For Baltimore native Eric Mitchell Berey, performing in the North American touring company of “Fiddler on the Roof” is more than a career catalyst. It’s a chance to preserve “a classic story of Jewish refugees. I try to remind myself every day how lucky I am performing a show that is inspired by my ancestors,” says the 28-year-old actor, singer and dancer who plays three different roles in the classic musical. Berey grew up in Owings Mills and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., but insists, “Baltimore will always be home.” Catch “Fiddler” at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre from Nov. 13- 18.
1. Where did you receive your training?
In elementary school, I began taking theater classes at a weekend arts camp at Sudbrook Middle School. Soon after, I started dance and music lessons, as well as learned to film and edit my own films and music videos, at Young People’s Summer Stock. I went to Carver Center for Arts and Technology High School in Towson, where I was accepted into the theater prime. I also took dance classes at Towson University’s Children’s Dance Division. Soon, I began double majoring in both dance and theater at Carver. I graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in acting.
2. Previous professional experience?
After college I moved to New York City, and for a year I apprenticed with a dance company called Gallim. Then, I started freelancing and working with various artists. Before “Fiddler,” I worked for an immersive theater company called Third Rail Projects in their Bessie Award-winning show, “Then She Fell.” It’s based off the writings of Lewis Carroll and set in a hospital ward. I was lucky to be a part of the company for over two years.
3. How’d you land this role?
I’m Jewish and can dance? Just kidding. I saw the show on Broadway and was literally dancing out of the theater. I absolutely love Hofesh Shechter’s choreography and knew that if I ever had the opportunity to audition for this show, I had to!
4. Charm City Jewish creds?
My family and I belonged to Adat Chaim Synagogue, and I [became a] bar mitzvah there. I still have close connections to many of the kids I went to Hebrew school with.
5. What’s it like to be in this show?
The closer we get to opening night, the more invested I feel in this show and the deeper my connections to my characters become.