By Keith Skenandore
The cast of the Pulaski High School production of “Fiddler on the Roof” has been working hard to perfect their roles.
Lots of time has been put in as they rehearse their lines to portay their character.
This production will be performed this weekend and the following weekend.
Here’s what the performers have to say about their character.
Senior Matthew Courchaine portrays Tevye, the main character of this story, who is the father of five daughters, an impoverished milkman, a leader in his Jewish community, and husband to the headstrong Golde. He is faced with struggles to uphold the traditions of his people, especially through the marriages of his daughters.
Courchaine says his character is the most exhuberant and that he has to show the greatest influx of emotion.
“I really kind of get torn apart as the show goes on,” Courchaine said.
He said the main challenge of playing Tevye was at first his accent, but now it’s understanding his motives and how he is supposed to feel throughout the performance.
Courchaine said that he wants to make Tevye more relatable.
“Your watching Tevye go through it,” he said. “I want to make people sad.”
Senior Emily Cheney plays Golde, Tevye’s wife of 25 years and mother of his five daughters.
Playing the role of Golde is fun for Cheney.
“She is typically more of a serious character and she is kind of snarky,” she said. I feel like there is a lot that I can do with the role. I’m able to play around with a lot of emotion with it but at the same time I feel like she’s an important member of the family and helps develop and show the culture.”
The most demanding part of Golde, Cheney says, is the emotional part.
“I tend to be a really happy person and she is a very serious person,” Cheney said. “There are times when it’s a very serious scene, and there is this one point where I’m trying to get to the point where I can cry on stage, and I’m not very good at that.”
She said her strengths in character development help her think how Golde would think.
“I think I’m able to kind of see things from her perspective and try to portray that as best that I can,” Cheney said.
Junior Katie Challoner plays Tevye’s oldest daughter, Tzeitel.
Challoner likes the fun she gets to do with her character and also gets to imitate Yente the matchmaker. Tzeitel is about 20 years old and in love with Motel, whom she eventually marries instead of Lazar Wolf.
She said it’s hard to stay in character as Tzeitel when she is supposed to be sad.
“I feel like I bring a lot of light and fun to it,” Challoner said. “I try to put the most into it that I can.”
Challoner said she had to learn to be more excited and more sad in order to portray her character.
“It’s kind of a full spectrum of different emotions.”
Senior Destin Wernicke portrays Motel Kamzoil, an impoverished tailor and is secretly pledged to Tzeitel.
Wernick likes the song that he performs as a solo and his character in general. The solo is also a challenge.
“The song that I have to sing as a solo I get to act out a lot of stuff so that’s a fun challenge,” he said.
More facial expressions when he’s not speaking is also a challenge.
“I think I do a pretty good job of acting out the emotions of my character,” Wernicke said.
Senior ChaChi Wood portrays Yente, the village matchmaker.
“I like how crazy I get to be,” Wood said. “I’m this old lady that is just trying to make all the matches in the town and arranging the marriages. Sometimes in my own little world, and I’m very stuck, and Golde has to bring me back to reality to remember we are having a conversation.”
Most challenging for Wood was the accent, but now she finds herself speaking with the accent throughout her day in normal conversation. She said the fun of it takes away the challenges and now they are the point where everything flows much better.
“You can focus on putting more character in, more expression in,” she said.
Wood said she is very outgoing like Yente so she can relate to her role. There’s a line in the show that she says relates to her.
“Not every woman in the world is a Yente,” she said. “I picked that as my favorite quote because it’s true for me too. Not every woman in the world is a ChaChi. There’s only one of me.”
Senior MacKenzie Gehrke plays Fruma-Sarah, Lazar Wolf’s late wife.
“I love playing Fruma-Sarah,” Gehrke said. “She’s literally the craziest dead wife ever. So I get to run around and curse people.”
What was challenging for Gehrke was how she was going to portray her character. She went for more of an angry feel.
“It was hard to let go of yourself in the beginning when you had to act like a crazy person,” she said.
Gehrke tried to add a depth to Fruma-Sarah for a reason why she is upset.
“I think I added more feeling, more sass too, which is a lot of fun.”
Freshman Ellis Kozlovsky plays Lazar Wolf, a rich butcher and widower of Fruma-Sarah, and the man Yente the matchmaker sets as a match for Tzeitel
Kozlovsky said his character has a cool personality.
“He’s kind of unique from anyone else,” he said. “He’s kind of rich and saavy.”
The Russian accent was the most challenging part for Kozlovsky.
He brings energy to the role of Lazar Wolf.
“I’m just making it exciting and funny,” Kozlovsky.
Junior Isabelle Robertson portrays Hodel, Tevye and Golde’s second daughter. Hodel falls in love with Perchik and they defy tradition by not seeking her father’s permission to marry, only his blessing. Later, she leaves Anatevka for Siberia to be with the imprisoned Perchik.
“I love the emotion I get to bring to the character,” Robertson said, “and how she interacts with everybody else in the musical. Just the whole experience is awesome.”
Difficult for Robertson was having to be upset as Hodel is upset towards her father Tevye.
She says she brings a lot of positive and enthusiastic energy to her role.
Junior Annicka Rabida plays Chava, the third oldest daughter
Rabida says as the musical progresses, her character develops more.
“It’s fun to work with,” she said.
She said she does have a very emotional scene.
“It’s just hard to channel all of my emotions.”
Freshman Casey Lambert is Fyedka, a Russian village and later Chava’s husband.
Lambert likes that Fyedka is Russian.
“That’s different from the averages that are Jews,” he said. “There are only a couple Russians.
Once again the Russian accent was a challenge.
“I watched videos and listened to how they do it in the actual Broadway show,” Lambert said.
He says he brings creativity to his role.
Freshman Benjamin Petroll gets to play the role of the Rabbi, Anatevka’s Jewish spiritual leader.
“I like my role,” he said. “It’s fun that I get to act.
His main challenge is a costume change between Act 1, Scene 7 to Act 1, Scene 8.
“I do have to change relatively fast,” Petroll said.
He brings expression and lots of it.
“I show it on my face and project this mix between an old man’s voice and a Russian accent,” Petroll said.
Freshman Gabe Koepke plays, Mendel, the Rabbi’s son.
Koepke is enjoying his time on stage and being with the upper classmen who he says, know what they are doing.
“I have to be kind of a jerk at some point, and I try to be a nice person so that’s a little difficult,” he said.
He says he brings a sense in the village of staying traditional and not changing to all the new ideas,” Koepke said.
Senior Danielle Banaszynski is Tevye and Golde’s fourth daughter, Shprintze. Banaszynski is also in the chorus.
She likes working with everyone.
“The role allows me to become closer with all my friends that are leads,” Banaszynski.
The Russian accent was a challenge but she was able to overcome that with her role
“I try and put myself into it as much as I can,” she said.
Senior Faith Lambert plays the youngest daughter, Bielke.
Lambert is enjoying spending time with the cast. When she was in chorus she wasn’t always able to do that.
“I try to bring a new type of experience that some other people aren’t able to,” she said. “I’m trying to make people happy, and those that I’m with.”
Junior Nolan Kozlovsky a radical student from Kiev named Perchik.
Kozlovsky said his character is the instigator of all the trouble in town.
“I kind of start everything for the plot,” he said.
He said his character is similar to the one he portrayed last year so there isn’t much of a challenge.
“I kind of have the feel of it now,” Kozlovsky said.
He said he brings to his role sounding informed just like his character Perchik.
“That’s what he is,” Kozlovsky said. “He’s informed and a little authoritative. I like to sound like I know what I’m doing.”