“You might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune – without breaking our necks."
If you asked anyone from the Drama Workshop (including the patrons) if they would ever take on a task like this again the answer you would most likely get is ‘Yes, but not soon.’ This experience has been both enriching, and exhausting, for everyone involved. But would we go back and do anything differently? Not in the slightest.
The Drama Workshop was a project that the school undertook in an effort to provide our students with more autonomy and ownership over the staging of the Annual Drama. When a barrage of hopefuls applied to be a part of it in early August, it was with the understanding that we were all about to embark on a journey through unchartered territory. The fourteen students that were eventually selected were thus chosen for their ability, experience, and willingness to take on this prodigious task.
In the proceeding months our Workshop students were made to analyse, interpret, rewrite, and reimagine the play ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ till they both loved and hated it simultaneously. This process of becoming intimate with the play and its characters was an essential first step that made casting and staging the play that much more sincere.
It was when rehearsals began and our various directors and production heads broke up to pursue their individual projects that things started to get hectic for us patrons. We were essentially entrusting adult responsibilities to a set of tenderfoot adolescents with the understanding that they needed to falter in order to grow. The difficulty was squaring the circle of how to give them the space to make mistakes without sacrificing the integrity of the final performances. It would be disingenuous to claim smooth sailing throughout.
But a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor. While we do not need to burden you with the details of all our pitfalls and roadblocks, what we can tell you is that every cast, crew, choir, and workshop member rose to the challenge in their own unique way. Some required the assistance of our willing support staff of teachers, while others were the ones doing the assisting. The resounding conclusion, however, is that seeing the 2015 Drama come to life made us all feel like proud parents; it was an experience we can never forget.
Patrons of the Drama Workshop