Fiddler on the Stage


Shannon Halliday, Journalist

From Beauty and the Beast to Camelot, the Ipswich High School Drama Department has performed almost every musical you can name. Normally, the department avoids the repetition of shows.  However, this year they’re making an exception. This year’s musical will be a revamp of Fiddler on the Roof. The last time this show was performed at Ipswich High School was in 2004. Scott Ames, the lighting and sound director, was working at the school when the show was done the first time. When asked if he was excited to be a part of it again he stated, “The concept is awesome. The fact that it’s semi historically based is good, and the music is good; it’s catchy.  As soon as you hear it you can’t stop humming it. It’s a good story [and] the characters are likable.”

image1However, with every drama club production, there must be drama. When the cast list for the production was published, many upperclassmen found themselves distraught over their roles.  A handful of them were placed in smaller roles while the rest were in the ensemble.

When I asked Shanelle Taylor, one of two assistant directors for the show, her opinion on the roles she said that she found it interesting that “middle schoolers are getting such big parts. I mean it’s not unheard of, but usually maybe one or two get a line or a paragraph. They’re not usually the ones who lead the show.” I found Shanelle’s point interesting and decided to investigate more.

I decided to ask Scott Ames during our interview to see if he could add any more insight on why leading roles are going to younger students. When asked why middle schoolers couldn’t have accepted roles in the chorus, he responded, “It was a condition of doing a joint show…by the middle school Principal and fine arts director.” He also added a good point that since it is considered “educational theater,” you have to teach the younger students how to perform in large roles.  So, to all of you in the show who did not get leading roles, know that it was not entirely due to your acting or singing ability.

Although the start of the production was a little bumpy, both Shanelle Taylor and Scott Ames have high hopes of the show being a success. Find out for yourself by seeing one of the shows May 6th and 7th at 7:30 and May 8th at 2:30.