Fiddler on the Roof Opens 23rd Season at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Contact: Lisa Higgins • 610.282.WILL [9455], ext. 4
June 5, 2014

Center Valley, PA—With nine Tony Awards and a historic, record-setting Broadway run when it debuted 50 years ago, Fiddler on the Roof has been called “the greatest musical of all time.”

Timeless songs—”If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sabbath Prayer,” and “Sunrise, Sunset”—underscore a universal story about family, love, tradition, and change. Directed by Dennis Razze, PSF associate artistic director, the musical previews June 11 and 12, opens June 13 and runs through June 29 on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the DeSales University campus. Ticket prices range from $25 to $56.

Tevye, the philosophical dairyman who achieved worldwide renown, faces changes in his village that challenge the traditions he cherishes and the faith that defines his life. Joe Vincent takes on the iconic role. Vincent, whose career includes a combined 32 years at some of the country’s most renowned Shakespeare festivals, has played Tevye several times and returns to PSF following a turn as Big Daddy in the 2012 production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Anne Kanengeiser, Broadway veteran and a two-time recipient of Washington’s Helen Hayes Award, portrays Tevye’s occasionally cantankerous wife Golde, who plots to marry off their daughters with Yenta, played by Patti Mariano, whose Broadway credits range from Bye Bye Birdie to The Full Monty to the revival of 42nd Street.

PSF regular John Ahlin plays Lazar Wolf, an eager suitor for Tevye’s reluctant eldest daughter, Tzeitel, Jennifer Apple, whose heart belongs to another. Also vying for Tzeitel is Motel, the tailor, played by Hunter Ringsmith.

Jonathan Raviv portrays Perchik, a student Tevye employs to teach his daughters. Perchik becomes enamored of Hodel, played by Leah Scofield. Breaking all of Tevye’s expectations is Chava, Christine Baglivio, who falls in love with a Russian gentile, Fyedka, played by Matt Kleckner.

Set in 1905 on the eve of the Russian revolutionary period, Fiddler was written by Joseph Stein with music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. The three were all successful Broadway artists who adapted the Ukrainian-born Sholem Aleichem’s Teyve stories for the stage.

Stephen Casey is recreating Jerome Robbins original choreography. Casey, who choreographed Oklahoma! at PSF last season to great acclaim, has a team of male dancers who fearlessly face off with each other in the famed “To Life” sequence: Sean Bell, Cody Davis and Ben Delony lead the dance ensemble.

Musical Director and conductor is Nathan Diehl. J. Alex Cordaro is fight director. Scenery is designed by Will Neuert; costumes by Sam Fleming and Eric T. Haugen,lights; Ian P. Carr, sound.

Production Sponsor is Alvin H. Butz, Inc., and co-sponsors are Air Products Inc. and Diefenderfer Electrical Contractors. Season Sponsor is Breslin, Ridyard, and Fadero Architects Inc.; Associate Season Sponsors are Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, the Szarko Family, and The Harry C. Trexler Trust. Media sponsors are The Morning Call and Service Electric Cable TV & Communications.

For tickets, call 610.282.WILL [9455] or go online to

The season also features The Two Gentlemen of Verona (June 18 – July 13); Lend Me a Tenor (July 9 – August 3) in repertory with Macbeth (July 17 – August 3); Tina Packer’s Women of Will (July 20 – August 3); Cinderella (through August 2); and Shakespeare for Kids (July 23 – August 2).

PSF is also offering two “one-night-only” performances: Anthony Lawton’s adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce, Monday, June 23 at 7:30pm and the world-renowned Baltimore Consort will present “The Food of Love: Songs for Shakespeare” on Monday, July 28 at 7:30pm.

Principal Artist Bios

JOHN AHLIN (Lazar Wolf) PSF: Henry IV, Cyrano, Playboy of the Western World, King John, Merry Wives of Windsor. Broadway: Waiting for Godot, Journey’s End (2007 Tony Award Best Revival), The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Voices in the Dark, One Mo’ Time, Whoopee! and Macbeth. Regional: LaJolla Playhouse, Louisville Actors Theater, Pittsburgh Public, Cincinnati Playhouse, Old Globe, Goodman, Centerstage Baltimore, Goodspeed and others. Off-Broadway: Orson’s Shadow. TV/ Film: Law and Order: SVU, Late Night with David Letterman, and the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis.

JENNIFER APPLE (Tzeitel) returns to Anatevka as Tzeitel after recently playing the role of Hodel (dir: Gary John LaRosa, Tevye: Bill Nolte). Some favorite credits: Something Funny’s Going On (dir:Martin Charnin), Grease (Rizzo), Oliver! (Nancy), Les Miserables (Eponine), [title of show] (Susan), and The Mikado (Pitti-Sing).

CHRISTINE BAGLIVIO (Chava) is a senior musical theatre major at DeSales University (DSU). Last season, she played the role of Kate in Oklahoma! DSU Act 1 credits include The Music Man, Rodgers and Hart: A Celebration, Chicago, Arsenic and Old Lace, Anything Goes, and Joseph…Dreamcoat.

SEAN BELL (Sasha) Credits include: For Goodness Sake, All American (Musicals Tonight!), A Chorus Line, All Shook Up, Les Misérables (Maine State), Deathtrap (The Fulton), N/F (Downtown Urban Theatre Festival), The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Arena Tour), Madame X (NYMF), The Nutcracker and I (York Developmental Reading Series), Hairspray, The Producers (Walnut Street). TV: Boardwalk Empire.

IAN P. CARR (Sound Designer) returns to PSF for his fifth season. Ian has spent the last few years as sound engineer of Broadway national tours including Legally Blonde: The Musical, Rock of Ages, and most recently as Head of Audio on the first national tour of Sister Act. After PSF, Ian will serve as Head of Audio on the first national tour of Disney’s Newsies.

STEPHEN CASEY (Choreographer) PSF choreography: Oklahoma!, South Pacific, …Forum, and 1776. He recently directed and choreographed The Musical of Musicals (The Musical) at Montgomery Theatre, and choreographed Little Shop of Horrors at Bristol Riverside Theatre (BRT). Also for BRT, he choreographed Rent, What a Glorious Feeling, Pride and Prejudice, and will return next season for Ragtime.

J. ALEX CORDARO (Fight Director)has directed fights for PSF, McCarter, Actors Theater of Louisville, Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, Lantern Theater Company, Theater Exile, Inis Nua Theater Company, Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia Artists Collective, Philadelphia Opera Company, Forensic Files on TRU TV, and others. A Certified Teacher and Theatrical Firearms Safety Instructors with the Society of American Fight Directors, Alex is a two-time Barrymore Award Nominee.

CODY DAVIS (Dancer/ Dance Captain) PSF: Oklahoma! (Slim). National Tour: White Christmas. Regional highlights: Music Theatre of Wichita: Sunset Boulevard (Artie), The Little Mermaid (Jetsam), Infinity Theatre Company: Dames At Sea (Lucky). University: Into the Woods (Jack), Brigadoon (Archie Beaton), All’s Well That Ends Well (King of France). BFA Musical Theatre: University of Michigan.

BEN DELONY (Dancer) spent much of the past season with Houston Grand Opera, dancing in Aida, Die Fledermaus,and most recently Rob Ashford’s Carmen. He is a graduate of the ballet department at Indiana University, and has been a company member with Ballet Nouveau Colorado and Ballet Memphis. Other regional credits include Central City Opera (Oklahoma!), Arvada Center (Curtains), and the Boston Early Music Festival.

NATHAN DIEHL (Musical Director/Conductor) returns to PSF for his fourth season as musical director having most recently conducted Oklahoma! At DeSales University, Nate has musical directed, conducted, and accompanied more than a dozen Act I productions. He teaches elementary music and serves as music department coordinator at Moravian Academy in Bethlehem. Nate holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Moravian College and a Master of Music degree from West Chester University.

KATE L. FERDINANDI (Production Stage Manager) PSF debut. Previous projects have included Ocean State Theatre’s Legally Blonde, How To Succeed…, and The Sound of Music, Trinity Rep’s A Christmas Carol and Steel Magnolias, and Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre’s A Doll’s House, Glengarry Glen Ross, and The Glass Menagerie.

SAM FLEMING (Costume Designer) PSF: The Tempest and Much Ado About Nothing (both in 2012), South Pacific, Pride & Prejudice and Hamlet (2011). Her designs have been seen at theatres across the country including the Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Alley Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Arizona Theatre Co, Playmaker’s Repertory, Hartford Stage, Denver Center, Peterborough Players, Center Stage, Houston Opera Studio, Skylight Opera, ACT Seattle, Georgia Shakespeare Festival and Berkeley Rep. She designed more than 50 productions for Milwaukee Repertory Theater during 14 seasons. NYC credits include Pearl Theatre, and The Mint. She is the associate costume designer for The Phantom of the Opera USA.

ERIC T. HAUGEN (Lighting Designer) PSF: Oklahoma!, Sweeney Todd, South Pacific, 1776, Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker, King Lear, Amadeus, and My Fair Lady, among others. His theatrical lighting has been seen Off-Broadway and in regional theatres across the country. Eric’s Orlando, Fl. based company, Luminous Design Studios, provides lighting designs for television, themed entertainment, and architectural projects worldwide.

ANNE KANENGEISER (Golde) PSF debut! Broadway: Kathleen/Mother US in the original cast of Ragtime; Standby/Maureen McGovern in Little Women. National Tours: Mme Giry in The Phantom of the Opera; Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast. NYC/Regional: The Most Happy Fella (Encores! City Center); LadyMacbeth, Emelia, Goneril and Gertrude in 11th Annual Will-A-Thon: Shakespeare’s Scenes with Richard Easton (Workshop Theater Company); Eleanor Roosevelt in Eleanor: An American Love Story, Helen Hayes Award for Best Actress (Ford’s Theatre D.C.) and a Jeff Nomination(Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre); Fosca in Passion, Helen Hayes Award for Best Actress(Signature Theatre, D.C.); Nettie in Carousel (Goodspeed Opera House);Liliin Kiss Me Kate and Victoria Grant in Victor/Victoria (Maine State); Beggarwoman in Sweeney Todd; AbigailAdams in 1776; Anna in The King and I. TV: Law & Order and Guiding Light.

MATT KLECKNER (Fyedka) is a recent DSU graduate in his third season with the Festival.

PATTI MARIANO (Yenta) has been performing since the age of 8. Her first Broadway show was The Music Man with Robert Preston and Barbara Cook. Other Broadway: Bye Bye Birdie, Sail Away, I Had A Ball, George M!, Godspell, American Dance Machine, Rags, The Full Monty, and the revival of 42nd Street (Helen Hayes Award for the national tour). Regional: leading roles in over 60 plays and musicals. Patti has appeared on TV and in films and has extensive credits as a choreographer.

WILL NEUERT (Set Designer) grew up in Northeastern New Jersey where his parents’ love of art and theatre kindled his own interests. He has created the scenic designs for all DeSales University Act 1 productions for the past 22 years. He is a founding artist and board of director’s member of PSF. He served as the Festival’s resident designer for its first ten years and last designed South Pacific for PSF two seasons ago. He has worked at the North Shore Music Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, Peninsula Players, St. Michael’s Playhouse, University of Notre Dame, The Ohio State University, and Walt Disney Imagineering. He holds a B.A. from St. Michael’s College and an MFA from The Ohio State University.

DENNIS RAZZE (Director, Fiddler; Associate Artistic Director, PSF) is the chairman of the theatre department of DeSales University where he has been a faculty member for the last 30 years. He is also a founding member of PSF. Last summer, he directed PSF’s production of Oklahoma! and he has directed many of PSF’s acclaimed productions including Sweeney Todd, South Pacific, A Funny Thing…Forum, 1776, Cyrano de Bergerac, My Fair Lady, Amadeus, Man of La Mancha, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and As You Like It. Razze also composed musical scores for PSF’s Cyrano, The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He was awarded Certificates of Merit from the American College Theatre Festival for his direction of DeSales University productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma! and The Music Man.

JONATHAN RAVIV (Perchik) PSF debut. New York: The Ragged Claws (Cherry Lane Theatre); Lies My Father Told Me (National Yiddish Theatre); My Name Is Asher Lev (Westside Theatre); The Persians (Waterwell); Hello My Name Is… (Theatre Row). Regional: Oklahoma! (Portland Center Stage); Homebody/Kabul (Curious Theater); Mary Zimmerman’s Arabian Nights (Berkeley Rep.); The Light In The Piazza (Arena Stage, Weston Playhouse and The Goodman Theater); The Chosen (Writers’ Theatre); Lady Madeline (Steppenwolf Theatre). TV: The Blacklist, Zero Hour and Pan Am.

HUNTER RINGSMITH (Motel) PSF debut. Credits: Macbeth in Macbeth and Antonio u/s in Twelfth Night at Great River Shakespeare Festival; Dick/Peter Cratchit in A Christmas Carol at The Dallas Theatre Center; and Nels in I Remember Mama at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. BFA: Southern Methodist University, where he performed in The Rimers of Eldritch, Othello, Mercury Fur, and This Beautiful City.

LEAH SCOFIELD (Hodel) is a 2013 DeSales graduate. PSF: Oklahoma!, The Tempest, Snow White, and King John. Regional: Cinderella: A Musical Panto (People’s Light and Theatre), The King and I (North Carolina Theatre Company), and A Christmas Carol (Theatre in the Park).

JOE VINCENT (Tevye) PSF: Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing. His career includes a combined 32 years at the Oregon, California, Old Globe, Alabama, Utah, Orlando and Pennsylvania Shakespeare festivals. He has appeared in 33 of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, and in more than 40 major Musical Theatre roles including Tevye, Don Quixote, Sweeney Todd, Emile DeBecque, and Daddy Warbucks. He’s acted in theatre companies all over the country and, in 2008, he made his Broadway debut as Max in Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll directed by Trevor Nunn.

JERRY BOCK (Composer)(November 23, 1928 – November 3, 2010) launched his collaboration with Sheldon Harnick with The Body Beautiful in Philadelphia, followed by Fiorello!, winner of Broadway’s triple crown: the Tony Award, New York Critics’ Circle Award and Pulitzer Prize in drama; Tenderloin; She Loves Me (winner of Variety’s poll of critics as best musical); Fiddler on the Roof (nine Tonys, including best musical), The Apple Tree and The Rothschilds.

SHELDON HARNICK (Lyricist)began his storied career as a professional violinist and writing words and music to comic songs in musical revues. Awards: Fiorello: Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize, NY Drama Critics Circle Award. She Loves Me: Grammy Award. Fiddler on the Roof: Tony Award, NY Drama Critics Circle Award. The Merry Widow: Grammy Award. The Johnny Mercer Award, presented by the Song Writers Hall of Fame. Spirit of American Creativity Award, given by the Foundation for a Creative America. Jewish Cultural Achievement Award. Marc Blitzstein Memorial Award for achievement in the creation of opera librettos. Mr. Harnick is a member of The Dramatists Guild and the Songwriters Guild of America.

JOSEPH STEIN (Libretto) (May 30, 1912 – October 24, 2010) began his career as part of a noted group of writers for television’s Your Show of Shows and The Sid Caesar Show. His first work for the theatre was as co-author of Plain and Fancy, the hit musical about a pair of sophisticated New Yorkers living among the Amish in Pennsylvania. He wrote librettos for Take Me Along, based on Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness; Juno, with score by Marc Blitzstein; Fiddler on the Roof (winning the Tony and Drama Critics’ Circle awards) and Zorba, with score by Kander and Ebb. Mr. Stein also wrote the screenplays for Enter Laughing and Fiddler on the Roof.

PATRICK MULCAHY (Producing Artistic Director, PSF; Director, Macbeth) Since assuming leadership in 2003, Mulcahy has led PSF’s return to artistic excellence and financial stability, rebuilt the professional company of artists, and achieved increasing national recognition for the Festival. Further accomplishments include PSF’s first-ever award from the National Endowment for the Arts and attracting a company of artists including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards to the Festival, growth in all income areas, a 60% increase in annual attendance, and the expansion of the number of Actors’ Equity contracts per season.

As a professional director, actor and fight director, credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, television, and radio. Mulcahy has acted with Angela Basset, Peter MacNicol, Hal Holbrook, Joan Cusack, Don Cheadle, Anne Meara, Milo O’Shea, Cynthia Nixon, Tony Shaloub, Bradley Whitford, and others at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage, Roundabout Theatre Company, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, and the Walnut Street Theatre. He served as a fight director for Tom Hulse and Timothy Busfield in A Few Good Men on Broadway and for Off-Broadway productions starring John Savage, John Mahoney, Marcia Gay Harden, and Patrick Dempsey. He directed Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga in The Real Thing, and, for PSF, directed Hamlet (2011), Antony and Cleopatra (2009), The Winter’s Tale (2007), Henry IV, Part I (2005), The Tempest (1999), and acted in and served as fight director for The Taming of the Shrew (1998) and Julius Caesar (1997). As head of acting at DeSales, Patrick directed ten productions for Act 1, including I Hate Hamlet, The Grapes of Wrath, The Foreigner, and The Diary of Anne Frank. He holds an MFA from Syracuse University.

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