Foothills Community Players wows theatergoers with ‘Fiddler’ production
By Linda Albert | (email@example.com)
The only word I can muster to describe Foothills Community Players’ production of “Fiddler on the Roof” is “amazing.”
At last Sunday’s matinee at the Clayton Center for the Arts, I, my daughter Emily and my almost-6-year-old granddaughter Ellie sat totally enthralled by masterful performances not just by Jeff Eberting as Tevye and Sarah Dockery as Golde but by the entire cast. Indeed, every detail, from the costumes to the set designs to the music, singing and dancing could not possibly have been improved. The hours and hours of hard work going into the making of “Fiddler” were apparent in the seamless and deceptive ease of the entire production.
During intermission, I eavesdropped on conversations going on around me and heard similar sentiments from others. One gentleman said he has seen several productions of “Fiddler,” even in New York, and the performance by Foothills Community Players was equal to any of them. A lady added that the singing and dancing were incredible. She was absolutely correct.
When I interviewed Eberting, Dockery and director Terry Silver-Alford prior to the performances, Dockery said her aim was to play Golde as a real woman, not merely a character in a play. She said, “I’m trying to play her as realistically as I can, to do her justice. That’s what I like about this show. These are not just characters, you can see these as real people in real life.”
Dockery most definitely fulfilled her goal, but Eberting surpassed that — he not only portrayed Tevye, he was Tevye. His performance was completely believable, completely real. I can’t speak for other theatergoers, but Eberting immediately drew me into 1905 prerevolutionary Russia, experiencing with him all the upheavals Tevye and his family and fellow villagers faced in changing times.
The production team, including Terry Silver-Alford as director, Melony Dodson as musical director, Courtney Vastine as choreographer and David Ratliff as stage manager, should be congratulated on a job well done. To have the Clayton Center for the Arts as the venue only added to the whole experience.
Even more amazing than having a production of this caliber presented right here in Blount County at a price almost anyone can afford, Foothills Community Players, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is composed entirely of volunteers — men, women, children and youth from all walks of life who pour their hearts and souls into theater for the simple love of the arts. According to the FCP website at http://www.foothillscommunityplayers.com , “Foothills Community Players furnishes an outlet for the creative talents of its volunteers, offering opportunities for individuals, with or without formal theatrical backgrounds, to get involved in all areas of theatrical production — both on stage and behind the scenes: auditions, costumes, properties and set decoration, directing, producing, programs, box office, season tickets, rehearsals, publicity, set design and construction, hair and makeup, fundraising, newsletters, lighting and sound, ushering and refreshments.” Other than a small stipend paid to directors of its summer musicals, all positions are on an unpaid, volunteer basis.
Income to cover FCP’s operating expenses is derived from box office ticket sales, season ticket sales, grant and personal donations and fundraising activities.
To learn more about this organization, to get involved as a player or to make a donation to further the goals of FCP to provide a high-quality theater experience right here in Blount County, visit the website.
Linda Albert is Sunday Life editor and a staff writer for The Daily Times. Her column runs every Sunday in the Life section. You may contact her at 981-1168 or (firstname.lastname@example.org)