BHS musical preview

Blair High School senior Collin Moffatt, portraying Tevye, sings the opening number to "Fiddler on the Roof." BHS will present the music Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Lela Neve Auditorium.

Victoria McNamara made her way around the stage Wednesday as she adjusted blocking for a song in Blair High School's upcoming production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

This is the first production directed by McNamara, a first-year teacher, but it's not her first experience in theater.

BHS musical preview

New Blair High School drama director Victoria McNamara works with the cast of "Fiddler on the Roof" during a recent rehearsal in the Lela Neve Auditorium.

“I've been acting since I was 10,” she said. “I've been involved in theater for over a decade of my life. It's become a passion of mine.”

McNamara, a Wayne State College graduate, has been involved in more than 30 productions throughout high school, college and in community theater in Papillion-La Vista and Ralston.

Getting the opportunity to share her passion with students has been a dream for her.

“It's my craft. I like to work on it and I can't think of a better way to work on and expand my craft than teaching it,” McNamara said. “Trying to teach people how to perfect their's, it's been one of the greatest experiences of my life and I couldn't imagine a better group of kids to work with. These kids have been fantastic. They are so easy to work with and they are so talented.”

BHS musical preview

Sabbath Prayer: All students come in to celebrate the Sabbath in a family during a scene in Blair High School's production of "Fiddler on the Roof." In Jewish culture, the Sabbath is held sacred and celebrated reverently.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is a classic musical, which first opened on Broadway in 1964. It has seen numerous revivals, including a 2015 run on Broadway. It was also the subject of a 1971 film.

Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman with five daughters, must choose between letting his daughters marry who they want or carry on the tradition of arranged marriages using a matchmaker.

BHS musical preview

Michaela Diehm as Tzeitel, left, Zoe Neef as Chave, and Jaime Orton as Hodel sing about how they would love to find the perfect match for themselves during rehearsal for the Blair High School production of "Fiddler on the Roof".

McNamara said she chose “Fiddler” for the large cast — there are 51 in the ensemble — but also the message of the show.

“Teaching (the students) that you don't always have to go with what the traditions are. It's OK to break tradition and to live the way you want to live and make a home with the people that you love the most and making that home no matter where you are,” McNamara said. “That's the biggest message I want them to take away. Home is what you make it. It's not a place, it's not a specific location. It's the people you surround yourself with, that's how you feel at home.”

The BHS production stars Collin Moffatt as Tevye, Kristen Swets as Golde and Michaela Diehm, Jaime Orton, Zoe Neef, Lydia Mowels and Evie Storjohann as their daughters, Tzeitel, Hodel, Chava, Shrpintze and Bielke.

Seniors Moffatt and Swets are taking on their first significant roles.

“It's a really big jump. I had one solo in 'Mary Poppins' and now I'm in most of the scenes. I have a bunch of solos,” Moffatt said. “Learning lines has been the hardest by far.”

Swets was unfamiliar with the show before auditioning.

“My mom said it was her favorite musical, but I hadn't heard of it before,” she said. “Over the summer, I did all of my research on 'Fiddler on the Roof.'”

Both Moffatt and Swets said learning from a new director has been an adjustment, but a positive one.

“It's like a fresh start for my senior year, but it's really nice because she is very organized and she knows what she is doing,” Swets said. “She really makes the musical a good experience.”

McNamara said the students aren't the only ones learning.

“It's been a learning experience for me,” she said. “They think they've learned a lot from me, but I've learned a heck of a lot from them, too.”

BHS musical preview

Collin Moffatt, as Tevye, and his wife Golde, played by Kristen Swets, back center, lament about how they have to leave the place that has been their home all of their life. They are joined their two youngest daughters and son-in-law Evie Storjohann as Bielke, Lydia Mowles as Shprintze, Micheala Diehm as Tzeitel and Nathan Hiykel as Motel.

The BHS production of “Fiddler on the Roof” is 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Lela Neve Auditorium. There is also a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

'Fiddler on the Roof' cast

Tevye — Collin Moffatt

Golde — Kristen Swets

Tzeitel — Michaela Diehm

Hodel — Jaime Orton

Chava — Zoe Neef

Shprintze — Lydia Mowels

Bielke — Evie Storjohann

Yente — Sloan Lammers

Motel Kamzoil — Nathan Hiykel

Perchik — Trevor Anderson

Lazar Wolf — Chase Jensen

Rabbi — Brody Fetters

Mendel — Sam Lawton

Nachum — Carter Lau

Grandma Tzeitel — Morgan Thompson

Fruma-Sarah — Grace Fowler

Constable — Canton Lippincott

Fyedka — Cameron Gayer

Shaindel Kamzoil — Maggie Lynch

The Fiddler — Destinea Fuhlrodt

Innkeeper — Hannah Hicks

Russian Leader — Dawson Fischer

Russians — Ryan Ray, Noah Ferguson

Sasha — Sam Lager

Yussel — Mysti Barr

Mr. Kamzoil — Roy Brown

Villagers — Kaela Barr, Mysti Barr, Emily Bennett, Roy Brown, Katelyn Crawford, Sophia Erickson, Marris Faue, Noah Ferguson, Brody Fetters, Grace Fowler, Destinea Fuhlrodt, Gabe Goeken, Victoria Harrington, Hannah Hicks, Jenna Jennings, Kenner Jensen, Sam Lager, Sloan Lammers, Callie Landauer, Carter Lau, Sam Lawton, Canton Lippincott, Dailynn Luttig, Maggie Lynch, Bre Matzen, Olivia Nelson, Polina Nosova, Cayden Otte, Bailey Powell, Ryan Ray, Elena Roeder, Emilie Rothanzi, Evelyn Rothanzi, Lillian Tiedgen, Morgan Thompson, Spencer Trimpe and Jayden Yost.

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