#BehindtheCurtain: Get to Know Debra Wanger

 In Blog, San Diego Broadway Shows

As we head into opening weekend of Fiddler on the Roof, we are so excited to introduce one of the stars of our production, Debra Wanger! In our rendition of this iconic golden age musical, Debra plays the role of Golde, the sharp tongued and quick witted wife of Tevye and mother to his five daughters. Her steadfast love and commitment to her family is often the glue that keeps them together through all of the challenges they face. As a mother herself, Debra perfectly balances maternal care and strength in her depiction of Golde. This week, we had a chance to get to know Debra a little more through some of our favorite questions, and we can’t wait to share her answers with you all. After you keep reading below, make sure you get your tickets to see Fiddler on the Roof running February 9th until March 10th on the SDMT Stage!


How long have you been performing/what inspired you to get into musical theatre?

I started when I was 9 years old. My big brother was in a teen theatre group with Jeremy Piven & John Cusack. I used to watch them onstage and thought it was pretty cool. My first musical theatre role was as Toto in the Wizard of Oz at theatre camp. I was hooked.

Photo by Ken Jacques

If you could tell the audience anything about this show, what would it be? And does it have any special meaning to you?

This show is definitely a special one for me. I performed the role of Tzeitel early in my career. This is a show you can keep coming back to, working your way up the generations. It is also such a special show to the Jewish community about the values, love and resilience we share.

Photo by Mark Holmes

If you had to pick, what is your favorite scene or number in the show?

It’s impossible to choose just one! I so enjoy all my scenes with Matthew Henerson (Tevye). He is such a wonderful, present and playful scene partner.

Photo by Ken Jacques

What is a dream role or dream show of yours? If you have a few, feel free to list them all!

There are so many amazing roles out there. DeeDee in The Prom, Margaret in Light in the Piazza, Francesca in Bridges of Madison County, Mama Rose in Gypsy!, Edie in Grey Gardens, Nora in Dolls House 2, Hesione in Triumph of Love, the entire Sondheim repertoire (Mrs Lovett, Charlotte, Fosca, Joanne, all of them!). So many great dames!

Photo by Julie Licari

This musical explores themes of family and tradition. Do you have any fun traditions either you or your family do?

We do a lot of dance parties and silly songs we sing about our dog.  We also do a fierce home version of Chopped, the cooking competition!

And finally, what is the most relatable aspect of your character?

I have three amazing children. Two of my kids are leaving for college next fall, and my baby is having her Bat Mitzvah this Spring. When I sing “Sunrise, Sunset” I am seeing my own children grow up so quickly before my eyes.



Fiddler on the Roof Creative Team:
Director: Omri Schein
Choreographer: Jill Gorrie Rovatsos
Music Director: Richard Dueñez Morrison


CLICK HERE to buy tickets!

Photo by Ken Jacques


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