and confident in what they were doing. It’s really neat to have them learn about different culture and places but also to apply what they’re learning to today. I’m excited to see them perform it.”