Fiddler Character Descriptions

Fiddler on the Roof

Character Descriptions

(All ages given are a guide ONLY)

 

Male Roles

Tevye

Age Range: 40 plus

Compelling actor who must carry the show and have a strong connection to the audience. He is the heart and conscience of Fiddler on the Roof. Must move well.

Tevye is the humble but wise narrator and main character of the story. His stature comes from his integrity and zest for life. An impoverished milkman in the small village of Anatevka, Russia circa 1905, he is the father of five daughters, husband to Golde, and a leader in his Jewish community. He is faced with many struggles to uphold the traditions of his people, especially concerning the marriages of three of his daughters. Tevye is a likeable, hard-working, pious man (somewhat of a dreamer) who sees the positive side of life. He is humourous and usually relaxed, but when pushed, shows stubbornness and rage.

Songs: Tradition, If I Were a Rich Man, Sabbath Prayer, To Life, Tevye’s Monologue, The Dream, Sunrise Sunset, Tevye’s Rebuttal, Do You Love Me?, Chava Sequence, Anatevka

 

Motel, The Tailor

Age Range: 18 plus

Great character role needing someone who can show Motel’s sensitive, nervous but loveable character. Must have good comic timing and the ability to show vulnerability. Good mover.

Motel is the meek and very poor village tailor. He seeks the hand of Tevye’s eldest daughter Tzeitel. He must challenge the tradition of parents choosing a mate and in the process comes into his own by standing up for his feelings for Tzeitel.

Songs: Miracle of Miracles (solo), Tradition, Anatevka

 

Perchik, The Student

Age Range: 18 plus

Strong acting skills. The outspoken student and visitor/outsider to Anatevka, who constantly challenges the traditions of the town. Must be able to move well as he teaches Hodel a ‘new dance’ from the city.

He eventually falls in love with Hodel. Must show intensity and an unfailing commitment to his radical beliefs. He should be able to hold his own against Tevye as he clashes with him idealistically. He is also likeable, charming and ultimately an accepted part of Tevye’s family.

Songs: Now I Have Everything (solo), Tradition, Sunrise, Sunset

 

Fyedka, The Russian Soldier

Age Range: 18 plus

Mainly speaking role. Good actor who can use a Russian accent. Gentle with Chava but stands up to Tevye

Fyedka is strong young Russian soldier who falls in love with Chava, Tevye’s third oldest daughter. He and Chava elope because Tevye cannot accept this total break in Jewish tradition.

 

Lazar Wolfe – The Butcher

Age Range: 40 plus

Strong, feisty actor with good comic skills.

Lazar Wolfe is the brawny and feisty butcher of Anatevka. He is the town’s wealthiest citizen. He is the same age , if not older than Tevye and by the tradition of parental arranged marriages, is matched with Tzeitel, Tevye’s eldest daughter. He loses Tzeitel to Motel and is very resentful.

Songs: Tradition, To Life, Sunrise, Sunset, Anatevka

 

The Constable

Age Range: 35 plus

Non-singing Role

Strong character role. The constable is a Russian military official stationed near Anatevka. He knows the villagers well and even likes some of them, especially Tevye. These superficial relationships do not prevent him from violence against the Jewish villagers and eventually he carries out orders for a pogrom in which the Jewish citizens are forced to leave Anatevka.

 

The Rabbi

Age Range: 40 plus

Small mostly acting role. The Rabbi is the Jewish spiritual leader.

Songs: Tradition, The Dream, Anatevka

 

Mendel, The Rabbi’s Son

Age Range: 16 plus

Small mostly acting role and part of chorus

Songs: Tradition, Sunrise, Sunset, The Rumour,  Anatevka

 

Mordcha, The Innkeeper

Age Range: 30 plus

Small acting role and part of chorus

Songs: Tradition, Sunrise, Sunset, The Rumour,  Anatevka

Mordcha runs the local bar and is a friend of Tevye

 

Avram, The Bookseller

Age Range: 30 plus

Small acting role and part of chorus

Songs: Tradition, Sunrise, Sunset, The Rumour,  Anatevka

 

Russian Soloist in “To Life”

Age Range: 20 plus

Vocal Range: Tenor    Very strong Russian soloist

 

Other Small Male Roles

Nachum, The town beggar ;  

Yussel, The Town Hatter;    

Russian Priest;

Sasha and Boris – Fyedka’s fellow soldiers and his friends. To be cast from the company

 

Female Roles

Golde, Tevye’s Wife

Age Range: 40 plus

Strong actor, good comic timing. Central focus of the show. Looking for a strong actress with sublety and range who can hold her own against the character of Tevye.

Golde is Tevye’s strong –willed wife who hopes for good matches for her daughters, so they have easier lives than she and Tevye. She is the strength behind Tevye and keeps the household going.

Songs: Tradition, Sabbath Prayer, The Dream, Sunrise, Sunset, Do You Love Me ?, Anatevka

 

Tzeitel, Eldest Daughter

Age Range: 18 plus

Strong dramatic actor. Experienced dancer and singer, part of Chava’s dance sequence. Must have a confident stillness on stage.

Tzeitel is the first daughter to challenge tradition. She is madly in love with Motel, The Tailor and in a desperate crying scene persuades her father to let her marry Motel in spite of the fact that Tevye has made her a match with Lazar Wolfe who is old enough to be her father.

Songs: Matchmaker, Tradition, Anatevka, plus some chorus songs

 

 

Hodel,  2nd Eldest Daughter

Age Range: 18 plus

Strong dramatic actor. Experienced dancer and singer. Bright and fun loving. Needs to have a lively, energetic stage presence with a good emotional range.

Hodel becomes involved with Perchik and eventually leaves Anatevka to be with him in Siberia where is imprisoned for his reform activities. She and Perchik defy tradition by not asking permission to wed, only Tevye’s blessing. Hodel sings the haunting solo Far from the Home I Love as she says goodbye to her father at the train station.

Songs: Far From the Home I Love (solo) , Matchmaker, Tradition, Sunrise, Sunset, Now I Have Everything

 

Chava, 3rd Eldest Daughter

Age Range: 16-21

Good actor. Dancer and singer. Smaller role but needs to exhibit huge emotional range and convey some difficult scenes.

Chava is Tevye’s scholarly, middle daughter who loves reading. She falls in love with the Russian soldier Fyedka and elopes with him. This huge break from tradition breaks her father’s heart. Very much at the heart of the drama.

Songs: Matchmaker, Tradition, Sunrise, Sunset, Anatevka

 

Shprintze, 4th Eldest Daughter

Age Range: Looks 11 13

Needs to have good stage presence and reactions. Good mover.

Shprintze takes lessons at home from Perchik.

 

Bielke, Youngest daughter

Age Range Looks 10 -12

Needs to have good stage presence and reactions. Good mover.

Bielke takes lessons at home from Perchik

 

Yente, The Matchmaker

Age Range: 40 plus

Acting: Strong comedic talents. Character has large speeches.

Yente is the village matchmaker. She is a widow and a meddling busy-body who makes it her business to know all of the town gossip.

Songs: Tradition, Sunrise, Sunset, The Rumour, Anatevka

 

Grandma Tzeitel

Age Range: 40 plus

Strong actor. Good mover. Grandma Tzeitel is Golde’s deceased grandmother who appears as a ghost in the Dream Sequence. She has a great solo in which she endorses the marriage of Tzeitel to Motel. The person who plays this role will double as chorus as well.

Songs: The Dream

 

Fruma-Sarah

Age Range: 20 plus

Strong actor. Moves well. Fruma-Sarah is Lazar Wolfe’s dead wife who appears as a ghost in the dream sequence to warn Tevye and Golde not to allow Tzeitel to marry her husband or dire results will befall the family.  Her solo is a show stopper and the actor must carry this challenging solo

Songs: The Dream

 

Small Female Roles

Shaindel – Motel’s mother

 

The Fiddler

May be Male or Female

Small stature. Moves well. The Fiddler is a silent role, yet an important one, and can be male or female. Age: 14 – 35.

 

Chorus

Will be made up of adults and teenagers.

Portray the villagers of Anatevka, as either Mamas, Papas, Sons or Daughters. (Sons and daughters must look teenagers 13 plus and not children). Also Russian soldiers and featured dancers are required. Smaller speaking roles will be determined as we rehearse.

 

Boys to be cast from BOS Members

2 boys required to match up to Tevye’s younger girls in matchmaking scene. Must look 11 plus. Will be part of the chorus. Strong actor, singer and mover.