Community gets together to perform 'Fiddler on the Roof'

Thursday, February 9, 2012
From left, Cape Girardeau Central High School students Nicholas Smentkowski, Catherine Crites, Natasha Whitehurst, Madison Moore and Moriah Johnston play the bass during an orchestra practice for the upcoming production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” (Kristin Eberts)

A musical that hasn't been performed for many years by high school students in Cape Girardeau will return in March.

Central High School's orchestra and Red Dagger theater club will perform "Fiddler on the Roof" on March 8, 9 and 10 in the junior high school's auditorium.

The rehearsal for the musical has given some orchestra members the experience of working with community members and others a chance to reconnect, said Steve Schaffner, the school's orchestra director.

The orchestra is made up of 37 students and community musicians who were brought in to give students extra practice playing professional-level music for long periods -- as the musical requires -- and to fill a shortage of musicians.

"Any time you involve community members, they are learning," Schaffner said.

Two-hour rehearsals several times each week have taught students about endurance, he said.

Schaffner said he picked "Fiddler on the Roof" because he has wanted to put on the show since the beginning of his time at Central High School, and that has now been 21 years. The last musical the school produced was "Guys and Dolls" two years ago. Some of the same community musicians helped out with that performance, Schaffner said, so it's been nice for them to see how the student musicians have matured since then.

Cape Girardeau Central High School student Emily Long, left, and Southeast Missouri State University student Alicia Dunn, right, play the violin during an orchestra practice for the upcoming production of "Fiddler on the Roof." (Kristin Eberts)

"Fiddler on the Roof" was once the longest-running Broadway show. The story in the musical is set in Russia in the early 1900s and follows a family that tries to keep their religious traditions despite many hardships.

In 2010, a traveling performance of "Fiddler on the Roof" sold out at the River Campus.

Central High School's show will begin at 7:30 p.m. all three nights. Tickets cost $10 for students and $12 for adults and will be available after Feb. 29 by calling the high school at 335-8228.

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

1000 S. Silver Springs Road, Cape Girardeau, MO

205 Caruthers Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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