"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," with music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin and conceived by Rebecca Feldman, will be presented on Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Phipps Auditorium in Macmillan Hall on the Wells College campus. Admission is free and all are welcome; no reservations are required.
"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is an energetic, contemporary musical about six hopeful, quirky middle schoolers competing for first prize at their county spelling bee. Each character is searching for identity and purpose—including the three adults who run the event. These youths and adults are seeking to prove their worth to themselves and those around them, battling their inner insecurities and outside obstacles in order to climb up the ladder of success to discover their inner champion.
"This is a show that celebrates individuality and uniqueness," says Priscilla Hummel, lecturer in theatre and dance at Wells and director/choreographer of "Spelling Bee." "The characters are delightfully endearing, and the story is just as relatable and touching as it is funny. Be prepared for the element of audience participation!" she added.
The cast features Wells students Julie Bacorn '21, Mary Kate Barnett '20, Sarah Durocher '23, Emmerich Hauf, Luke Lauchle '20 and Macy Salico '23, along with Seamus Buxton, Joshua Dykes and Paul Morgan of Ithaca College. The production team includes Benjamin Stevens as music director, assistant professor of theatre Patti Goebel as scenic/lighting designer and technical director, Barbara Murphy as costume designer, Ally Collins '20 as stage manager, Julia Nash '23 as assistant stage manager, Em Lukek and Megan Smythe as accompanists, Alanna Reidler '23 and Kaleigh Smith '23 as props masters, Sabrina Burns '23 as costume assistant, and Emma Colton-Heins '22, Laurel Deacon '22 and Maeve Wright '23 as running crew.
Running time is approximately two hours, including one 15-minute intermission. The show contains some mature content and may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13.