Tradition! The word itself is synonymous with this most classic of American musicals, set in the tiny shtetl of Anatevka. People all over the world continue to find universal truths in the story of Tevye and his headstrong, tradition-bucking daughters (just Google “Fiddler on the Roof, Japan”). Now Olney Theatre creates a rich and re-imagined Fiddler for a new generation to embrace through unforgettable songs like “If I Were a Rich Man,” “To Life,” and “Sunrise, Sunset.” Like Tevye himself, this Fiddler knows the power of its traditional highlights, but like his daughters Tzeitel, Hodel, and Chava – it also may surprise you with new ways of carrying forward its spirit.
What do you mean, re-imagined?
Director Peter Flynn’s staging begins after Fiddler’s narrative ends, in a timeless version of the immigration center where the Jews of Anatevka hope to land. Tevye has arrived with his wife and two youngest daughters, eager to regain a sense of community by sharing the story of his family’s displacement and its struggles between tradition and progress. So, he enlists others who want to immigrate to America – and who have likely also been displaced, as he has – in telling his story and creating (metaphorically) the American community he hopes to join. Those whom he enlists will be the ensemble members representing the many different ethnic and religious backgrounds found in the Olney Theatre community, one of the most diverse in America.
“Without changing a word or note of this beautiful musical, Peter Flynn’s staging celebrates that most typical Jewish-American journey and links that journey with an American immigrant story that continues today. His idea perfectly reflects the changing mission of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS): We used to aid refugees because they were Jews. Now we aid refugees because we are Jews. As Cantor Stephanie Weishaar said to me when I told her about our plans, ‘the enduring power of Fiddler is that for every culture, in every part of the world, they see THEIR story in Fiddler.’”
- Jason Loewith, Artistic Director
Sholem Aleichem stories by special permission of Arnold Perl
Produced on the New York Stage by
Original New York Stage Production Directed and Choreographed by
Music Direction by
Watch the Trailer
Janine BaumgardnerRussian Soldier
Cheryl J. CampoYente
Tsaitami DuchicelaGrandma Tzeitel
Olivia Michelle FeglerBielke
Chess JakobsLazar Wolf (Before November 22)
Daniel PowersRussian Soldier/Dance Captain
DeMone SeraphinLazar Wolf (After November 21)
Chris YoustraMusic Director
Milagros Ponce de LeonSet Designer
Pei LeeCostume Designer
Max DoolittleLighting Designer
Matt RoweSound Designer
Ali PohankaWig Designer
Chess JakobsAssistant Director
John Keith HallStage Manager
Rebecca TalismanAssistant Stage Manager
Olney Theatre Center is partnering with Montgomery County Police and other security agencies to ensure the safety of our patrons, artists, staff, and buildings. We are asking patrons to leave bags at home; any bags that enter may be subject to a search. Please allow ample time for parking and security.
Reviews and Press
- Broadway World - "The show puts the entire story in a new perspective, but it still retains all the warmth and charm that audiences expect from a production of Fiddler."
- MD Theatre Guide - "Fiddler and Olney are a ‘perfect match’ and a wonderful holiday treat."
- On and Off Broadway Theatre Reviews - "a constantly surprising and glorious evening of musical theatre"
On the Blog
- Behind the Scenes - A Conversation with Fiddler on the Roof Choreographer, Lorna Ventura
- Video: Panel Discussion: What Happened After Anatevka? With Professor Alisa Solomon and Rabbi Sarah Bassin
- Additional Dramaturgy - From Page to Stage: Fiddler's Journey
Video: Go Inside Rehearsals
Thursday, Nov 30, 2023, 6:00–7:15 p.m.
Location: Actors Hall, Olney Theatre Center Tickets: $10
Drinks and snacks available for purchase.
If your brain is full of random musical-related knowledge that you don’t know what to do with, put it to the test at our happy hour Broadway/Musical Trivia Night! Sign up with a team, or come as a single and make some new friends.
Hosted by Chris Youstra, Music Director/Director of Music Theater
Saturday Dates: Nov 18, 25, Dec 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 3:30–7:00 p.m.
Location: Omi’s Pavilion, Olney Theatre Center
Salat Foods: Salat will offer you authentic Middle Eastern comfort food.
Join us in the Roberts Mainstage lobby before select Sunday matinees of Fiddler on the Roof for performances by Chai Dynamics, Kolot HaLev, and Temple Isaiah’s Shir Isaiah.
Here's what you missed...
Opening Night Discussion with Author Alisa Solomon and Rabbi Sarah Bassin
Saturday, Nov 11, 5:00–6:00 p.m.
Roberts Mainstage This event has passed but you can watch a recording of the livestream on our blog
For a very special opening night, Olney Theatre Center welcomes author Alisa Solomon, whose seminal book Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof changed the way Americans think about the history and legacy of Tevye’s story. Alisa is joined in a conversation about Fiddler’s legacy with Rabbi Sarah Bassin, the Director of Clergy and Congregations at HIAS, which draws on Jewish values and history to provide vital services to refugees and asylum seekers throughout the world. Artistic Director Jason Loewith moderates this conversation about what Fiddler continues to mean for 21st Century America.
Sunday, November 19, 5:00–6:00 p.m.
Location: Roberts Mainstage Tickets: $10 per person
How does a professional theater bring the magic behind Fiddler on the Roof to life? We want to show you! So we’re inviting folks of every age to come on stage and see how we do it. Lighting demonstrations, costume and prop displays, scenery moves… our professional production staff leads you on an inspiring tour through the backstage magic. RSVP early; this annual event tends to sell out fast!
Led by Kirsten Parker, Production Manager
Sunday, Nov 19, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Olney Public Library (3500 Olney Laytonsville Rd, Olney, MD 20832)No RSVP. Just show up!
As part of our celebration of Fiddler, we’re sponsoring a morning of stories at the Olney Public Library. This is a free family event appropriate for all ages, especially toddlers, preschoolers, and young children. Books to be read are chosen with the help of the Olney librarian.
Community Partner: HIAS
Our version of Fiddler on the Roof highlights the immigrant experience while keeping to the Jewish origins of the story. HIAS's mission and vision are similar to our envisioning of Fiddler. We are excited to be partnering with them during the run of the show and highlight the invaluable work they do every day.
HIAS is the world’s oldest refugee agency. Though the organization was formally incorporated as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in 1903, that founding moment represented a continuation of several predecessor organizations that had worked through the 1880s and 1890s to assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. While those arriving in the United States at that time were refugees, the world did not yet have a legal concept for people who needed safe refuge outside their homelands.
Originally set up by Jews to help fellow Jews for reasons of religious imperative and communal solidarity, HIAS in the 2020s is a multi-continent, multi-pronged humanitarian aid and advocacy organization with thousands of employees dedicated to helping forcibly displaced persons around the world in keeping with the organization’s Jewish ethical roots.
Winter Coat Drive
Our community partner, Interfaith Works (IW), needs new or gently used winter coats in all sizes to distribute to community members who currently lack warm clothing for the cold weather months. Despite being one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, Montgomery County still has a sizable population of people living at or below the poverty line. Interfaith Works (IW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides emergency shelter, supportive housing, essential needs, and employment programs to over 35,000 residents of Montgomery County, MD, every year. Their mission is to support neighbors in need by providing vital services and a pathway to greater stability.
Please bring all sizes of new or gently used warm coats to the 1938 Original Theatre Lobby when you come to Fiddler on the Roof or during Box Office hours (Wednesday - Sunday, 12 pm - 6 pm).
For the 2023-2024 Season, Olney Theatre Center will be offering programs for purchase rather than as a complimentary item at performances. You can pre-purchase your program with your tickets or anytime prior to your performance here - be sure to choose the date and time of your performance when ordering.
Programs are $2 each, $1 for those under 25 years old, and free for members, donors, and students K-12.
All audience members will receive a one-sheet with the cast list and production credits, along with a QR code to view the full playbill online.
For more information visit our blog.