Fiddler On The Roof Junior is a special adaptation of the classic Broadway musical, which tackles the universal theme of tradition in ways that reach across barriers of race, class, nationality, and religion.
Set in the little village of Anatevka, the story centers on Tevye, a poor dairyman, and his five daughters. With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with tradition in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. The show features a star turn in Tevye, among the most memorable roles in the musical theatre canon. Its celebrated score, by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, features songs loved the world over, including "Tradition," "If I Were A Rich Man," and "Sunrise, Sunset."
Fiddler On The Roof Junior is a great introduction to the world of musical theatre. Young performers will love its humor, warmth, and honesty. Directors will love the opportunity to direct a large cast with a good balance of male and female roles.
[Hodel, Chava, Tzeitel]
[Tevye, Golde, Villagers]
[Tevye, Lazar Wolf, Men]
[Tevye, Golde, Perchik, Hodel, Villagers]
[Golde, Yente, Lazar Wolf, Mendel, Avram, Tevye]
Cast of Characters
Tevye is the heart and conscience of Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye is generally cast as a larger young man, but his stature really comes from his integrity and zest for life. Tevye's emotional range runs from strong patriarch to gentle father. He should be robust. He understands his role as leader of the family, but knows his place as his wife's husband. Your Tevye should be able to show the wide range of conflict, joy and pain that his character feels throughout the story. The actor playing Tevye needs to be comfortable speaking directly to the audience, and being the spiritual leader of your production. He does not necessarily need to have a great singing voice, but he must have a strong, easily projected voice that can fill your performance space. Tevye must develop an easy-going, comfortable rapport with the audience.
Vocal Range: Ab3 - D
Golde is the backbone of the family. She has a rather gruff exterior, but in her heart is sheer dedication to her family. When casting Golde, remember that she must be able to frighten Tevye. She runs the household and keeps Tevye's more emotional side in check. Conversely, she should be able to show a softer side when dealing with Chava and Tevye's rift. Golde lives that her daughters will be married. She, like Tevye, need not be the greatest singer in the world, but she should have a commanding voice.
Vocal Range: G3 - Db5
Tzeitel is the oldest daughter of Tevye and Golde. She is the first to be matched by Yente and sets the plot of Fiddler into action by pleading with her father to let her marry Motel the Tailor, to whom she has pledged her love. When casting Tzeitel, keep in mind that she is the oldest daughter. She is determined to marry Motel and knows how to manipulate her father.
Vocal Range: Bb3 - Cb5
Hodel is a strong, independent middle child of the three older daughters. She is outspoken, but respectful. She has her eye on the Rabbi's son at the outset of the story, but she is taken with the revolutionary Perchik from the moment she meets him. Hodel proves that her dedication to and love for Perchik is real as she follows him to Siberia after his arrest. Hodel's melancholy lament, "Far From the Home I Love," demands a good singer/actor.
Vocal Range: Bb3 - Db5
Chava is the third youngest daughter. She is an introspective, rather shy young woman who seems to favor books over other pursuits. Her love for the young Russian, Fyedka, tests her father's love to the limit and provides the largest conflict in the story. The actor playing Chava must be able to display a wide emotional range.
Vocal Range: Bb3 - Cb5
Motel is the young tailor enamored of Tzeitel. He is an endearing sort of Woody Allen type. He needn't be a great singer, but should be able to dance at his wedding. A young man with good comic timing and a vulnerable quality is ideal.
Perchik is a young student who leans toward a revolutionary, or as Tevye calls him, "A radical." Your Perchik should be able to hold his own with Tevye. Being a strong character, he clashes with Tevye idealistically, but is likable, charming, and ultimately, a member of the family.
Vocal Range: Bb3 - Bb5
Lazar Wolf is, by trade, a butcher. Lazar should probably be a large boy, but, frequently, opposites are funny. A kid of any size can pull off this part, but must be a little bit repugnant. Tzeitel is frightened to marry Lazar Wolf and she should have reason to be so. Lazar Wolf has featured singing in, "To Life" and must be able to sell the song.
Vocal Range: A3 - C5
The Constable is the local sheriff representing the anti-Semitic Russian government. Take care to cast an actor who can provide a sense of threat, foreboding, and conflict. The Constable is a complex character who is conflicted over his relative goodwill toward individuals in the Jewish community and his duty to harass them. This is a non-singing role that requires a good, strong actor.
Fyedka is a young Russian soldier who falls in love with Chava. Look for a young man who might look distinctly Russian, trying to contrast his look as a Gentile who enters the Jewish world as an outsider. He should be a strong actor, but needn't be a singer.
Shprintze and Bielke are the youngest daughters of Tevye and Golde. They are considerably younger than the three "matchmaker" daughters. They have only a few lines, but are featured in quite a few scenes. They need to be able to carry a tune in the group songs.
The Fiddler must be a young person who can hold the attention of an entire audience with movement, facial expression, and dance. As the title character, the Fiddler must be the physical embodiment of the theme of the show. Freedom of movement and expression are the keys to casting your Fiddler. The Fiddler is a silent, lead role.
Yente is your matchmaker. Try to cast a young woman who can capture the quintessential feel of the Jewish matchmaker, without necessarily making her a stereotype. She should be able to play older. She's not elderly, but mature.
The Villagers group can be as large as your stage can safely accommodate. They are the faces of Anatevka. This character group insures that you can cast any young person who auditions, regardless of their talent level or experience.
The Russians are soldiers under the command of the Constable. This is a good group to case your least experienced auditioners. One, Sasha, has two lines. They needn't be singers, but can sing in a group numbers from offstage if they are able.