“Fiddler on the Roof is the perfect musical. It has everything in it-music, dance, and a rich story,” says Kyle Holman who will be playing the lead role of Tevye in the Red Mountain Theatre Company (RMTC) production of the musical beginning June 9. Set in a little village in Russia in 1905, the story centers on Tevye, a poor dairyman, and his five daughters. With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, he tries to protect his daughters and instill them with traditional values in the face of changing social mores and growing anti-Semitism. “The most important thing I have found in the character of Tevye is his godliness. He is a man of God doing what he can to fulfill what he believes his commitment to God should be,” explains Holman. “What I really like about him are some of the conversations that he has with God. He turns and talks with him like his best friend…I love his honesty with God.” Holman is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and worked in professional theatre in New York for many years before returning home to Birmingham to establish a successful career as a voice actor. Previous roles with RMTC have included the role of Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde.
Performing with Holman will be Alabama native Jonathan Bryant, who will make his RMTC debut in Fiddler as Russian/Ensemble. “I am excited to be a part of this great story,” says Bryant, a musical major at The University of Alabama. Bryant shares how his faith in Christ drives his desire for an acting career. “It’s my motivation. It’s very encouraging to have my life backed up by faith. It takes off the weight of life. It changes your perspective,” says Bryant, adding that doesn’t mean living out his faith is easy. “It’s hard in this business to have your beliefs and not have them questioned. It would be easy to let go of that and join the crowd, but I know that living out my faith through actions and speech can affect people in a positive way.” Bryant adds, “I want to encourage young actors to stand strong in faith and be that light that people need. People need that light and faith in their lives.”
Bryant and Holman both look forward to being able to perform Fiddler in Birmingham’s state of the art Dorothy Jemison Day Theater. “The acoustics are great. The lighting is gorgeous. Expect it to be engaging,” says Holman. “It’s such a beautiful place, the venue will definitely add to the experience,” adds Bryant.
Besides inspiring audiences through powerful theatre experiences, RMTC offers educational programs that build positive life skills for young people and provide growth opportunities for theatre professionals. Under the leadership of Executive Director Keith Cromwell, the Birmingham based nonprofit organization is in its 38th year of inspiring audiences, changing lives and creating conversations through theatre experiences. For more details and to buy show tickets visit www.redmountaintheatre.org. † Photos: Stewart Edmonds.