“It’s a great musical and a great story for the church setting,” said Friend. “The kids really are enjoying the songs.” Indeed, this week kids had the opportunity to see what it feels like to look back from the sanctuary at Central Christian’s vaulting nave. They ran through the song “Tradition,” practicing their choreographed steps and hand motions as they sang along, taking their cues from Friend.
“It’s cool. I kind of like just being able to take up a different role than I usually have,” said Kevin Johnsen, 14. He is playing the part of Tevye, and appreciates the cultural richness of the play. “It’s a piece of history. My being in this musical helps me to understand it.”
The kids practice up in the sanctuary, or sit down in a nearby room to read through the script. Downstairs, they enjoy craft activities.
“Everything that’s messy. We like messy things,” said Annette Herbert who oversees the arts and crafts, along with several helpers.
Shyanne Watson, 8, had a paper plate full of beads.
“We’re mod-podging them to keep them shiny,” said Watson. “We’re going to make bracelets.” They’ll also be making prayer shawls and head coverings for use in the play.
There’s also time to focus on Bible stories. Vale said “Fiddler on the Roof, Jr.” presents the opportunity to explore the Old Testament, the history of the Jewish people, and topics like the Sabbath.
“We try to combine a lot of different elements to it,” said Vale. It’s clear the kids are picking up on it.
“We’re learning about their traditions,” said Iain Fisher, 9. He also observed, “You can’t fiddle on the roof good.”
The two-week camp culminates with a performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3. The performance is open to the public.
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If you go What: "Fiddler on the Roof, Jr." Where: Central Christian Church, 923 Jackson Street, Anderson When: Saturday, August 3, 7 p.m. Admission: Free More info: Check out www.central-christian-church.com or call 643-6957.