When the Rosebarn Theatre cast of “Fiddler on the Roof” sings the shows finale about “leaving Anatevka,” the emotion will be real for one of the players.

Mickey Morales, the public relations director for Bechtel Parsons, will be leaving Richmond a few days after the play’s closing performance May 7.

Morales came to Madison County three years ago, shortly after Bechtel Parsons won the contract to dispose of the obsolete chemical weapons stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot.

The move will be a promotion for Morales, who will become the public affairs officer for the U.S. Army’s Chemical Material Agency at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. He will be in charge of overall public relations for all eight chemical weapons disposal sites in the United States, including Madison County.

“My family and I have spent three happy years in Kentucky, and the Madison County community has been very good to us, so it will be sad to leave,” Morales said. “I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here.”

Morales, his wife Martha and sons Wesley and Bobby are all involved the Rosebarn’s Fiddler production. The Moraleses are one of at least eight families with multiple members in the cast and/or production crew.

Mickey plays the role of Mordcha the Inn Keeper, while Martha is part of the “Mommas” ensemble and Bobby is one of the “Sons.”

Morales was involved in theater as a high school and college student, he said. After a stint in the military, he even toured with a USO troupe that entertained at bases in Europe, even one where he had been stationed.

“Since I’ve been married, however, I hadn’t been involved in theater,” he said. That changed when his younger son Bobby became friends at school Zak Evans. Zak’s mother Sarah is director for “Fiddler on the Roof.”

“When Sarah found out I’d been involved in theater before, she encouraged us to audition for ‘Fiddler,’” Morales said. “So, we decided to make it a family affair.”

Morales is one of four portly, middle-aged, bearded men with leading roles in the play. Along with Gregory Andis, who plays Teyve, Dale Jury, who plays Lazar Wolf the butcher, and Dane Hosler, who plays Avram the bookseller, Morales helps prove that big guys can act, sing and dance.

“We don’t exactly look like starving peasants,” Morales said with a laugh.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is a play about a family dealing with all the joys and challenges of life, Morales said.

“It deals with growing up, growing old and getting married. Teyve’s family has to deal with religious and ethic prejudice and cope with change as old traditions give way to new.”

Because much of the action takes place in a barn or barn-like structures, staging the play in a converted barn is appropriate.

“Fiddler on the Roof” opens at 7 tonight at the theater in Battlefield Park on US 421. Additional performances are Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m., as well as May 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. and May 7 at 3 p.m.

Tickets at the door are $12 each. Advance tickets for $10 are available from the Richmond Area Arts Council by calling 624-4242 or visiting the RAAC office at the corner of Water Street and Lancaster Avenue in Richmond.

Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@richmondregister.com or by calling 623-1669, Ext. 267.

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