Central Park Players is pleased to present The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as the final show of our 65th season.
- May 10, 11, 17, & 18 @ 7:30 PM
- May 19 @ 2:30 PM
- March 11 & 12 @ 7PM
- Registration @ 6:30 PM
- Callbacks by Invitation March 13
- Read Through on March 14
Director: Darcie Beekman
Casting is flexible. Please don’t let gender / age ranges stop you from auditioning!
Audition sides provided for dialogue.
More details to be announced regarding music and movement portion.
- Chip Tolentino, An athletic, social, boy scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment.
- Logainne Schwartzandgrubeniere (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, The ultimate over-achiever, Marcy has never been given another option. She comes from a family where excellence is expected and so simply produced. A parochial school student, she assumes God, too, expects perfection. She sees herself as a mass of problems but she keeps them to herself. Having moved often because of her parents’ work, she knows she can beat the local competition. Her many talents include piano, dance, martial arts, baton twirling, and/or whatever special gifts you can find in your casting pool.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mitch Mahoney, The Official Comfort Counselor. An ex-convict, Mitch is performing his community service with the Bee, and hands out juice boxes to losing students. He has no idea how to offer comfort, but does find himself wishing he could find a way to make the kids feel better.
- Carl Dad, Schwarzy’s main trainer, the more intense and competitive of Schwarzy’s fathers. Normally played by actor playing Leaf.
- Dan Dad, the more laid back and ineffectual of Schwarzy’s fathers. Normally played by the actor playing Mitch.
- Jesus Christ, Deity invoked by a speller in need. Normally played by the actor playing Chip.
- Leaf’s Mom, Dad, And Siblings, All more academically gifted than Leaf, they are even more surprised than he is by his success. Normally played by the spellers and audience volunteers as indicated in the script.
- Olive’s Dad, A fantasy version of Olive’s dad coming to the bee from work. Normally played by the actor playing Mitch.
- Olive’s Mom, A fantasy version of Olive’s mom at her Ashram in India. Normally played by the actor playing Rona
About The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
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 mid-pubescents 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 a champion! 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 small cast and unit set make this a perfect option for high schools or community theatres. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a fast-paced crowd pleaser and an instant theatre patron favorite.
THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mitshows.com
- Music & Lyrics by William Finn
- Book by Rachel Sheinkin
- Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
- Additional Material by JAy Reiss
- Originally Directed on Broadway on James Lapine
- Originally produced on Broadway by David Stone, James L Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company, Second Stage Theatre
- Based upon C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, an original play by The Farm.
- The Barrington Stage Company workshop of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE was originally co-directed by Michael Barakiva and Rebecca Feldman.