Mary Baldwin Theatre Presents: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

putnamF-U-N, fun. Definition: seeing the Mary Baldwin Theatre production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  This 2005 Tony Award winning musical was conceived by Rebecca Feldman, written by Rachel Sheinkin with music and lyrics by William Finn as well as additional material by Jay Reiss. Directed by alumna Michelle Laurence, performances run Nov. 11-12, 16-19 at 7:30pm and Nov. 13, 20 at 2:00pm.  Some viewer discretion is advised due to adult language.

Set at the titular 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee this musical comedy follows six elementary children as they compete for the chance to become a champion. The speller who wins this competition will go on to the long-dreamed-of next level in Washington, D.C. Over the course of the Bee each young speller grapples with their own skill, their families’ expectations, and what it really means to be a winner. Watch as anything can happen in this delightfully funny production when audience volunteers and improvisation make every performance truly unique.

Jesi Dunnivan and Christia Moore return to the Mary Baldwin stage as the organizers of this year’s Spelling Bee, Vice Principal Douglas Panch and Ms. Rona Peretti, respectively. The youngest competitor, Logainne SchwartzandGrubenniere is played by Myra Diehl. Alex Carther plays the timid, yet talented Olive Ostrovsky. The practically perfect Marcy Park is portrayed by newcomer, Mikayla Mattocks. Also new to the Mary Baldwin stage are Logan Davenport, Emil  Ljubovic, Clay Renner and Bryan Pugh. Davenport portrays the imaginative Leaf Coneybear while Ljubovic takes on the role of last year’s Spelling Bee winner, Chip Tolentino. Renner plays the part of the slightest bit bizarre William Barfée and Pugh joins the adult characters as comfort counselor Mitch Mahoney. Completing the cast are Rachel Jensen, understudy for Logainne and Olive, and Vivian Ruiz, understudy for Marcy.

All shows will run in Fletcher Collins Theatre in Murphy Deming Fine Arts Center at Mary Baldwin University. Tickets are available by calling 540-887-7189 Monday through Friday 10am to 5pm,  or online at www.marybaldwin.edu/arts/theatre. Single show tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for students, MBU faculty, and seniors.

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