DomStufen-Festspiele in Erfurt 2024
by special permission of Arnold Perl
produced 1964 for the New York stage by Harold Prince, original production directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins
Tevye, the Jewish milkman from the Eastern European shtetl Anatevka, values traditions because of the stability and reliability they provide him with. However his stubborn daughters are beginning to emancipate themselves and want to choose their own husbands instead of following the matchmaker’s recommendations. In addition, uncertain times befall the villagers: The Jewish residents are threatened with expulsion and pogroms by tzarist Russia’s troops. The fact that Tevye's third eldest daughter has fallen in love with one of the Russian soldiers doesn't make things any easier: The family is on the verge to break up and to be scattered to the four winds …
Emanating from stories by Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, who hails from today’s Ukraine, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein created a musical theatre show of worldwide success. With Yiddish wit, warm-heartedly humorous and melancholically intimate moments, echoes of Jewish music, classic Broadway sound and exuberant dances, it’s a tale about breaking with one’s own traditions and about indomitable courage and will to survive in difficult times.
Based on the show, in 2015 a settlement called Anatewka was built near the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. It offered a new home to Jewish refugees who have had to flee the conflict regions in eastern Ukraine after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But ever since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, people are no longer safe there either. So, in many respects, the subject matter of the show appears to be more up-to-date than ever.