[Update] In error, Harker News Online mis-identified the singer of the moving rendition of “Far From the Home I Love.” Shazdeh Hussain, playing Hodel, was the singer. We apologize for the error.
This year’s middle school musical was an excellent rendition of the 1964 hit “Fiddler On the Roof.” Directed by middle school teachers Monica Colletti and Roxann Hagemeyer, the show ran in the first week of May.
Students began rehearsals in late January, with some practicing five hours a week. As the show neared, however, rehearsals geared up, with students working as many as 15 hours a week to perfect their performance.
Four showings were staged, beginning May 5 and ending May 8. Two shows were for Harker students, faculty and staff, and two were open to the public.
“Fiddler” gave students a chance to display a wide range of talents, including acting, singing and playing musical instruments. It also illustrated the range of theatrical genres, with moments of comedy mixed with sometimes tense drama and even tragedy.
Shazdeh Hussain, Gr. 8, gave a wonderful performance as Hodel, stunning the audience with her singing abilities. Her rendition of “Far From the Home I Love” had many members of the audience in tears.
Sean Knudsen, Gr. 8, playing Tevye, remarked afterward, “It was just a blast working with the entire cast and finally watching it all come together into such a great show.”
Because of limited room backstage, students had the added challenge of maneuvering around props and other actors while trying not to miss their cues. It was not uncommon to see an actor bump into Tevye’s cart before hobbling toward the stage, clutching a shin. However, once they got on stage, all thought of injury was thrown aside as students got wholeheartedly into character.
After this year’s excellent musical we look forward to next year’s effort, and can only wonder at the achievements our theatrical eighth graders will attain in high school!