Fiddler on the Roof JR.
Based on the award-winning, iconic Broadway classic of life in Czarist Russia, this universal drama is a true musical theatre tradition.
Show Essentials
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Full Synopsis

Tevye, a respected man in the small village of Anatevka, explains the role of God's Law in providing balance and meaning in the Villagers' lives. Tevye and his fellow Anatevkans extol the virtues of their Jewish heritage ("Tradition"). Tevye's family then prepares for the Sabbath while Yente, the matchmaker, brings the news that she has found in Lazar Wolf, the butcher, a match for Tzeitel, Tevye's eldest daughter. Motel, the tailor, visits briefly before 
being sent away by Tevye's wife, Golde. Tevye's youngest daughters, Shprintze 
and Bielke, go outside to play while older daughters, Tzeitel, Hodel and Chave, wonder if the matchmaker will find them the men of their dreams ("Matchmaker").

Tevye reflects on how he wishes he 
had a small fortune ("If I Were a Rich Man"). He then meets a stranger, Perchik,
who brings news of trouble in the world beyond Anatevka. Tevye invites the young revolutionary student to his home for Sabbath dinner in exchange for lessons for his daughters. Before Sabbath begins, Motel attempts to ask for Tzeitel's hand, but gets tongue-tied. The family and their Guests welcome the Sabbath ("Sabbath Prayer").

The next evening, Tevye goes to meet Lazar Wolf and agrees to the match with Tzeitel. A boisterous celebration ensues ("To Life"). As Tevye walks home, he meets the Constable, who warns him that a demonstration is planned against the Jews of Anatevka.

The next day, Perchik and Hodel discuss news of the changing world and begin 
to develop a fondness for one another. Meanwhile, Tevye tells Tzeitel about her engagement to Lazar Wolf as Golde rejoices. Motel reveals to Tevye that he and Tzeitel gave each other a pledge to marry. After a struggle with himself, Tevye agrees to their marriage. The Villagers gossip in the street about the mix-up in Tzeitel s marriage plans. As Chava enters Motel's tailor shop, a group of young Russian Soldiers taunt her. Fyedk, one of the young soldiers, stops them. Fyedka follows Chava into the shop, and they strike up a friendship. At the shop, Motel enters and puts on his wedding hat.

The village gathers for Motel and Tzeitel's wedding, and the traditional Jewish ceremony takes place ("Sunrise, Sunset"). After the ceremony, Motel treads on his wedding glass, and a celebration ensues ("Wedding Dance"). The Constable and his men enter and break up the party with a decisive show of force. Afterwards, Tevye chats with God about these recent events.

Perchik proposes to Hodel, and she accepts, but he must leave for Kiev. He promises to send for her as soon as he can. Tevye approves despite his misgivings. Tevye then asks Golde if their own arranged marriage has somehow turned to love ("Do You Love Me?") Tevye takes Hodel to the train station. She is going to Siberia, where Perchik has been sent after his arrest ("Far from the Home I Love").

Fyedka and Chava have decided to marry. Chava tries to speak to Tevye about the situation, but he refuses to listen to her and forbids her to ever speak of Fyedka again. Tevye returns home to learn from Golde that Chava and Fyedka have been married by the Priest. Tevye ignores Chava's plea for acceptance and turns her away.

The Constable brings the news that all the Jews of Anatevka must sell their homes and leave in three days' time. As Tevye's family packs their wagon to leave, the other Villagers reflect on their lives in "Anatevka." Tzeitel and Motel are staying in Warsaw until they have enough money to
 go to America. Hodel and Perchik are still
 in Siberia. Chava appears with Fyedka, but Tevye still refuses to acknowledge her. Chava explains that they are leaving because they cannot stay among people who can do such things to others. As they leave, Tzeitel says goodbye to them, with Tevye prompting her to add, "God be with you!" Chava and Fyedka leave as Tevye begins to pull the wagon. Other Villagers join the circle, including the Fiddler, whom Tevye beckons to follow. The Fiddler tucks his fiddle under his arm and follows the group as they all begin their journey.



Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown


Tevye is the heart and conscience of Fiddler on the Roof JR. Tevye is often cast as a larger young man, but his stature really comes from his integrity and zest for life. Tevye should be able to show the wide range of conflict, joy and pain that this character feels throughout the story. Your actor needs to be comfortable speaking directly to the audience and must develop a comfortable rapport with them. He does not need to have a great singing voice, but he must have a strong, easily projected voice that can fill your performance space.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: B3

Golde is the backbone of the family. She has a rather gruff exterior, but in her heart is sheer dedication to her family. When casting Golde, remember that she must be able to manage Tevye. She runs the household, and must be able to keep Tevye s more emotional side in check. Conversely, she should be able to show a softer side when dealing with Chava and Tevye s rift. She, like Tevye, does not need to be the greatest singer in the world but should have a commanding voice.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: Db5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3

Tzeitel is the oldest daughter of Tevye and Golde. She is the first to challenge the traditions of Anatevka by pleading with her fateher to let her marry Motel the tailor, to whom she has pledged her love. Keep in mind that she is the oldest daughter, is determined and can manipulate her father. This is the perfect spot for a dramatic actress.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: B3

Hodel is a strong, independent middle child. She is outspoken but respectful. She has her eye on the Rabbi s son at the outset of the story, but she is charmed by the revolutionary Perchick the moment she meets him, though she may not show it right away. Her dedication and love is real as she follows him to Siberia. Cast an excellent singer and actor as Hodel.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3

Chava is the scholarly daughter who loves to read. Her love the Russian, Fyedka, tests her father to the very limit and provides the largest conflict in the story. Cast an actress who is able to display a wide emotional range.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Shprintze and Bielke

Shprintze and Bielke are the youngest daughters of Tevye and Golde. They are considerably younger than the three  matchmaker daughters. They only have a few lines but are featured in quite a few scenes. They don t need to be strong singers or actresses but should be confident onstage.

Gender: female

Motel is the poor, young tailor who is charmed with Tzeitel. He is an endearing sort of Woody Allen type. He doesn t have to be a great singer but requires a sensitive and nervous, yet lovable portrayal.

Gender: male

Perchik is a young student who brings with him radical new ideas that challenge the traditions of the community. Perchik should be able to hold his own with Tevye. He is a strong character, and clashes with Tevye idealistically, but is likable, charming and ultimately becomes a loyal family member.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Lazar Wolf

Lazar Wolf is a butcher, the town s wealthiest citizen and is the same age as, if not older, than, Tevye. Lazar could easily be played by a large boy, but an actor of any size can pull off this role. Lazar must appear rather distasteful and feisty, which is why Tzeitel is frightened to marry him. Lazar is one of the featured singers in  To Life.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: C4

The Fiddler must be an actor who can hold the attention of an entire audience with stylized movement, facial expression and dance. Freedom of movement and expression are the keys to casting this character. The Fiddler is a silent role, yet an important one, and can easily be played by either a boy or a girl.

Gender: any

Yente is the middle-aged widow who matches up the young people of the village in hopes that they will marry. She is a village busybody and knows all the news of the town. Cast a girl with great comedic timing.

Gender: female

The constable is the local sheriff representing the Russian government. Cast an actor who can provide a sense of threat and conflict. The constable is a complex character, caught between his good nature towards the people of Anatevka and his duty to the non-Jewish Russian government. This is a non-singing role that requires a strong actor.

Gender: male

Fyedka is a strong, young, Russian soldier who falls in love with Chava. This is a great role for a strong, non-singing actor.

Gender: male
Featured Ensemble

Mordcha, Yussel, Avram, the Rabbi and Mendel are smaller roles that add much to the richness of the community portrayed in Fiddler on the Roof JR. Mordcha is a friendly, interesting innkeeper. Yussel is a hatter. Avram is a bookseller. Mendel is the Rabbi s son. The Rabbi is the spiritual center of the community and the actor should be able to play an old man onstage. He should have a comic feel, although this is a serious role. These roles have a short part in  To Life that can be spoken or sung.

Gender: male

The Villagers will portray the people of the village as Papas, Mamas, Sons or Daughters. Also included in this group are the Guests, Inn Patrons, Motel s Parents and Motel s Relations. Keep the musicians consistent throughout the show, choosing a few actors with a great rapport. Also, keep family units when casting Motel s parents and relations. This can be as large a group as your stage can safely accommodate. They are the faces of Anatevka. This is a wonderful opportunity to cast anyone regardless of his or her talent level or experience.

Gender: any

The First Man, Second Man, Another Man, First Woman, Second Woman and Third Woman all have spoken lines and are great featured roles, perfect for performers who are new to the stage.

Gender: any
Russian Soldiers

The Russian Soldiers are under the command of the Constable. These are perfect roles for kids who have had little or no experience. Sasha has two short lines, and all the Russians sing together.

Gender: male
Full Song List
Fiddler On The Roof JR.: Tradition
Fiddler On The Roof JR.: Matchmaker
Fiddler On The Roof JR.: If I Were a Rich Man
Fiddler On The Roof JR.: Sabbath Prayer
Fiddler On The Roof JR.: To Life
Fiddler On The Roof JR.: Sunrise, Sunset
Fiddler On The Roof JR.: Do You Love Me?
Fiddler On The Roof JR.: Far From the Home I Love
Fiddler On The Roof JR.: Anatevka


Playbill Vault (Original)

Playbill Vault (1976 Revival)

Playbill Vault (1981 Revival)

Playbill Vault (1990 Revival)

Playbill Vault (2004 Revival)

Playbill Vault (Upcoming 2015 Revival)

IMDB page for film adaptation

Curriculum Connection

  • Jewish Culture
  • Fusion of Languages
  • Russian History
  • Governments
  • Religious Customs
  • Economics
  • Celebrating Differences


Based on Sholem Aleichem's stories, by special permission of Arnold Perl.


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Author Billing – Fiddler on the Roof JR.

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The [Licensee]
Production of
Book by
Lyrics by
Music by
Produced on the New York stage by
Harold Prince
Entire Original Production Directed & Choreographed by
Jerome Robbins
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