The Media Theatre presents a special presentation of the classic musical "Fiddler On The Roof" this summer to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary. 

It's produced by Media Music Theatre Company and is on stage July 11 through August 10, with performances on Friday nights at 7pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, and Sundays at 3pm. 

A youth cast shares the stage with several professional adult actors to remind audiences of the brilliance of this wonderful Tony winning Broadway musical. "Fiddler On The Roof" is all about Tevye, a Jewish man in Russia in the early 1900's who is doing his best to keep his family together amidst changing times and while his five daughters are growing up right before his eyes. It's a musical steeped in "Tradition!" 

Corey Katona, along with being an understudy for several roles including the Rabbi's son Mendel, plays the role of Mordcha, the Innkeeper. He says, "Mordchis a wonderful role for me  because of the humor and playful nature of his character. I really enjoy the dialogue I get to say during the show. One of the things I've had to approach differently is that Mordcha, in the show, is older than I am, so I've had to slow my movements to fit the role."

Of this task, Katona says,"This was difficult for me at first due to my athletic background where I must make sharp and quick movements. To approach this role, I've focused more on making my movements "strong" instead of "quick"."

This is not Katona's first time on The Media Theatre stage, however. "I have been in several shows here, including Three Little Pigs, Alice in Wonderland, Hair and most recently in the Broadway Series musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

He is also interested in sports. "As previously mentioned, I have a strong athletic background, focusing on lacrosse and martial arts," he said. "I have earned a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do style karate along with being a member of the varsity lacrosse team at my high school. My future dreams are to play college lacrosse and to be involved in many campus productions. I wish to become a professional actor after college, focusing on voice-over/voice work while continuing to learn and become the best actor possible."

He has high praise for the "Fiddler" experience. "It is an honor and pleasure to be in this production which is one of Broadway’s  legendary musicals," he explained. "Life  lessons presented in the show can be appreciated by all ages and have stood the test of time."

He talks about the show's legendary status. "This musical's historical significance comes from showing the changes in Russia during the early 1900's along with challenging tradition in society. It is very clear in the show that most of the villagers of Anatevka are unhappy with how the Tzar is leading Russia. As the rich flourish and indulge, the poor suffer from poverty, food shortages and more. Jews were forced from their homes and moved to places far away from where their families had lived for generations."

He is also keen on the romantic aspects of the show. "As for challenging tradition, the story shows how arranged marriages were challenged by the younger generation. They want to marry for love and happiness, not for their own or their families personal gain . These two ideas clash throughout the showAdditionallythe "traditional" societal roles, where the men work, the women cook and clean, boys learn trades from their fathers and the daughters learn how to be good wives from their mothers. These stereotypes are also challenged throughout the story to show the changing ideas of this generation."

"I hope that those who come to this show take away the difference between how we live now compared to how others lived before us," he says. "The past is something we should study because there is a lot we can learn from it. The issues we have overcome can help us deal with current and future challenges. I also hope that audiences see the fun and excitement the cast brings to each performance. And enjoy the well known music, that's important too!"

As someone who has been a part of the educational opportunities at The Media Theatre, Katona has high praise: "It's valuable because of the unique opportunities the program provides. I have been a part of The New School which is the advanced theater class. I have learned something in each of the theater's programs and productions which have helped me become the person and actor I am today. The willingness of the educators to work with you and make you better is superb. Through them, I have had a steep learning curve which has prepared me for college and  began to prepare me for a professional career."

To see Corey Katona and the entire cast of "Fiddler On The Roof" in the production directed by Jesse Cline, the theatre's Artistic Director, call 610-891-0100 or visit www.mediatheatre.org. The show runs thru August 10. 


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