Nicholas Carlin looks to fill his fathers shoes with lead role in “Fiddler on the Roof”

The men of the town celebrate the agreement to marry off Tevye's daughter. Photo Credit: Liesje Powers | Photo Editor

By Seth Jones | Reporter

As Baylor Theatre begins its string of performances of “Fiddler on the Roof,” Nicholas Carlin has reasons for excitement besides playing the lead role of Tevye.

Friendswood junior Nicholas Carlin developed his love for theater early in life, and it was this passion that led him to Baylor.

Throughout his childhood, Carlin’s parents ran a community theater that he frequently participated in. He remembers being involved in “Fiddler on the Roof,” from a young age.

“I don’t know if the first show I ever did was ‘Fiddler,’ but it was either the first or second,” Carlin said. “There’s footage of me at 5 years old in the chorus of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’

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Nick Carlin, starring as Tevye, cries out to the Lord and asks why he was given a life with no money. Photo Credit: Liesje Powers | Photo Editor

Carlin watched his father play the role of Tevye and said he remembers seeing how passionate his father was, which gives Carlin motivation to bring that same energy now.

“It really is [my dad’s] favorite thing he’s ever done,” Carlin said. “It is kind of the legacy of the Carlin family.”

Carlin called his father as soon as he found out that Baylor Theatre would be producing the musical, knowing his father would be thrilled.

“I could hear his smile through the phone,” Carlin said.

Shortly after tickets went on sale, Carlin received a call from his mother. He said he was surprised and excited to hear that she had bought tickets for many of the performers he used to work with in the community theater. Carlin said that added extra motivation for him.

“She said, ‘Everyone’s coming,’” Carlin said. “It’s a big deal for me. I want to make this the best performance I could possibly make it.”

Charleston senior Mitch Winkler, helped build the set for “Fiddler on the Roof.” He said he looks forward to seeing Carlin perform the show live after preparing for months.

“This will be his first main-stage production that he’s a lead role in, so I’m very excited to see that,” Winkler said. “I know that he works really hard.”

“Fiddler on the Roof” is focused on a small Jewish village in which a man, Tevye, allows his daughters to choose their own husbands, a custom that was not customary at the time due to their cultural standards. While the musical has been performed with different adaptations all over the world, it has never been performed at Baylor until now.

Carlin said he believes this production will please audiences because of the hours the cast has put into preparation, as well as its renown around the world.

“This is honestly probably the largest cast we’ve had for a musical, at least since I’ve been here,” Carlin said. “We’re really proud of this show. It’s turning out to be really good.”

Steven Pounders director of “Fiddler on the Roof” and Theatre Arts professor at Baylor, wrote in an email to the Lariat, that he believes “Fiddler on the Roof” is a production that an audience can relate to no matter where they are from or what their background is.

“Though “Fiddler on the Roof” is the particular story of a Jewish village in Tsarist Russia, the themes of the play are universal,” Pounders wrote. “An institute of faith like Baylor will find connection with the traditions and community-living of the village in the story and challenge in seeing the humanity in a people driven to become refugees.”

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Tevye, played by Nick Carlin, consoles his daughter Tzeitel, played by Leah Beth Ethredge, when she is distraught by the news of her marriage. Photo Credit: Liesje Powers | Photo Editor

For ticket information, please contact the Theatre Box Office through email at or by calling 254-710-1865.