Photo series: My night at the University of Denver’s ‘Fiddler on the Roof’


Director Pamyla Stiehl laid out a table of candies and candles for her cast and crew to enjoy in a backstage hallway just before the opening performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” began at the University of Denver last Thursday.


By John Moore
Feb. 27, 2013

Opening No. 34: One of the many great things about the University of Denver’s theater program is how it pairs its students with an accomplished local actor, not only to help mentor them, but to star alongside them in a major production. This spring, multiple award-winning actor John Arp is starring as Tevye alongside 24 student actors in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Arp is a three-time winner of the Denver Post’s Ovation Award for best year by an actor, most recently in 2011. “Fiddler,” a co-production with DU’s Lamont School of Music, runs through March 10 in the Byron Theatre, 2344 E. Iliff Ave. (in the Newman Center). Tickets $15-$22. Photo by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks to Chris Wiger, Rick Barbour, Sarah Caulkins, Martha Yordy, cast and crew.

To see the our full photo series, “It’s Opening Night in Colorado Theatre,” featuring one intimate, iconic snapshot from 36 Colorado opening nights (and counting), click here.

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Blind student Sam Barasso, a familiar face to audiences who follow the local handicapped theater company called Phamaly, dances with enthusiasm in the dressing room moments before the opening performance begins. She plays Fruma-Sarah, the dead wife who (supposedly) comes to Tevye in his dreams to warn him against letting his oldest daughter marry her husband, the butcher. To pull it off, she is hoisted above another actor’s shoulders, making for a commanding onstage presence during a scene in which the actress’ blindness is irrelevant.


Student actor Elliot Clough, who plays the butcher Lazar, has his mic pack checked on stage alongsideĀ stage manager Sarah Caulkins just before the opening audience is allowed inside.


Pilates instructor Marcia Polas, back, takes the DU student actors through stretching warmups.


Student actor George Arvidson, who plays the young revolutionary Perchik (husband of Hodel), stretches out before the show.


Guest artist John Arp, who plays Tevye, is either telling me to get lost – or conducting some sort of diction-oriented linguistical warmup exercise.


The call board where actors and crew sign in for work.


The Chagall-inspired view from the minimalist set designed by the esteemed William Temple Davis is dominated by veritable stairways of askew chairs and window frames, climbing their way to heaven. Chairs make for a recurring theme throughout the story, what with brides and grooms being hoisted up upon them, and Russian soldiers upending and breaking them.




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By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at