Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Meet Tevye’s 5 Daughters at Arena Stage: Part 4: Hannah Corneau

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In Part 4 of a series of interviews with the daughters of Tevye in Arena Stage’s Fiddler on the Roof, meet Hannah Corneau.

Hannah Corneau.
Hannah Corneau. Photo courtesy of Arena Stage.

Joel: Introduce yourself to our readers, and tell them where they may have seen you on local stages in the past year.

Hannah: My name is Hannah Corneau, and I am based out of New York. Fiddler at Arena is my D.C. stage debut!

Have you ever appeared in a production of Fiddler on the Roof before and who did you play?

I was in a production of Fiddler on the Roof in Chicago and I played Fruma Sarah. It was so much fun transforming into that vibrant character each night.

Have you ever performed in the round before and how does performing in the round make this production so special for the audience?

I have never had the pleasure of performing in the round before. It has been such a fantastic experience thus far. The audience is so lucky to see this piece of theater in the round, because wherever they sit, they will take away specific gems based on where they are sitting. Different show with every different seat.

Who are you playing in Fiddler on the Roof at Arena Stage and how do you personally relate to her?/ 

I play Hodel. The second oldest daughter in the family. I feel as though I can mostly relate to her strength.

What daughter is very similar to you and why?

I would say Hodel is the most similar to me. Thankfully I get to turn into her every night!

Which daughter reminds you of your siblings and/or other members of your family?

Tzeitel reminds me of my older sister. She is extremely reasonable and protective. Kindness is also a radiating quality that Tzeitel possesses.

Which sister has qualities that you wish you had? And what are these qualities? Which sister do you admire the most and why?

I think Chava has such a graceful spirit. I admire Chava in that she truly follows her heart and faces the fire with a warrior-like quality.

What have been some of the challenges you have had preparing for your role and what advice did Director Molly Smith offer you that helped you with these challenges and with shaping your performance?

The balance between grace and power. Hodel needs to be fierce in her strength, yet kind and respectful of the tradition that surrounds her. Molly kept telling me to be strong. She kept assuring me that Tevye will react well to my strength and power.

(L to R) Hannah Corneau (Hode)l, Dorea Schmidt (Tzeitel), and Maria Rizzo (Chava). Photo by Margot Schulman.
(L to R) Hannah Corneau (Hodel), Dorea Schmidt (Tzeitel), and Maria Rizzo (Chava). Photo by Margot Schulman.

What’s your favorite musical number in Fiddler that you do not perform in the show?

“The Dream”. You’ll have to come and find out why it’s so spectacular. I wouldn’t want to give anything away!

Fiddler on the Roof is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. What does the show still have to offer contemporary audiences and your generation of theatre goers? Why do you think these characters are so universal?

Tevye is Everyman. The family is every family, and cultural traditions still stand strong today. The characters within this specific world depict problems, joys and hopes that every person faces today.

In 5 words or less -how would you describe Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock’s score of Fiddler on the Roof?

An intricate, appropriate and joyous celebration of life.

What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you perform in Fiddler on the Roof?

A stronger perspective and understanding of life and hope.

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Fiddler on the Roof plays through January 4, 2015 at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater-1101 6th St SW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call the box office at (202) 488-3300, or purchase them online.

LINKS

Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Meet Tevye’s 5 Daughters at Arena Stage: Part 1: Dorea Schmidt.

Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Meet Tevye’s 5 Daughters at Arena Stage: Part 2: Maria Rizzo

Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Meet Tevye’s 5 Daughters at Arena Stage: Part 3: Shayna Blass.

Matchmaker! Matchmaker! Meet Tevye’s 5 Daughters at Arena Stage: Part 4: Hannah Corneau.

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater review by David Siegel on DCMetroTheaterArts.