Prizmah Journal Features COVID-Era Innovation at Milton
November 23, 2020 by
Milton was featured in a special issue of the Prizmah journal that examines how schools are adapting to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The article highlights one of the ways that Milton reinvented our program through these exigencies – our production of Virtual Fiddler on the Roof. Kol Hakavod to Sarah Gershman, Sarah Rubin Shapiro, and Steven Magenheim who helmed the production for their vision and dedication, and to the cast who believed and made that vision a reality. Read excerpts from the article below.
When our campuses closed due to Covid-19, the cast of Fiddler on the Roof was only weeks into rehearsals. Most schools had canceled their spring performances, but our cast was determined. The students and show leaders met over Zoom to discuss whether they should continue. From the outset, there was a resounding response from the students that “The show must go on.” As one sixth grader noted: “The coronavirus has already taken so much from us—we can’t let it take our production away, too.” And so began our journey into a reimagined, virtual production of Fiddler on the Roof.
Applying the design thinking approach, our directors asked the students to reimagine the musical, to consider what to keep from the traditional musical model and how to adapt it to changing circumstances…
The experience held moments of unexpected joy, too. We learned with renowned producer and composer Zalmen Mlotek (of the hit Off-Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish). He even recorded a number for inclusion in our school musical! Extensive outreach to press got our story picked up by JTA, and readers across the country saw our middle school production. In addition, our show was streamed on the website of Washington Jewish Week, which also ran an article about our production.