Fiddler at Mary

By Lexxie Rae

The story of the classic musical, Fiddler on the Roof, was revived by University of Mary students in the first weekend of March. In a time marked by polarization, hatred, and xenophobia, a story of anti-Semitism and remaining faithful and committed to family is particularly appropriate. One actor, Kaitlyn Gellerman, who played the mother of Motel the tailor (Chandler Hertz), shared her thoughts on the relevance of the play with Summit.

“I was shocked to learn how few people had seen [Fiddler on the Roof] or heard of it,” said Gellerman. “I love the story of Fiddler, and, as I was watching from backstage, as everyone in [Tevye’s] family said goodbye to each other, it hit me that this is true for some people. They are being forced out of their homes, and I legitimately cried.” Gellerman described the play as “very powerful” saying that it was interesting how “the first act is so bright and happy and you’re all talking about weddings, and then it takes a turn for the worst.”

The actual performance of the play by the UMary students was also done in a way that emphasized its important message. “We actually made it more violent than the [1971] movie,” Gellerman said. She specifically mentioned the scene in which Tevye (Aaron Brown), infuriated by the fact that his daughter Chava (Annie Balster) wants to marry Fyedka (Dan Lang), who is not Jewish, grabs his daughter’s face and screams at her, a detail not included in the film. Gellerman also discussed the scene in which police disrupt the wedding of Tzeitel (Rachel Goettle) and Motel, which was also adapted by the cast to emphasize more the theme of anti-Semitism. “A Russian male backhanding a Jewish woman?” Gellerman pointed out, “That speaks volumes. I really think it added to the content of the musical.”

Gellerman stated that, by participating in the musical, an item on her bucket list was crossed off. Fiddler is one of her favorite musicals and on her list of productions she wants to be a part of. “I think the funniest character has to be the Rabbi,” she said. “Brayden [Renner] had me dying. Oh, and Granny Tzeitel (Leah Balster)—a lot of those acting choices were hers, which made it even better.” Gellerman appreciates all the work her cast mates put into making the musical a success. “I’m so grateful for the rest of the cast. Everyone rightfully deserved the parts they got.”

Aaron Brown, who played Tevye, the family patriarch, also spoke to Summit. When asked why he chose to audition for the musical, he said, “I’ve known the musical for a long time. I love it a lot and the characters resonate with me.” He decided to “aim high” in tryouts and got the lead role. Fitting with the modest traits of Tevye, Brown did not celebrate excessively when he learned he had gotten the part. His first reaction was “internal; I called my mom eventually but that was about it.” However, not everything Brown did was exactly what the script called for. He said he tried to “bring as much of myself to [the character] as I could.” This was a wise choice; Brown is not Jewish so trying to play a Jewish character was a creative challenge. On the subject, Brown commented that “an actor’s job is to act with what they have. I don’t have the same emotional attachment to the character as a Jewish person would, but as a theology major I have studied Jewish tradition, especially in Bible classes, so that was useful.” He especially credited these classes for his ability to “emphasize a word that would add meaning to the line” when Tevye quotes “the Good Book.” He also agreed with Gellerman that the UMary actors made certain scenes more violent for a greater impact. When asked about the scene in which Tevye and Chava argue, Brown said, “Those scenes were the hardest because it goes against my character as a person. It was emotionally draining. After each run-through I would apologize over and over and [Balster] would say no, no, it’s okay, you did what you had to do.”

When considering the significance of the play to modern issues, Brown took a different view than Gellerman. He said, “I don’t see a connection, not politically, but I was able to feel what he felt because of attack on tradition in the church.” Many scenes in the musical involve Tevye’s inner conflict between tradition and modern ways of thinking, and Brown related this to the divisions in the church. “Even on campus, trying to petition to keep the chant alive or bring latin mass to campus, a lot of my peers would go against that,” said Brown. “In this musical in a certain respect you could compare it to Vatican II: tradition versus modern living. What will people choose? Will the church embrace culture or will it continue to go against it? And for Tevye, does he hold onto tradition? With his first daughter, his second daughter, he says it’s kind of okay, but with the third it’s not okay. Marrying outside of the Jewish faith is a line he can’t cross.”

When asked how he came up with Tevye’s accent, Brown offered a story from his childhood. “I auditioned with it. I got it from my mother; she would wake us up each morning with a different accent and it was just something I grew up with.” Brown said his two favorite scenes are when he is discussing money with the Perchik (Stephen Richardson), with the classic line, “May God smite me with it!” and the duet with his wife Golde (Rachel Morrison) “Do You Love Me?” Brown said it was his favorite scene, “it was uncharted territory for my character. Normally Tevye has the Bible to handle every situation, but this was something he had to do on his own.” This led into a discussion on arranged marriage, which Brown said he already had positive views on before he was involved in the production. “Arranged marriage, not as a general rule, but arranged marriage is a legitimate form of marriage. It’s different from the passionate love of younger children and the negative effects, such as leaving your home or faith. Tevye and Golde are not romantic but have willed each other’s goodwill. There are arguments for and against arranged marriage, but those two [Tevye and Golde] are a good example of how it really works.”

Confessions of a Stubborn Swimmer

By Rachel Riedel

Swimming.

The sport that University of Mary added the year they had to tear down the on-campus pool to make way for the new student center.

The sport that people only care about every four years when someone like Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky wins a bunch of medals or breaks a bunch of records.

The sport where people swim back and forth, half naked, in an oversized puddle of water.

Yes, swimming is the sport to which I have dedicated the past ten years of my life.

Despite the fact that over a quarter of the medals the United States won in Rio 2016 were earned in swimming, many people don’t know much about the sport.  I went around campus asking people what they would ask swimmers and now, to enlighten you dear reader, I will be providing extremely insightful and 100% accurate answers to a few of their questions.

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How much time a week do you spend practicing?

It varies for each team and depending on whether one is talking about club, high school, or collegiate swimming. For UMary, on-season training runs from September to February and consists of about 20 hours a week. Off-season training runs from February to the end of the year and involves just 8 hours a week.

When do swimmers learn to swim?

Hopefully soon after they jump in the pool so that they don’t drown.

What positions are there on swim teams?

Technically, none, but each swimmer tends to specialize in a certain stroke. Stereotypically, people with big shoulders swim butterfly, people with frog legs do breaststroke, the tall and graceful people swim backstroke, and the basic people do freestyle. Swimmers also separate into groups of sprinters, long-distance swimmers, and mid-distance swimmers. If they can’t count, they swim sprint events (50’s and 100’s); if they can’t count but can have someone count for them, they swim long distance events (500’s, 1000’s, and 1650’s); and if they can kind of count, they swim 200’s.

What does a typical practice consist of?

Approximately 1.17 hours of torture, not including warm up and cold down,  but it’s ok, because practice prepares us for our races (aka shorter amounts of torture) by inflicting a certain type of pain depending on what stroke and distance we usually swim.

What do you eat?

Anything. Everything. All the time.

What’s with the cap, goggles, and fancy suits?

We wear caps to keep our hair out of the way and tech suits to suck in our guts to help create the least amount of resistance in the water.  Tech suits are especially helpful compared to normal suits because they wick the water and allow us to cut through the pool more efficiently, even though they also make it nigh impossible to breath. As for goggles, well, it’s nice to be able to see where we’re going and not have to worry about chlorine and other chemicals in the pool burning up our corneas.

What’s the hardest part of the sport?

The hardest part would be the swimming part…..that…. or trying to put on a tech suit in an over-crowded locker room.

What does the chlorine do to swimmers’ skin and hair?

First of all, the chlorine does not (usually) turn our hair green. In order for that to happen, there has to be a very specific set of chemicals and conditions. It does, however, dry out our skin. At least it cleanses the skin from acne and gets rid of greasy hair.  As Kate Murphy, a fellow Marauder swimmer, once said, “A practice a day keeps the acne away.”

How much of a social sport is swimming?

Between being submerged underwater most of the time and having tough intervals to complete, swimmers don’t usually have much time to socialize amongst themselves during practice.  And, because we practice a lot, we don’t have much time to socialize with others either. Or at least, that’s my excuse.

How are swim meets scored?

For significant meets, i.e. invitational or conference meets, the top 16 finishers earn points.  First place earns 20 points, second earns 17, third earns 16, and from there it goes down by one point each place until eighth place.  Ninth place earns 9 points, and then the points earned continue decreasing by one until sixteenth place.  Make any sense?  It doesn’t matter, since the real point of swimming is to get personal best times in each race.

How can you stand swimming back and forth starring at the same black line for miles each day?

We don’t. To be honest, we usually take any opportunity we have to complain about the sport. However, at the end of the day, when we drag ourselves out of the pool and every muscle in our body throbs in agony, we decide to keep going.  Don’t ask me why. I’m just a stubborn swimmer.

 

 

 

Summit: Our Purpose

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”

-Max De Pree.

This was the mindset that was quickly adopted as the first Summit meeting commenced on February 2, 2017. In a corner room of Welder Library, we realized the direction we were headed was not where we wanted to go, and so, without much argument, we began what a small group of people have affectionately been referring to as the “re-launch.”

You see, Summit has always existed to serve as the student run media source of the University of Mary community. For many years, it has been providing inside news stories on events happening on and around campus. However, while reviewing the goals of Summit, we quickly realized simply providing such stories was not meeting the needs of our university community. The University of Mary is a unique community and thus Summit should represent that. So, we changed our mission. Over the last few weeks, we have been creating and developing new ideas, plans, and designs for the rebranding of Summit in preparation for the “re-launch.” And we are excited to share it with you; because, really, it is all about you.

We decided that Summit should strive to encompass the lives of the student body. Through the wonders of technology, we have the ability to be constantly connected to news and updates, so the new Summit will be a bit different. Instead of the news you are used to, it will be your news. By this we mean Summit will consist of your art work, poetry, and music. It can be your short stories, your photographs, or your short films. Anything you create and wish to share can be submitted to us for publication consideration because we want to be an outlet that reflects the creative talents of the community that lives here.

With the creative participation of the entire student body, we hope that we can fulfill our mission to serve the cultural needs of the university community through the pursuit of the good, the true, and the beautiful.

Welcome to Summit.