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FIDDLER ON THE ROOF to Honor World Refugee Day with Special Performance

Fiddler on the Roof

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) production of Fiddler on the Roof, in Yiddish with English Supertitles, will fill 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 will be donated to allow refugees from all parts of the globe to see the show, and Fiddler will celebrate their unique stories and journeys through this poignant and timely production with an afternoon and evening full of events.

The show is partnering 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 will photograph and "live-sketch" a select group of refugee attendees to document an extraordinary array of stories, journeys and experiences. Many refugees attending the performance will have 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 will open to its guests at 5:00 PM, where refreshments and concessions will be made complimentary to all in attendance. There, attendees will also be free to explore an installation in the theater's lobby of After Anatevka: Jewish Immigration and American Reaction, an exhibition curated by author & Yiddish scholar Eddy 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 will host 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 will be moderated by Luis A. Miranda Jr., an activist, educator and businessman.

The list of organizations* helping coordinate the group of refugees includes:

  • American Friends Service Committee - Immigrant Rights Program
  • Catholic Charities
  • Catholic Charities - Brooklyn & Queens
  • HIAS
  • Immigration Equality
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage
  • New Sanctuary Coalition
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • RDJ Refugee Shelter
  • Tenement Museum

*Please note this list is subject to change and additions

"We are honored to be welcoming in a diverse group of refugees to the show on World Refugee Day," said the producers of Fiddler on the Roof. "This will be an emotional and moving day, and we are proud to be partnering with so many amazing organizations in bringing them to see the show. In addition, we are excited to have Luis Miranda as our moderator for the evening's post show discussion. Considering his extensive background in politics, activism, and theater, we truly couldn't have asked for a better-fitting person to lead the conversation. World Refugee Day at Fiddler will be the inaugural event for a series of initiatives that will ultimately create a methodology for how to use the prism of theater to talk about the immigration crisis."

Fiddler on the Roof is on sale through Sunday, January 5, 2020 at Stage 42 (422 W 42nd St.). Tickets are available to purchase through, by phone at 212-239-6200 or in person at the Stage 42 Box Office (422 W. 42nd St.)

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

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