BWW TV: Yiddish FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Welcomes Refugees from Around the World
Producers Hal Luftig and Jana Robbins in association with Sandy Block announced that the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) production of Fiddler on the Roof, in Yiddish with English Supertitles, filled its theater with refugees in celebration and in honor of World Refugee Day on Thursday, June 20, 2019 for a 6:00 PM performance.
Every seat in the theater was donated to allow refugees from all parts of the globe to see the show, and Fiddler celebrated their unique stories and journeys through this poignant and timely production with an afternoon and evening full of events.
The show partnered with the non-profit organization Reboot, a premier Jewish arts and culture organization, to further enhance its World Refugee Day celebration by involving some of the artists they work with to help commemorate the event.
Photographer Gillian Laub and illustrator/journalist Christopher Noxon photographed and live-sketched a select group of refugee attendees to document an extraordinary array of stories, journeys and experiences. Many refugees who attended the performance answered a series of questions written by Nicola Behrman about their experiences of having left their homelands. Fiddler will actively be curating these interviews for a larger initiative around this conversation.
The theater opened to its guests at 5:00 PM, where refreshments and concessions were made complimentary to all in attendance. There, attendees also explored an installation in the theater's lobby of After Anatevka: Jewish Immigration and American Reaction, an exhibition curated by author & Yiddish scholarEddy Portnoy for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research that reveals the Yiddish response to 1920s-era restrictions placed on Jewish immigrants.
Immediately following the evening performance, Fiddler hosted a post-show town hall event allowing this diverse community of refugees (and the leaders of the organizations that work to protect their rights) the opportunity to connect with one another in a safe and celebratory space. The post-show talk was moderated byLuis A. Miranda Jr., an activist, educator and businessman who led a conversation with the hundreds of refugees in the theater, many of whom shared their own Fiddler Story.
Check out highlights from the special day below!