Fiddler on the Roof brings timely message to Oak Bay stage

Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Fiddler on the Roof brings timely message to Oak Bay stage
Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)                                Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff) Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

When searching through the old book of musicals for this year’s spring show, the issues Fiddler on the Roof touches on were too on point to overlook, said Oak Bay High history teacher Tim Bradshaw.

Oak Bay High’s theatre and music students are performing the classic 1960s musical, with its spirited choreography and its timeless themes, starting Friday night in the Dave Dunnet Theatre.

“The social message of antisemitism that Fiddler looks at is pretty deep, what with the issue of racism that’s flying around right now,” said Bradshaw, who is leading the show’s costume and design. “It comes with a powerful message that resonates in the now.”

READ MORE: Chim Chim Cher-ee! Mary Poppins is coming to Oak Bay High

The show will closely follow the original score and script by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein.

Set somewhere in a Jewish town of early 1900s Russia, it centres on Tevye (played by Grade 12 student Chase Ward) the modest milkman and his wife, Golde (played by Grade 12 student Sophie McGrath) and their five daughters, three of which marry in the show.

If it seems like another world, it is. Bradshaw invited a Rabbi who visited the cast and spent time explaining what the social climate was like growing up in the Baltic region Pale of Settlement and persecution that Jewish people faced.

The show reunites Bradshaw with director and choreographer Heather Day Jeliazkov (her third time directing Fiddler) and musical director Steve Price, who staged the musical Mary Poppins with Oak Bay High students in 2019.

“We are really lucky to have the whole community contribute,” Bradshaw noted. “We’ve got costumes from Langham Court Theatre, from the Canadian College of Performing Arts, and even Party Crashers, who people might not realize have very helpful advice and a passion for costumes.”

And what goes around comes around, Bradshaw said. For instance, Glenlyon Norfolk is borrowing Oak Bay’s Mary Poppins’ costumes for their upcoming show. And last year, Oak Bay borrowed Spectrum’s Mary Poppins costumes.

“The Oak Bay community, and the theatre community really chip in and makes this happen,” Bradshaw said.

The show also gives the hungry, talented actors a range of opportunities to put their energy into a musical full of dynamic dance routines and over-the-top vocal and gesturing tropes that come expected with Fiddler on the Roof.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay High piano fundraising committee raises a glass to donors

Altogether, the show features almost 90 students with the symphony, crew, builders, costumes and actors.

“And we can’t overlook the parents helping feed the kids during long rehearsals, parents who helped build the set pieces, such as the giant milk cart for Tevye, or those who are ensuring family with mobility problems will have access to seats,” Bradshaw said. “So many people are so helpful.”

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Live theatreMusic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre voted favourite non-profit in the 2020 Best of the WestShore Awards. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Wild ARC in Metchosin voted favourite non-profit for second year in a row

The rehabilitation centre treated nearly 3,000 animals last year

The president and chief executive officer of BC Ferries promises additional reviews to help sustain BC Ferries. (Black Press Media File)
BC Ferries to review expenditures following 43 per cent passenger drop in 2020

Promise from CEO follows new figures showing significant decline in passengers

Shea Smith is one of three creators of The Homeless Idea podcast. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Victoria podcasters talks homelessness first-hand

Three homeless Victoria residents created The Homeless Idea to give themselves a voice

(Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
Second driver facing impaired charges after View Royal traffic stop leads to loaded firearms

West Shore RCMP stop swerving motorist and Saanich woman who came to pick her up

Local MLA Adam Olsen, a member of the Tsartlip Nation, here seen before the 2020 provincial election, said a new report finding “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system does not surprise Indigenous people. (Hansard TV)
MLA, Tsartlip member says ‘silo’ approach won’t work dealing with racism in health care

Adam Olsen calls for comprehensive approach in dealing with systemic racism

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Left to right: A screenshot of NTC nurse navigator Lesley Cerney, FNHA regional mental health manager Georjeana Paterson and Island Health’s medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns addressing Ehattesaht community members from Ehatis reserve in a Facebook live update. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Medical team sent to Ehatis reserve near Zeballos to guide community through COVID outbreak

17 cases, eight recoveries and no hospitalizations as Island Health praises First Nation’s response

Most Read