Familiar face at Dutch Apple Warwick grad plays Chava in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

By on August 8, 2012

By: LAURIE KNOWLES CALLANAN Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

Allison Fund

In show business, it’s bad luck to say "good luck."

Instead, you’re supposed to say, "Break a leg." Allison Fund did just that — well, she broke her foot — as she was dancing in "Me and My Girl" at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre back in April.

"I’ve been involved in shows for most of my 26 years, so I guess it was my time for an injury. But it took a long time to heal," said the 2005 Warwick High School graduate.

Fund is back on her feet, both of them, and ready to start her newest role as Chava in "Fiddler on the Roof," which opens this week. Chava is the third of five daughters of the poor Jewish milkman Tevya and his wife Golde in the Tony-award winning musical set in Russia.

She will join her "sisters" Tzeitel and Hodel in one of the show’s most famous songs, "Matchmaker Matchmaker," in which they look forward to finding out who the village matchmaker has found for their arranged marriages. Then they realize she might not find them a "perfect" match after all, and a girl could be "burned" by the wrong match.

"I’ve always enjoyed the show and seen it many times. But this will be my first time in "Fiddler on the Roof." I’ve very excited." said Fund.

She should be. It’s not easy to make a career in theatre. Fund has been very fortunate. In the years since she graduated from college with a degree in acting and musical theatre, she has been a working actress.

She didn’t even have to wait tables, as so many actors do. She did have a few brief stints in retail, working at Tanger Outlets. But she has been able to follow her dream of being a musical actress.

"I have been fortunate to have consistent employment in theatre," she said. "I owe that to Prather Entertainment Group, which has become like family to me."

Fund will be performing in the national touring company of "Fiddler on the Roof" with Prather, which has the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster and the Broadway Palm in Fort Myers, Florida. They also have a touring company, which will criss-cross the United States, performing in states from Massachusetts and Rhode Island to California and Arizona to Arkansas and Florida.

Her first performance at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre was when she was just 12 and got the part of Brigitta in "The Sound of Music," playing one of the Von Trapp children under the care of Maria, the uncertain novice from the convent who guides her young charges to the glorious heights of music.

After that, theatre was in her blood. She was involved in theatre at local venues, and all through middle school and high school. The youngest daughter of Jeffrey and Diane Fund, she has an older sister Lauren, 30, and brother, Daniel, 27.

At Warwick High School, she played the roles of Anne of Green Gables, Jasmine from "Aladdin," Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun" and Wendy in "Peter Pan." She was also in the the concert choir and show choir at Warwick, where the highly competitive and challenging program fostered her dream of being on stage professionally.

Fund went on to earn her B.F.A. degree in acting and musical theatre from Montclair State University in northern New Jersey. That wasn’t far from the bright lights of Broadway, but Fund chose to return to Lancaster County to pursue her theatre career at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, a place that had always nurtured her musical career.

"While Broadway may be the dream for many actors, I wasn’t sure I was cut out for that life. It’s so hard and I wasn’t sure I wanted to live in New York City," she said.

A Lancaster County girl, Fund was lucky enough to follow her acting star close to home, with travel all over the United States for touring shows. She was Wendy in "Peter Pan," Princess Jasmine in "Aladdin Jr.," Josie Cohan in "George M" and Eileen in "I Love a Piano" Irving Berlin review. In the lively song and dance show "Me and My Girl," Fund was dancing in the ensemble and turned her ankle.

She didn’t expect it would be broken, but it was. It took nearly three months for the injury to heal. That is one of the hazards of show business. But as they say, the show must go on.

Fund’s show will go on with the opening of "Fiddler on the Roof" at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre on Aug. 9. The show will run through Sept. 22. Then she and cast members are off on a whirlwind tour of the U.S.

"I’m very thrilled," said Fund, who added that her dream roles would be any one of the princesses from Disney, such as the Little Mermaid or Belle from "Beauty and the Beast."

It seems that theatre has been a perfect match for this Lititz star.

For tickets to "Fiddler on the the Roof" at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, check the website at dutchapple.com or call the box office at 898-1900. More FUND, page A20

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