Don't miss O-U-T: Andria Theatre stages spelling bee musical
Six spelling champions learn that winning — and losing — isn't everything.
"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," a musical comedy, is the Andria Theatre's newest production. The play, which takes place at the downtown theater Oct. 12-15 and 19-22, focuses on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the spelling bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups. The play includes mature language and themes, and there is also audience participation.
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.
At least the losers get a juice box — and a hug.
Jake Stone, who has starred in other Andria Theatre productions and also in plays at Jefferson High School in Alexandria, is in the director's chair for the first time with this production.
"It has been awesome to work with such a great group of actors, who are also some of my closest friends," Stone said. "It has been such a pleasure to watch them grow as actors and to watch them in their moments that are so real and authentic."
As for the theatre choosing this production, which Stone called "fun and zany," he explained that over the past couple years, the theater has conducted polls with their audiences and also with the actors to see what type of productions were wanted and that "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" fit the bill.
Stone also said he has a lot of admiration for this group of actors, who all have full-time jobs, for being able to come together during the past six weeks to work on this production and make it the quality production it is. His hope is audiences will love it as much as he does.
'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'
When: Oct. 12-15 and 19-22, Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Where: Andria Theatre, 618 Broadway St., Alexandria
Tickets: Go to www.andriatheatre.org or call the box office at 320-762-8300.
Scott Giannone — Vice Principal Douglas Panch
Paige Knorak — Rona Lisa Perretti
David Zachary Conover — Mitch Mahoney
David Christman — Chip Tolentino
Joe Johnson — William Barfee
Carolyn Giannone — Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere
Lindsay Ann — Marcy Park
Jon Provance — Leaf Coneybear
Haley Wegner — Olive Ostrovsky
Director — Jake Stone
Music director — Mark Graf
Clarinet and saxophone — Paul Engebretson
Percussion — Jordan Tacker
Costume/hair design — Katy Niemeyer
Sound tech — Joy Wrolson
Light tech — Caitlyn Bower