Mainstage plans summer of tradition

June 9, 2024
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Mainstage Classic Theatre will produce "Fiddler on the Roof" from June 21-23 at Willie Pigg Auditorium. (Photo courtesy of Mainstage Classic Theatre)

By Amanda Rogers

Mansfield Record

Mainstage Classic Theatre has become a tradition in Mansfield, which makes this summer’s productions a perfect match.

The community theater group will produce “Fiddler on the Roof” from June 21-23 and “Godspell” from July 19-20, sharing themes of family and faith.

Those themes are familiar for Mainstage Classic Theatre, which has grown up with Mansfield, evolving from small professional classes and productions, to camps, classes and productions at First Methodist Church to a high-level community theater.

“These are really good shows,” said Marty Fredrick, who started the theater group in 1994 and directs this month’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

“’Fiddler’ is kind of timely,” she said. “The themes in it are family, traditions, customs, taking care of your neighbors.”

The popular musical opened on Broadway in 1964 and became a feature film in 1971. The play follows Russian milkman Tevye, his wife, three daughters and their village, which is trying to survive and follow their Jewish faith. Tevye has to adapt as his willful daughters are not inclined to marry the men their father has chosen for them, choosing to marry for love instead. The entire community soon has to adapt to change after the tsar evicts them from their village.

“They are poor, hardworking people, but they still find a little bit of humor,” Fredrick said. “It’s not a show that I wanted to do. It just didn’t appeal to me. It’s not a big show, but we’re making it a big show.”

Ninety-two people auditioned for the 58-member cast, then there’s the 32 –piece orchestra and the crew.

“It’s a fun show,” she said. “When they do the dance, they really get into that. They’re doing the bottle dance with the bottle on their heads, then there’s the ballet sequence.

“This is the best vocal talent we’ve ever had,” Fredrick said.

And then there’s “Godspell,” which began as an off- Broadway play in 1971, went on to become a popular feature film and album and then was revived in 2011. The musical is loosely based on the Gospel of Matthew, as a series of parables.

“There’s not really a time period,” Fredrick explained. “And it’s just kids, the kids from our summer camp. They have two weeks to learn it. Our camps are hard. We call them intensive camps.

“It’s an opportunity to see the full work of ‘Godspell’ in a full Broadway show,” she said.

“Fiddler on the Roof” will be held June 21-23 at Willie Pigg Auditorium, 1520 N. Walnut Creek Drive. Tickets are $15-$22 and available at

“Godspell” will be held July 19-20 at Willie Pigg Auditorium. Tickets are free for Mansfield ISD students (based on availability), $10 for students, $12 for seniors and $14 for adults. For tickets, go to

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