Community. It’s a word you will hear often when talking with people involved in the upcoming Muncie Civic Theatre production of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Take the show’s director, Michael O’Hara, for example.

“The show is about community – community that, in this case, is cast out of their town by hate and fear, but they, the community, face this adversity with humanity and courage,” he said. “That message of community, the deep connections that we can, and sometimes still do, feel for one another, is one that resonates through the ages. We all seek community, and I’m very grateful for the community that I’ve found here in Muncie.”

And Adam B. Shapiro is thrilled to be able to return to this community as a guest artist, playing the traditional patriarch Tevye. A 2004 graduate of Ball State University (BSU) as a musical theater major, Shapiro received a call in 2022 from his former BSU mentor (and now, good friend) O’Hara about the possibility of returning to Muncie for the show. Shapiro, after all, is no stranger to the “Fiddler” community.

“‘Fiddler on the Roof’ has been present throughout my entire theatrical life,” he said, adding that he first played Tevye at age 9 at an Indianapolis summer camp, followed by a high school production. After moving to New York City after college, he landed roles in the first off-Broadway and award-winning United States production of “Fiddler” in Yiddish, directed by Oscar and Tony winner Joel Grey of “Cabaret” fame.

Shapiro has been working remotely with the 60-plus Muncie cast members via FaceTime and Zoom. Understudy Patrick McDonald has been on stage in person to do the blocking and choreography.

Speaking of the cast, O’Hara has built quite a community there as well. “We have several families performing together – not always the entire family, but lots of parents with at least one or two children of their own on stage,” he said.

Muncie resident Sally Kelley portrays Golde in the production. She described her character as “a strong, flawed woman…grounded and no-nonsense, the perfect foil to Tevye, the affable dreamer.”

Kelley said she was drawn to the show because “the story is funny, poignant and heart-breaking. The characters feel familiar. They remind you of various people you know in your own community. I wanted to be a part of such wonderful storytelling.”

Storytelling that is also timeless.

“We all have these family structures we can relate to, whether we are the child or the parent,” said Muncie Civic Theatre Executive Director Laura Williamson. “I feel like we can all see ourselves in this simple story that is about so much more than arranged marriages.”

Muncie Civic Theatre will present “Fiddler on the Roof” on its Mainstage April 12-14, 19-21 and 25-28. Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows will begin at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees will begin at 2:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, go to or call 765-288-PLAY.

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