Our mainstage program is a large scale commercial production with direction by industry professionals. About the show: Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience. An eclectic group of six young students vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box. A riotous ride, complete with audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius.
The show rehearses intensively 3 nights per week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays) November 14th through January 11th only. Performances on January 12, 13 & 14 at the Schoolhouse Theater in Croton Falls, NY.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International. For more information, call 845.444.ARTS
Only ONE absence is allowed in the mainstage program. Select conflicts can be pre-approved prior to casting.
Chip Tolentino: An athletic, social, boy scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title.
Logainne Schwartzandgrunenierre (Schwartzy): Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures. She is driven by internal and external pressure, but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud. She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and will be back next year.
Leaf Coneybear: The second runner-up in his district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark and finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. He is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. He has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance.
William Barfee: A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts and is back for vindication. His famous "Magic Foot" method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy, bullying personality. He develops a crush on Olive.
Marcy Park: A recent transfer from Virginia, Marcy placed ninth in last year's nationals. She speaks six languages, is a member of all-American hockey, a championship rugby player, plays Chopin and Mozart on multiple instruments, sleeps only three hours a night, hides in the bathroom cabinet, and is getting very tired of always winning. She is also not allowed to cry.
Olive Ostrovsky: A young newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual, but he is trying to come sometime during the bee. Having found comfort in its words and vastness, Olive made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms.
Rona Lisa Peretti: The number-one realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion herself, and the returning moderator. She is a sweet woman who loves children, but she can be very stern when it comes to dealing with Vice Principal Panch and his feelings for her. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward.
Vice Principal Douglas Panch: The Vice Principle. Frustrated with his life, he finds the drive of the young spellers alien to him. After five years' absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge. There was an "incident" at the Twentieth Annual Bee, but he claims to be in "a better place" now, thanks to a high-fiber diet and Jungian analysis. He is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, but she does not return his affections.
The Comfort Counselor: An ex-convict, is performing community service with the Bee, and hands out juice boxes to losing students. The Comfort Counselor has no idea how to offer comfort, but does find her/himself wishing he/she could find a way to make the kids feel better. (Female OR male role).
Carl Grubenierre (Carl Dad): Schwarzy's main trainer, the more intense and competitive of Schwarzy's fathers.
Dan Schwartz (Dan Dad): the more laid back and ineffectual of Schwarzy's fathers.
Jesus: Deity invoked by a speller in need.
Leaf's Mom, Dad, And Siblings: All more academically gifted than Leaf, they are even more surprised than he is by his success.
Olive's Dad: A fantasy version of Olive's dad coming to the bee from work.
Olive's Mom: A fantasy version of Olive's mom at her Ashram in India.
Spellers: Multiple spellers in the bee.