Central High School Repertory Theatre class students will present the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on November 17 at 7 pm, November 18 at 7 pm, and November 19 at 2:30 pm. The musical is by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin.
Tickets are on sale online and will also be available at performances. Ticket prices for the production are $10 for adults and $5 for students with no credit service charges added to this price if using a credit card online to pre-purchase tickets. This production willlater be submitted to the Kansas Thespian Festival as Central High School's one act entry (in a shortened version). Central High School Thespians have placed 1st in the one act competition for 3 consecutive years. Running time is approximately 90 minutes and will run without an intermission. Concessions will be for sale at the beginning of the production. The production is directed by Barbara Hilt, Central High School Theatre teacher and program director who is assisted by Bill Weaver, Central high School Technical Director. Music Director Tyler Brenneman, and Pit Conductor Guillermo Rodriguez. This production is rated PG13 and may not be suitable for all audiences as it takes on some mature subject matter. Production rights are made available through special arrangements with Music Theatre International, Inc.
An eclectic group of 6th 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 hyperallergic speller William Barfee uses his "magic foot" to propel him to greatness; former champion Chip is struggling with his 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 dads. In hilarious, touching, and catchy songs, each speller reveals his/her hopes, struggles, and passions as they made their way through the competition. With an engaging, tuneful score by William Finn and a sweet, funny book by Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee causes audiences to fall in love, both with the show itself and its "perspicacious,” “jocular,” and “effervescent” spellers. (synopsis from stageagent.com)
Quote about the production from the director:
“This production has been a very fun journey to work on with students during our repertory theatre class. Students expressed an interest in doing more work with musical last year, and this was a way to get another musical opportunity and involve some student musicians as our pit band in this production as well. I love the collaboration that we have at Central High School to make opportunities for our students and to have special projects like this one. During the production, we even invite a few audience members to join in the fun and become members of the spelling bee so this will be a fun evening for everyone who attends!”-Barbara Hilt (director)
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee displays the challenges and pressures put upon students even at a young age. The characters face many difficulties throughout the production presented in a humorous and sometimes heartfelt way, but they persevere throughout the spelling bee to have their own personal victories. Audiences will enjoy the comedic moments and the crushing defeats in this production.” -Michelle Simmons (Rona Lisa Perretti)