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Press Kit



In 1961, writers Joseph Stein (book), Jerry Bock (music)

and Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) set out to adapt three stories from Sholem Aleichem’s “Tevye’s Daughters” into a Broadway musical. Bock and Harnick were fresh off their Pulitzer Prize win for the musical Fiorello!, which was produced by Harold Prince, who also collaborated with them on the “Tevye’s Daughter” adaptation. The result was FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, which opened on September 22, 1964, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and starring Zero Mostel as Tevye. It won nine 1965 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score. It also received a special 1972 Tony for becoming the longest running Broadway musical at the time (3,242 regular performances). The show has enjoyed five Broadway revivals, several U.S. National Tours, and countless productions around the world. A successful film adaptation was made in 1971, directed by Norman Jewison and starring Topol as Tevye.

PARAMOUNT PRODUCTIONS And now Paramount Productions, the producing wing of the landmark Paramount Theatre in Abilene, Texas, will present a new staging of this legendary show as its June, 2017 summer musical. “Fiddler,” like no other musical before or since, has made its way into our collective culture and is as widely known today as it was during its original New York staging. FIDDLER ON THE ROOF’S dialectical central themes look both backward and forward. It favors both community and the needs of the individual. It explores the conflict between stasis and change. It mourns and it celebrates. The production runs June 23-25, 2017 (three performances only) and all proceeds benefit the historic Paramount Theatre and its diverse programming.

Paramount productions’ staging of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF will be helmed by Paramount Theatre Artistic Director Barry Smoot, who will also serve as the show’s choreographer and lighting/projection designer. Smoot’s innovative staging concepts have been on display in a number of the theatre’s past productions. In 2015 he brought an intimate and visually eccentric version of Les Miserables to the stage, sending the action out into to the first rows of the theatre and tasking his cast with collapsing the set’s massive towers and building the show’s barricade in front of the audience at each performance. In 2016, he set Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods in an abandoned attic, which was transformed by the imagination of a neglected child narrator into a complete fantasy world —a world where the musical’s clashing Grimm’s Fairy Tales characters each had a counterpart in the child’s modern life. While Smoot’s take on “Fiddler” promises to be more traditional, he does plan to stage the show in a more intimate setting than is traditionally seen. The production team includes longtime collaborators Richard Transki (costume design), Charlie Hukill (set design), and Marc Sanders (music supervision/direction). For a more detailed description of the director’s vision, see the Directors Notes section of this document.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is one of those musicals that has left a lasting emotional impression on me every time I have seen it. It is the heart of the story, a simple and powerful exploration of faith and how it relates to family, tradition, and change, that makes it so compelling. It is universal. Growing up, I thought the film version, directed by Norman Jewison, was a near-perfect rendering of the musical on just about every level. I also thought it was practically untouchable in its exploration of the show’s important themes. For this reason, I had never felt the urge or the creative spark to attempt to bring my own version of the show to the stage. I thought I had nothing to offer it. And then, the Syrian conflict began to unfold. I watched the destruction of an entire country, and I saw how that destruction displaced millions of innocent people from the only home they had ever known. I watched the world’s response to this humanitarian crisis. I watched people respond with hatred. I watched people respond with kindness and compassion and humility. Most importantly, I watched a people’s shared religion being used as a political point of argument to justify allowing this barbaric event to continue to unfold. It continues to this day. I do think that the purpose of art is to reveal the parts of our shared humanity that define the best and the worst we are capable of. Only by doing this will we ever be able to understand what it means to be human. Art should not be complacent. It should always be evolving in ways that challenge new generations. It is important that the best of our creative history remains vital and relevant and compelling. So—I returned to FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. What I found was that the emotional hold the show always had on me was now even more immediate. I knew that seeing the Syrian people being destroyed by hatred had changed my perspective of many things. I had always identified with the story of Tevye and his family, but now it seemed vital, and I knew I wanted to see just how fully my emotional response would inform a new staging.

notes from thE DIRECTOR

THE STAGING CONCEPT and DESIGN Immediately, I knew I wanted to make the staging simpler and more intimate. Working in collaboration with scenic designer Charlie Hukill, we arrived at the concept of a strictly elemental set. This abstract, textured space would be evocative of many aspects of the lives of the people in the settlement—found wood, earth, barns, places of worship, intimate interiors, and stark, weathered landscapes. This landscape would serve as a background for the entirety of the play’s locations, and at the same time allow the usage of projections to blend with the elemental structure of the set to deepen the show’s visual impact and make it even more personal. I wanted the people of Anatevka to be the scenery. I wanted their environment to be filled with their personal effects. I wanted to see how all of this was taken away from them at the emotional climax of the story. The heart of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is the bond of faith and family. It is beautiful and funny and uplifting and sad. It is a perfect microcosm of the world and the struggles we continue to face to this day. Conceptually, my vision for this new production is to attempt to take away the unnecessary—to find those emotional and visual moments that define this great work of theatre and sharpen them— and by doing this find a way to express all of the wonderful and terrible things we do as humans in the name of who we are and what we believe. I believe Tevye is representative of all of us. His journey from the idyllic to the uncertain speaks to just about every generation and every faith on this planet. We need to continue his journey to find peace. It’s essential. —Barry Smoot, Director


Broadway triple crown: Tony Award, NY Critics Circle Award, Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Tenderloin, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof (nine Tonys, including Best Musical), The Apple Tree, and The Rothchilds. Bock and Harnick have been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

JOSEPH STEIN (Book) won the Tony Award and Drama Critics Circle Award for Fiddler on the Roof. His other musicals include Zorba (Tony nom.), Rags (Tony nom.), The Baker’s Wife (Laurence Olivier Award), Juno, and Take Me Along. He began is career in TV and radio, writing for the Sid Caesar Show, Your Show of Shows, and many others. He wrote the screenplays for Enter Laughing, and Fiddler on the Roof, for which he won the Screen Writers Guild Award.

JERRY BOCK (Music) was born in New Haven in 1928. Thirty years later he and Sheldon Harnick gave birth to The Body Beautiful. In between was Catch a Star and Mr. Wonderful (starring Sammy Davis, Jr.). Bock and Harnick’s collaboration yielded seven scores in seven years: The Body Beautiful, Fiorello (winner of the

SHELDON HARNICK (Lyrics) is a writer whose career began in the 1950s with songs in revues both on and off Broadway (The Boston Beguine, The Merry Little Minuet). With Jerry Bock, he created a number of memorable musicals including Fiorello (Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize), She Loves Me (Grammy), and Fiddler on the Roof (Tony). Other collaborators: Rex (Richard Rodgers), A Christmas Carol (Michel Legrand), A Wonderful Life (Joe Raposo), The Phantom Tollbooth (Arnold Black / Norton Jester), and The Audition (Marvin Hamlisch). He has written two musicals himself: Dragons and A Doctor In Spite of Himself. Mr. Harnick is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Songwriters Guild.

production staff BARRY SMOOT (Director/Choreographer/Lighting Designer) is the Artistic Director of he Historic Paramount Theatre, Inc.,

and the Festival Director of the 24fps International Short Film Festival. He is a writer, director and designer of work for theatre, film, and digital media. His directorial work for Paramount Productions includes Into the Woods, The Robber Bridegroom, Les Miserables, Bonnie & Clyde, Young Frankenstein, The Drowsy Chaperone, A Texas Christmas Carol, The Producers, Jekyll & Hyde, A Little Night Music, Big River, The Civil War, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and the US Regional Premiere of Adam Guettel’s Myths and Hymns. Barry’s extensive lighting design credits include Ragtime, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Floyd Collins, Pump Boys’ and Dinettes, and Les Miserables. He will direct the Regional Premiere of Tracy Lett’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play August:Osage County for the Paramount this September. Barry has also designed, directed, or choreographed productions in collaboration with The Abilene Opera Association, Abilene Ballet Theatre, Chameleon Performing Arts Company, Abilene Christian University, McMurry University, Hardin Simmons University, and the Abilene Performing Arts Company.

BETTY HUKILL (Producer) is the Executive Director for the Historic Paramount Theatre, Inc., and has been active in Abilene theatre since 1979. Her directorial credits for Paramount Productions include Guys and Doll, Jr., Shrek, the Musical, Jr., Hairspray, Jr., Beauty and the Beast, Jr., Honk!, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Seussical, The Musical, Jr., Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Ragtime, South Pacific, Oklahoma!, Godspell, Jr., Aladdin Jr., and The Music Man. Betty is on the Board of Directors for the Abilene Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. She is married to Charlie Hukill, professor of Theatre at McMurry University, and has a dog and two cats.

CHARLIE HUKILL (Scenic Designer) is no stranger to Abilene and Paramount audiences, active both behind the scenes as well as on stage. For the Paramount, he has performed in The Producers (Franz Leibkind), Ragtime (Henry Ford), Bonnie & Clyde (Henry Barrow), and Bakersfield Mist (Lionel Percy). He was the scenic designer for the Paramount’s production of Bonnie & Clyde, and his numerous scenic design collaborations with director Barry Smoot include West Side Story, and Sweeney Todd. He is a professor of Theatre at McMurry University where he has taught theatre, designed, directed, and acted since 1985.

CHRISTIAN ZEHR (Associate Choreographer) is from New York City and is a graduate of the theatre program at Abilene Christian University with an emphasis in Musical Theatre Performances and Dance. He will be working double duty on this production, both onstage and behind the scenes. He has served as Dance Captain for numerous ACU productions including Mary Poppins, Ghost, and Big Fish as well as the ACU Sing Song Dance Team. Christian’s choreography has been featured in two Chameleon Dance Company shows, where he was also a part of the company. This is his first assignment on the Production Staff for the Paramount Theatre, an opportunity for which he is “immensely grateful and humbled.”

RICHARD TRANSKI (Costume Design) was born in England, grew up in San Angelo, Texas, and attended Angelo State University. He is retired from design work in the film industry, having costumed for Warner Brothers Studios, Paramount Pictures, CBS Television, the Disney Corporation, and Larry Lessmore Productions. His extensive design credits for Paramount Productions include Seussical, The Musical, Jr., Godspell, Jr., Beauty and the Beast, Jr., Hairspray, Jr., Shrek, Jr., Guys & Dolls, Jr., Jekyll & Hyde, The Producers, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers, A Texas Christmas Carol, Young Frankenstein, Bonnie & Clyde, Into the Woods, Bakersfield Mist, The Robber Bridegroom and Les Miserables. Richard is currently the resident Costume Designer at Hardin Simmons University where he also teaches costume design as an adjunct professor. He has also designed for Abilene Christian University, McMurry University, the Abilene Collegiate Opera, the Abilene Opera Association, Chameleon Performing Arts Company and the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council. MARC SANDERS (Music Supervisor, Rehearsal Pianist) is a collaborative pianist from Albany, Texas. He is a staff accompanist at Abilene Christian University, where his performance opportunities have included master classes, conducting, music direction, and undergraduate, graduate, and faculty recitals. Marc has served as accompanist and music supervisor for numerous Paramount Productions including The Producers, Jekyll & Hyde, Young Frankenstein, Parade, Bonnie & Clyde, Into the Woods, The Robber Bridegroom, and Les Miserables.

GRAYSON ALLRED (Technical Director/Assistant Director) is is an Abilene native who majored in biology and minored in theatre at Abilene Christian University and received an M.S. in biology from Angelo State University. He is also a veteran of the Texas Army National Guard. Grayson’s technical supervision includes The Robber Bridegroom (lighting design), The King and I (lighting design,) Into the Woods, Les Miserables, Shrek The Musical, Jr., and Guys and Dolls, Jr. (technical direction). Grayson has been seen onstage at Abilene Community Theatre (Harvey, Panache), McMurry University (Sweeney Todd, Spamalot), and Abilene Christian University (Thoroughly Modern Millie, 42nd Street). At the Paramount, his stage work has included Jekyll and Hyde (Poole), Honk! (Bullfrog), The Drowsy Chaperone (Gangster #1), Parade (Fiddlin’ John), Young Frankenstein (Ziggy), and Bonnie & Clyde (Deputy Johnson).

THE CAST The cast of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF represents a unique cross-section of artists working in Abilene, Texas and the surrounding areas. In the truest sense a community, these performers represent all three local universities, as well as other educational institutions, the military, the media, journalism, religion, private enterprise, and, of course, the music, performing, and visual arts community. DAVID KNEIP (TEVYE) is thrilled to be returning to the Paramount stage after having played Javert in the 2015 production of Les Miserables. Musical theatre has long been a joy of his -- he has performed in other community theatre settings, as a theatre major in college, and in semi-professional summer stock -- and he is especially grateful for the way that theatre and music can invite people to think about difficult and challenging issues in new ways. He works by day as a professor of church history and worship at ACU, and he and his wife Cynthia serve as volunteers with Highland Church of Christ's neighborhood ministries. While he does not have five daughters like Tevye, he does have two “that he's very proud of.”

PAIGE SPROLES (GOLDE) is the Administrative Assistant for the Abilene Education Foundation. She has been seen in numerous Paramount productions, including Young Frankenstein (Elizabeth Benning), The Drowsy Chaperone (Drowsy), Les Miserables (Madame Thernadier), Into the Woods (Jack’s Mother), Jekyll & Hyde (Board of Governors), Parade (Mrs. Phagan), Bonnie & Clyde (Emma Parker), and most recently in The Robber Bridegroom at THE MILL. Paige has also been seen at Abilene Community Theatre, most recently as Patsy Cline in Always, Patsy Cline. She also shared the stage with country music legend Larry Gatlin in a limited run of his original musical Texas Flyer. She is married to Keith, and is “so excited to be in this show!”

NICOLE SUTPHEN (TZEITEL) is an Abilene native who began her performing career as a member of the ensemble in Oklahoma at the Paramount Theatre when she was 5 years old. She is a graduate of Abilene High School, where was very active in their theatre department. Nicole has appeared on the Paramount stage in several junior musicals, as well as summer musical productions of Bonnie & Clyde (Ensemble), Les Miserables (Eponine), and Into the Woods (Cinderella) After a year studying musical theatre at Oklahoma City University, she will be transferring to Abilene Christian University this fall to study theatre education.

WADE BYINGTON (MOTEL) is a freshman Acting & Theatre Education Major at Abilene Christian University. He was in ACU's spring production of Peter and the Starcatcher (Mack) as well as several student-directed scenes. During his time at Wylie High School, Wade was a part of dozens of plays and musicals including The Playboy of the Western World (Christy), Lost Boy (J.M. Barrie), and Holy Ghosts (Coleman). This will be his first production at the Historic Paramount Theatre. Wade would “like to thank Kimi, John, Raegan and Cason Byington, Madeline Lowry, and the Fiddler on the Roof production team for their support. Psalms 23.” This is Wade’s Paramount Productions debut.

TAYLOR HUFF (HODEL) is a Junior Musical Theatre major from Houston, Texas. She is “excited to be doing her first show with the Paramount Theatre.” Taylor was most recently seen in ACU’s Homecoming Musical production of Man Of La Mancha (Aldonza/ Dulcinea), as well as ACU’s productions of To Gillian on Her 37Th Birthday (Gillian), Ghost: The Musical (Ortisha), and Mary Poppins (Ensemble). She has also participated in ACU’s 24 Hr musical productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Narrator) and The Little Mermaid (Atina). Taylor has been a part of Class Act Productions in Houston as well as a student at the Humphrey’s School of Musical Theatre. She would “like to thank her family for their constant love and support throughout this journey and the ACU theatre department for presenting its students with opportunities to grow as artists of faith.” CHRISTIAN ZEHR (PERCHIK) is a 2016 graduate of Abilene Christian University with a degree in Musical Theatre Performance and Dance. His regional credits include Unto These Hills (Jake), and In The Heights (Ensemble). Other credits include ACU's productions of Mary Poppins (Neleus/Dance Captain), Ghost: the Musical (Willy Lopez/Dance Captain), Big Fish (Ensemble/Dance Captain), Les Miserables (Montparnasse), and Footloose (Ensemble). Christian has also performed with the Chameleon Performing Arts Company for two years and ACU's Sing Song Dance Team for four years. He has been seen in the Paramount’s productions of Into the Woods (The Wolf) and The Robber Bridegroom at THE MILL (Raven).

MADELINE LOWRY (CHAVA) is a freshmen BFA theatre education candidate at Hardin-Simmons University. She was recently featured in HSU's productions of Godspell (Maddie), All the World's a Grave, and The Addams Family (Grandma). She is also a member of the Alpha Phi Omega National Honor Dramatic Fraternity. Before coming to HSU, she was in the Paramount’s productions of Hairspray Jr., (Tracy Turnblad) and Shrek the Musical Jr.(Fiona) and is “thankful for the opportunity to be in another Paramount production.”

ROBERT TAYLOR, JR. (FYEDKA) is a BFA Theatre Education candidate at Hardin-Simmons University from Forney, TX. He has been seen in HSU's productions of The Addams Family (Ancestor), The Incredible Fox Sisters (Official), Stargazers (Art), Middletown, (Man) and Check Please! (Manny). He is also a honorary member of Alpha Psi Omega. Robert has appeared in the Paramount’s productions of Into the Woods (Mechanical) and The Robber Bridegroom the THE MILL (Goat). He is the newly elected President of HSU’s Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.

ANNA CLAIRE BOONE (SHPRINTZE) is a freshman at Wylie High School who is involved in local and school theater, show choir, and dance. This is her seventh show with the Paramount. Previous productions include The Little Mermaid, Jr. (Ariel), Into The Woods (Little Red Riding Hood), Les Miserables (Ensemble), Peter Pan, Jr. (APAC—Tinker Bell), Beauty and the Beast, Jr. (Narrator), Hairspray, Jr. (Ensemble), and Shrek the Musical, Jr.(Storyteller). At WHS she has appeared in Macbeth (Third Witch), and Beauty and the Beast (Chip).

SOLYA LOWE (BIELKE) is excited to perform in her first Paramount Production. Her passion is singing and playing the piano. She was the 2016 Abilene Idol, Jr. first place winner and performed in the Abilene Idol Showcase at the Paramount last fall. Solya was also a royal princess in the Abilene Opera Association’s production of “The King and I” and has performed vocal/piano solos for many Abilene organizations and as a member of the Austin Elementary Honor Choir and Chorus Abilene. In 2016 she was declared a National Winner in the Elementary Class of the National Piano Playing Auditions.

MARY GLOVER (YENTE) first appeared on the Paramount stage in the early 1980’s (prior to the restoration) in a production of Godspell.ˆ Her sister, Nancy, also appeared, and her mother, Bettie, played piano. Mary was in the first two Paramount Productions, Cotton Patch Gospel (Ensemble), and The Secret Garden (Mrs. Winthrop). After a number of years elsewhere, she returned to Abilene and has been a part of of numerous productions at the Paramount, including South Pacific (Ensemble), The Drowsy Chaperone (Mrs. Tottenham), Parade (Sally Slaton), Bonnie & Clyde (Cumie Barrow), A Texas Christmas Carol (Ensemble), Les Miserables (Ensemble),and Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Mother, Granny). She is “proud and grateful to be a part of the Paramount Productions family.” Mary is Rector of the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

BRANDON SCOTT THOMAS (LAZAR WOLFE) is Executive Producer for Pink Goose Media and father of Maddie, Ella and Sam. Brandon moved to Abilene from Nashville where he was a music producer and worked in other areas of the music and entertainment industry. Brandon serves on the Producer's Wing of the Grammy Organization. He made his debut as Thenardier in the Paramount's production of Les Miserable in 2015 and is “thrilled to be back on the Paramount stage!”

ERIC KOSECKI (THE CONSTABLE) is a Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force at Dyess AFB. This is his second show with the Paramount after appearing as Little Harp in The Robber Bridegroom at the MILL. He has been very involved in the Abilene theatre scene for three years. He is “very excited” to portray the Constable in Fiddler on the Roof. Eric would “like to thank his beautiful wife Megan for her monumental love and support.”

SCOT MILLER (THE RABBI) fancies himself a bon vivant and theatre aficionado. He has been in Paramount productions of Into the Woods (Steward/Cinderella's Father), Les Miserables (Ensemble), Young Frankenstein (Harold the Hermit), and Parade (Judge Roan). At ACT: Barefoot in the Park (Victor Velasco), W;t (Harvey Kelekian, MD), Harvey (Elwood P Dowd), and Moonlight and Magnolias (David O Selznick). At McM: You Can't Take It with You (Wilbur C Henderson), Desire Under the Elms (Ephraim Cabot), And the World Goes 'Round (Ensemble), and Hairspray (Harriman Spritzer/ Gym Teacher/Mr. Pinky). At ACU: Henry IV Part 1 (Henry IV).

MELODY RICH (FRUMA-SARAH, ENSEMBLE) has performed in the Abilene area in CCSA’s The Music Man (Marian) and AOA’s Don Giovanni (Zerlina) as well as in numerous community, church and academic solo cameos and recitals. Active both on the stage and in academia, her performing spans a wide-spectrum from singing classical, musical theatre, and contemporary music to also include conducting choirs and musical theatre productions. Post-graduate training includes the Austin Lyric Opera Young Artist Program, the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and musical theatre training with Mary Saunders Barton (Penn State). A transplant from the University of Texas at San Antonio, she currently serves as Professor of Voice at Hardin-Simmons University. “Thanks be to God and to my family, friends and students for making my heart sing!”

APRIL BRANNAN (GRANDMA TZEITEL, ENSEMBLE) is thrilled to perform in her second Paramount production, her first being last year's Into the Woods as The Baker's Wife. April has appeared in and directed the music for the Southern Hills Church of Christ VBS musical for the past 5 years. She spends her working hours as a kindergarten teacher for Wylie ISD and an ambassador for women in vulnerable communities for Noonday Collection, and she spends the rest of her time with her kids, Allie and Caden, and husband Chris.

LAURIE MCADAMS (SHAINDEL) “settled into A-Town” in 1983 when she began to study at Hardin Simmons University. Laurie plugged into the Abilene creative community with her debut in 6 Rms Riv Vu at Abilene Community Theatre, and “hasn’t looked back since.” She has appeared on various Abilene stages including McMurry University: Hello, Dolly! (Irene Malloy), West Side Story (Anita), and Hardin Simmons University: Texas Flyer (opposite Larry Gatlin). Her credits for Paramount Productions include To Whom It May Concern (Ensemble), The Secret Garden (Ayah), and Les Miserables (Ensemble). Laurie takes refuge in being a part of the “Magic of the Stage!’

ERIC MALLET (MORDCHA) was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from ACU. He serves as an associate minister, the Prison Minister and Lead Facilitator of the Food Pantry Ministry at the Minda Street Church of Christ. He is married with two sons. He enjoys the arts and encouraging his son Micah in developing his love for music theatre. This production is his Paramount Theatre debut.

TIM CHIPP (NACHUM) is a relative newcomer to stage productions, having studied improvisational acting at home in Buffalo, New York before moving to Abilene in July 2014. Since then, he has performed in a pair of productions at Abilene Community Theatre. He is more widely known in the city as the education reporter for the Abilene Reporter-News, where he's covered a number of hot-button issues in the community. Tim is excited to join the ensemble cast of Paramount Theatre's production of Fiddler on the Roof, and “show what he can do.” This is Tim’s Paramount Theatre debut.

MIKE STEPHENS (RUSSIAN PRIEST, ENSEMBLE) is happily married to Kelly, and is the proud dad (in-law) of Ben (& Tandy) and Jay (& Savanna). He is the Database Manager at McMurry University, and the “token old fat balding guy of the McMurry theatre department.” He has been seen on the Paramount stage previously in Bonnie & Clyde (Captain Frank Hamer). Mike serves on the Board of Directors at Abilene Community Theatre as VP of Production Support, where he also directs, designs sets, and acts.

LUKE PALMER (MENDEL, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is “excited to return to the stage at the Paramount” in this production of Fiddler on the Roof. He previously played the role Courfeyrac in the Paramount’s production of Les Miserables. Other credits include Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere), Follies (Theodore Whitman) , and Cinderella (Ensemble).

THOMAS MADRID (AVRAM, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is an Abilene native who studied English at Abilene Christian University in the early 2000s and currently runs a restaurant cleaning business. He has also recently assumed management of Art Crush Abilene: Art Studios and Gallery. Thomas and his significant other, Jen Burns, have been active at Abilene Community Theatre for the past two years, including performing in his first play last August, King o’ the Moon by Tom Dudzick. This production will be his first venture into the musical genre, and his premiere with Paramount Productions.

CORBAN GILILLAND (YUSSEL, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is a 17-year- old senior at Wylie High School, where his theatre work has included Macbeth (Macbeth), and You Can't Take It With You. Corban has been seen on the Paramount stage in numerous productions, including Hairspray, Jr., Shrek, the Musical, Jr., (Lord Farquaad), Guys and Doll’s Jr., (Nathan Detroit), and Les Miserables (Student, Ensemble).

MICHAEL FOSHA (SASHA, RUSSIAN SOLO, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is a senior BFA Musical Theatre candidate from Bellville, Texas. He was recently seen in HSU Theatre's productions of Godspell, All The World's A Grave, The Addams Family, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and DirectFest 2016. He has also been seen in Amahl and the Night Visitors with HSU Opera, The King and I with the Abilene Opera Association at The Historic Paramount Theatre, and Cinderella at Unity Theatre and Hairspray with the Brazos Valley Players. This is his Paramount Productions debut.

ANDY SEARCY (BORIS, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is an Abilene native and Wylie High School Alumni. He currently attends Cisco College in Abilene and will be attending the University of North Texas this fall, majoring in Theatre with a focus on acting. He has appeared on the Paramount stage before in the role of Rapunzel’s Prince in last summer’s Into The Woods. He is thrilled to once again be given the opportunity to perform in this historic venue.

JOSHUA SECA (THE FIDDLER, MENS’S ENSEMBLE, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is a young actor who was introduced to musical theater only a year ago. Joshua has been in two musicals, including Seussical and The Love Hour, as well as a few school plays. He hopes become more involved in theatre after he finishes EMT school in the spring of 2017.

BRET BONDOC (MEN’S ENSEMBLE, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is a Theatre Education major at Hardin-Simmons University. He is from Abilene and is a graduate of Wylie High School. Bret has been in several shows in the past few years, including Picnic, Front Page, The Curious Savage, and Nevermore at Western Texas College. He had his HSU debut in All the World's a Grave. This is Bret's Paramount Productions debut.

FABIAN CARRISALEZ (MEN’S ENSEMBLE, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is a Junior BBS Theatre major at Hardin Simmons University 

with a minor in psychology. At HSU he has been seen in Trevor, Bullies, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to he Forum, Stargazers, and Sylvia. Fabian made his Paramount Productions debut in 2015 in Les Miserables (Student, Ensemble). 

DON KIRBY (MEN’S ENSEMBLE, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is an Abilene native who, at an early age, participated in sports (gymnastics and diving) as well as dancing under the direction of Marj Baucum with the Abilene Metropolitan Ballet Company. He moved to Dallas in the 1990’s, where he continued his passion for dance by performing with the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Krassovska School of Dance ((Nathalie Krassovska, former Ballet Russe Principle Dancer). He also taught Ballroom Dance and competed for the Mid-Cities Dance Center. Don moved back to Abilene in 2015, and has appeared at Abilene Community Theatre in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Laramie Project. This is his Paramount Productions debut.

RON POPE (MEN’S ENSEMBLE) is a lifelong Texan, having lived in Abilene, Dallas, Lubbock and Houston. The Cooper High School graduate earned his bachelor's degree in advertising from Texas Tech University and is a licensed real estate agent. He is selfemployed at FixIt Now Residential/Commercial Renovations. Ron performed in plays while at Cooper and most recently at ACT in 2016's Deadwood Dick and 2017's production of Barefoot in the Park. This is his Paramount Productions debut.

ANNIE JACOBS (WOMEN’S ENSEMBLE) is new to Abilene. For the last two years she has been living in Italy, where she performed with the Vicenza Soldier's Theatre. Her past roles include Annabelle Glick in Lucky Stiff and Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls. In 2015, she won the IMCOM Europe TOPPER Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Lucky Stiff. This is Annie's Paramount Productions debut.

DANIELLE HUNTER (WOMEN’S ENSEMBLE) is a native of Alabama. She has lived in Florida, Italy and Texas. Danielle has always enjoyed singing, and has performed the National Anthem at school events. She has performed in church productions, Missoula traveling theater, and Abilene Performing Arts Company’s summer theatre camp productions of Fiddler on the Roof Jr and Peter Pan. This is Danielle’s Paramount Productions debut.

CAMERON WISENER (WOMEN’S ENSEMBLE, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is thrilled to be making her Paramount debut” in this season’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. As a BFA Musical Theater student at Hardin-Simmons University, Cameron has been seen in the University’s productions of Sylvia (Sylvia), The Addams Family (Wednesday), and Godspell. Cameron “sends her love and thanks to her friends, family, and biggest fans- her parents, Brad and Cindy Wisener- for their unyielding love and support to follow her dreams and pursue her passion of theatre.”

EMILY HATCH (WOMEN’S ENSEMBLE, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is a Freshman BFA Musical theatre major at Hardin-Simmons University. She has been seen in HSUs productions of Godspell, All The Worlds a Grave, and The Addams Family. She would “like to thank her family for the endless support of her passion.” This is Emily’s Paramount Productions debut.

ELISE CUMBIA (WOMEN’S ENSEMBLE, DANCE ENSEMBLE) is “thrilled to be making her debut performance” at the Paramount Theatre in Fiddler on the Roof. She is a sophomore transfer student from Doswell, Virginia, and a BFA Musical Theatre candidate at Hardin-Simmons University. She has previously been seen in HSU's productions of The Incredible Fox Sisters, All the World's a Grave, Godspell, and DirectFest 2017. Elise would “like to thank her family and friends for supporting her throughout all these opportunities.”

TREVOR COX (YOUTH ENSEMBLE) is a 7th grader attending Madison Middle School. He recently played John in Peter Pan Jr. Tom of Warwick in the Abilene Broadway Series production of Camelot, and many lead roles in school and church performances. At the Paramount he has been seen in Shrek the Musical, Jr., (Captain of the Guards), and Hairspray, Jr. (Newscaster). Trevor studies Musical Theatre, Hip Hop and Jazz at Abilene Performing Arts Company.

BEN JETER (YOUTH ENSEMBLE) is making his debut on the Paramount stage in Fiddler on the Roof. He has also enjoyed performing in school and church productions. Ben is the oldest child of Doug and Alana Jeter and has one little sister, Zoe. He loves spending time camping with his family and is an active member of his church and Boy Scout troop. He is “excited for this opportunity.”

MICAH MALLET (YOUTH ENSEMBLE) was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. As an active nine year old, he enjoys baseball and musical theater at the Abilene Performing Arts Company. He also sings with the children's chorus at Minda Street Church of Christ. He was previously seen on the Paramount stage in Guys and Dolls, Jr., (Rusty Charlie), and is “excited to be performing with his dad Eric Mallet in Fiddler on the Roof!”

RYLEE DAVIDSON (YOUNG ZEITEL, YOUTH ENSEMBLE) is a 14 year old from Tuscola, Texas, who began performing when she was 8. She loves acting, music, and dance, and has appeared in local theater productions including CCSA’s The Sound of Music (Brigitta von Trapp). At the Paramount she has been seen in Bonnie & Clyde (Young Bonnie), A Texas Christmas Carol (Ghost of Christmas Present), Shrek, The Musical, Jr. (Peter Pan) and Les Miserables (Ensemble).

MADI SIPE (YOUNG HODEL, YOUTH ENSEMBLE) has performed in several Paramount productions including Hairspray, Jr., Guys and Dolls, Jr. and Shrek Jr (Young Fiona). She “is delighted to be joining the cast of Fiddler on the Roof!”

CARRIE MERCER (YOUNG CHAVA, YOUTH ENSEMBLE) is a 10-year-old student in Abilene ISD. She is “ecstatic to make her Paramount debut in Fiddler On The Roof!” Carrie spends her days singing show tunes and dreaming of a future on Broadway. She wishes to “thank her parents for taking her to see musicals, and her four siblings for singing along.”

MADDIE THOMAS (YOUTH ENSEMBLE) is making her Paramount stage debut in Fiddler on the Roof. She is the daughter of Brandon Scott and Sheryl Thomas. Maddie is active in choir at Abilene High School and sings on the worship team at Highland Church of Christ. Maddie also plays piano and writes music. She is “excited about being in her first show at the Paramount!”

ELLA THOMAS (YOUTH ENSEMBLE) is making her Paramount stage debut in Fiddler on the Roof. She is the daughter of Brandon Scott and Sheryl Thomas. Ella is active in choir at Craig Middle School and has travelled to the TMEA conference to sing with her choir for music teachers from all over Texas. Ella loves the stage and is “excited to be performing in her first Paramount production!”

HANNAH HILLIS (YOUTH ENSEMBLE) is “excited to be expanding her experiences” from the Paramount Junior musical productions (Hairspray Jr., Shrek the Musical Jr., Guys & Dolls Jr., to add this production of Fiddler. She has been involved in the performing arts since the age of four with training that include classical piano, dance focused on ballet, tap, and jazz, as well as choir and private vocal instruction. In her spare time, “she loves her pets, traveling, and reading.”

sholem aleichem’s wor


solomon rabinovitz (Sholem Aleichem) is the author of the original story, Tevye the Dairyman, on which the musical is based. He was Russian and Jewish—his wife was Russian but he grew up in the Jewish community—and he wrote in traditional Yiddish, which is almost lost now. He then traveled to America where he struggled to get footing because there were so many divisions in the Jewish community, some of whom embraced their heritage and some of whom didn’t. In his own life, he experienced the same sort of struggle as Fiddler on the Roof’s lead character, Tevye. His legacy lives on today. Monuments to him have been erected in Kiev and Moscow, and there is even an impact crater on the planet Mercury named after him.

THE paramount The Paramount Theatre was built in 1930, at the start of the Great

Depression, and is considered one of the landmark theatres of the southwest. Financed by local grocer H.O. Wooten, and designed and built by architect David Castle, the theatre blends Spanish, Moorish and art deco elements to create a unique performance space. The auditorium is deigned to look like a moorish courtyard at night, complete with a neon-lit ceiling with recessed twinkling stars. Effects projectors from the 1930s add white clouds that slowly pass overhead. The theatre began it’s life as a first run movie house, and part of the Paramount Publix chain. Most of Hollywood’s most beloved films have flickered to life on the Paramount’s giant screen. In 1987, a generous benefactor saved the aging theatre from demolition, financing its restoration and renovating the existing structure to accommodate live theatre as well. Today the landmark facility is home to Paramount Productions, as well as the Paramount Film Series, and the 24fps International Short Film Festival. The theatre is also rented by numerous arts organizations to present live performances, including the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, the Abilene Opera Association, Abilene Ballet Theatre, the Abilene Community Band, the Celebration Singers, the Abilene Philharmonic Association, and Young Audiences of Abilene. Over the the past few years, the theatre was the recipient of another generous “major gift” that allowed the facility to re-touch the restoration of the facility. The project included new carpet and stage draperies, touch-up to the details of the building’s decorative painting and plaster work, and and a remodeling of the dressing rooms. At the same time, the Paramount’s technical equipment was upgraded with the addition of a digital projection system, a new lighting control board, new lighting instruments, iMac show control stations, backstage and facility video monitoring, and a new sound board control deck. This new restoration/renovation effort significantly impacted the theatre and it’s capabilities, making it one of the best equipped theatres in the region. In 2016, over 60,000 visitors attended events in the historic building. The theatre, now on the National Register of Historic Places, continues to be a vital presence in downtown Abilene and one of the true showcase theaters of the Southwest.

Showtime details, links, websites, and contact information FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Performance Dates and Times: Friday, June 23 — 7:30 pm; Saturday June 24 — 7:30 pm; Sunday, June 25 — 2:00 pm Paramount Theatre Address: 352 Cypress Street, Abilene, Texas 79601 Paramount Theatre Phone: (325) 676-9620 Ticket Information: Reserved seating at $25, $20, $15 and $12 depending on location Online Ticket Link: Paramount Theatre Website: Paramount Theatre on Facebook: Paramount Theatre on Twitter: Abilene Visitors and Convention Bureau: Media Contacts:

Press/Publicity/Advertising: Barry Smoot, Paramount Theatre Artistic Director

Technical: Grayson Allred, Paramount Theatre Technical Director

Administrative: Betty Hukill, Paramount Theatre Executive Director

a history of Paramount Productions


Guys & Dolls, Jr., The Robber Bridegroom, Fiddler on the Roof, August: Osage County


Shrek The Musical, Jr., Into the Woods, Bakersfield Mist


Hairspray, Jr., Les Miserables


Beauty and the Beast, Jr., Bonnie & Clyde, A Texas Christmas Carol


Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr., Young Frankenstein, A Texas Christmas Carol


Disney’s Jungle Book Kids, Parade, A Texas Christmas Carol


Honk!, The Drowsy Chaperone, A Texas Christmas Carol (World Premiere)



Godspell, Jr., The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee


Disney’s Aladdin, Jr., The Producers


Seussical the Musical, Jr., Jekyll & Hyde


High School Musical, Jr., South Pacific


Bugsy Malone, Jr., SWING!


Grease: The School Edition, Smokey Joe’s Cafe






The Civil War (US regional premiere), Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


Myths and Hymns (US regional premiere), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


A Grand Night for Singing, Hello, Dolly!




The Music Man


A Little Night Music (Concert version--US regional premiere)


Forever Plaid


Paramount on Broadway


The Secret Garden


Cotton Patch Gospel

Fiddler on the Roof Press Kit  

Promotional press for Fiddler on the Roof, to be presented by Paramount Productions June 23-25, 2017. Paramount Productions is the producin...

Fiddler on the Roof Press Kit  

Promotional press for Fiddler on the Roof, to be presented by Paramount Productions June 23-25, 2017. Paramount Productions is the producin...