“Fiddler” concludes successful year of productions



Zahni Gulbronson (right) and Madeline Pluckhan (left) hold on a scene of Fiddler on the Roof. The musical was the last production for many seniors in SHS Drama.

To finish the 2022 school year on a high note, the Shorewood Drama Department presented their spring musical, Fiddler on the Roof.

The award winning musical, created by playwright Joseph Stein in 1964 and brought to life by music from long-time composer Jerry Bock, acts as a metaphor for survival in a life of uncertainty. 

Fiddler on the Roof takes place in a small village located in modern day Ukraine. Themes focused on in the musical include displacement, culture and the importance of tight-knit relationships during changing times. The unusually large cast consisted of around 40 people, with most of the main characters played by upperclassmen. Seniors Leo Newman and Ginny Mitchell played husband Tevye and wife Golda, respectively. 

“It’s the story of family and community and tradition… with the presence of the Russian military within Jewish communities,” Mitchell said.

In the show, a family struggles with opposing viewpoints on the importance of preserving tradition, in the midst of a radically evolving Russia.

“The main conflicts of the show are between the daughters and Tevye because of them wanting to be with the men they fall in love with. Then there’s also the conflict of the Russian military driving the Jews out of their home,” Newman said. 

Due to the department’s decision to extend the winter musical because of the pandemic, the cast and crew faced the challenge of a fast-paced schedule.

“We had basically four months of rehearsal [for Cinderella], and for Fiddler we had six weeks,” Mitchell said. “So it was much more condensed, and much more of a consistent process.” 

For the seniors, ending with Fiddler on the Roof was a satisfying culmination of their time in Shorewood Drama.

“It was extremely fulfilling. It was an amazing show to go out on,” Newman said. 

“[This show is] so focused on community, family and struggles, and that’s what I’ve experienced with Shorewood Drama,” Mitchell said. “It has always been amazing, and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve met people that are [as] close [as] family to me. So I would say that it was a good way to go out.”

Operating the soundboard was Henry Heyden, senior, whose six years of experience in tech concluded with this show. Despite a large number of drama participants graduating this June, Heyden encourages underclassmen in the Drama Department to look at the silver lining of the senior’s departure.

“To any aspiring members of the drama department, whether that be tech, acting, costumes, etc. don’t see this graduation… as a negative for the department,” Heyden said. “I have seen so many mass graduations and they always lead to people stepping up and more opportunities for the people that want them.” 

Through their years in Drama, the seniors have gained many valuable takeaways that they are planning to implement in their futures. 

“I know I’m going to learn and grow in college, but the growth that I’ve experienced here at Shorewood [is] just so bizarre to me. How much [I’ve] grown in the six years since Lion King Junior,” Mitchell said. 

Like many others, Newman has high hopes for the future of Shorewood Drama.

“I’m really proud. And I told this to the cast, but I’m really proud of everyone in the work that they did,” Newman said. “I can’t wait to come back and see what they do.”