Audition: April 6 (10 a.m.) and April 7 (2 p.m.); Callbacks: April 8 (7 p.m.) @ MAC (1703 E. 14th Street, Greenville, NC 27858)
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Show Dates: (additional dates possible)
- Friday June 21 7:30
Saturday June 22 2:00
Saturday June 22 7:30
Sunday June 23 2:00
- Thursday June 27 7:30
Friday June 28 7:30
Saturday June 29 2:00
Saturday June 29 7:30
An eclectic group of sixth-graders arrives at the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, each eager to win for very different reasons. Sweet and shy Olive brings only her best friend (the dictionary) with her to the bee; bold and hyper-allergic speller William Barfee uses his “magic foot” to propel him to greatness; former champion Chip is struggling with his burgeoning puberty; easily distracted Leaf is unconvinced that he’s smart enough to be a challenger; overachiever Marcy is disappointed by her consistent success; and politically aware Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre only wants to impress her gay dads. In hilarious, touching, and catchy songs, each speller reveals his/her hopes, struggles, and passions as they make their way through the competition.
Audition: April 6 (10 a.m.) and April 7 (2 p.m.); Callbacks: April 8 (7 p.m.) @ MAC.
- Prepare a solo of 16-32 bars of something in the style of the show. Having accompaniment is preferred but not a necessity. If you have a strong voice, demonstrate it with your song choice. If you have a moderate voice, do what is comfortable, within your range, and will show your abilities. Do not reach for what you cannot comfortably deliver.
- Prepare 1 minute monologue of choice. Cold reading may be requested.
- Callbacks are for vocal range and learning part of a song from the show; cast ensemble arrangement.
- Moderate dancing skills are needed for spellers/former champion spellers.
- If you have lengthy conflicts with the rehearsal schedule, please advise the director. This is a strong ensemble show. All characters are on-stage the majority of the show.
- All actors must be 17+ in order to audition.
- The roles of the spellers will be cast according to the ages of those who audition.
All actors cast as spellers must be within reasonable ages in order to maintain consistency in appearance. The ages of the actors usually range from 17-25.
- This show is considered an adult show. There are no sexual situations and few instances of very mild adult language. There is a song about an erection, but it is gentile in its message.
William Barfee – Tenor (strong character voice needed)
A 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.
Olive Ostrovsky -Mezzo-Soprano (strong voice needed)
A young newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual. 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.
Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre – Mezzo-Soprano (speaks, sings with a lisp)
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.
Marcy Park – Mezzo-Soprano (sings in various languages)
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 the poster child for the Over-Achiever, and attends a Catholic school. She is also not allowed to cry.
Leaf Coneybear – Tenor (strong character voice needed)
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.
Chip Tolentino – Tenor (strong voice needed)
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.
COORDINATORS of the BEE:
Rona Lisa Peretti – Mezzo-Soprano – (strong voice needed). Age: 25-35ish
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 – Vice Principal – Spoken (Strong improv .skills) Age: 25-30ish
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.
He is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, but she does not return his affections.
Mitch (or Midge) Mahoney – Tenor (strong voice needed) Age: undetermined
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.
The Dads (2 males with multiple parts) – Tenor (one needs strong voice) Age: 25-35
Mom (1 female with multiple parts) – Mezzo-Soprano (strong voice needed) Age: 25-35
Former Spelling Champions (4 male and female – various character roles) – vocal/dancing. Age: 17-25ish