THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
By William Fin & Rachel Sheinkin
ABOUT THE MUSICAL
An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. 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. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.
AUDITION DATES & INFORMATION
- April 4th, 2022 | 7:30 PM
- April 5th, 2022 | 7:30 PM
- Where: Auditions will be held at the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) at 101 N Erwin Street in downtown Cartersville.
- What to Prepare: If you register in advance for auditions, you’ll receive copies of the audition sides. Please review the sides for the character(s) for which you’d like to be considered. A reader will be provided during the audition. Auditionees should also prepare a short (16 bar) cut from a Broadway-style song, and bring a track with them for accompaniment.
- Video Auditions: Only by special arrangement with the production team. Please email producer Ashley Elliott at email@example.com if you would like to request alternative auditions due to a date conflict.
- Didn’t register in advance? Walk-ins are welcome starting at 7:30!
- Requirements: Must be 18 or older at the time of auditions.
- REHEARSALS: TBD
- TECH: May 29-June 2, 2022
- PERFORMANCES: June 3-5 and June 10-12, 2022 (6 performances)
- Director: Morgan Brooks
- Producer: Ashley Elliott
PLEASE NOTE: All roles are played by adults, including adolescents/students. Minimum age to audition is 18.
- CHIP TOLENTINO – Any ethnicity. He/him. Student. The reigning spelling champion of Putnam County, relatively athletic and social, he expects things to come easily to him; lately, though, he’s been going through some weird changes, and things are slipping out of his control. Tenor C4- B5; sings high a lot.
- LOGAINNE SCHWARTZANDGRUBENIERE (SCHWARTZY) – Any ethnicity. She/her. Student. Younger than most bee participants, she is driven by external and internal pressure—but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud; she lisps, is a little uncomfortable in her body, has some tics, but still manages to strike a strong presence with her political awareness and keen sense of justice; having drilled words for hours a day, she is aware of everything that passes in the room. Mezzo-soprano, A3-F5.
- LEAF CONEYBEAR – Any ethnicity. He/him. Student. A second alternate, he never expected to compete here today; home-schooled with his many siblings, everything about this public bee is an adventure for him, from meeting the other kids to showing off his homemade clothing; Leaf doesn’t expect to win—or even to spell one word correctly—but he finds absolutely everything incredibly amusing; his mother has made him wear his protective helmet to the bee. Tenor, A3-A5 (as Carl’s Dad, G3-D5).
- WILLIAM BARFEE – Any ethnicity. He/him. Student. Has a host of health problems and a lot to prove; loud and combative as a defensive posture, he is the kid who becomes a bully to avoid being picked on. His parents are divorced; William does not expect kindness from anyone but this mother; still he’s noticed on the spelling circuit for his remarkable technique—spelling words out on the floor with his foot; taken out of the competition last year because of an ill-timed allergic reaction, he’s here for vindication. Tenor E4-B5.
- MARCY PARK – Any ethnicity. She/her. Student. The ultimate over-achiever, Marcy has never been given another option; she comes from a family where excellence is expected and so simply produced; a parochial school student, she assumes God, too, expects perfection; having moved often because of her parents’ work, she knows she can beat the local competition; her many talents include piano, dance, martial arts, baton twirling, and/or whatever special gifts you may bring to the table. Mezzo soprano C4-E5.
- OLIVE OSTROVSKY – Any ethnicity. She/her. Student. A word lover, Olive has a fairly quiet life; an only child with often-absent parents, Olive spends a lot of her time alone; she fills some of that time reading the dictionary—the words bring her comfort, as does the idea of the vastness of the world the book contains; during the first half of the bee, she often peers into the audience to see if her father, who is delayed at work, has made it yet; she starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms. Mezzo soprano B3-F5.
- RONA LISA PERETTI – Any ethnicity. She/her. Faculty. Putnam’s long-time spelling bee hostess, a local realtor, and 3rd Annual Putnam County spelling champion; this is Rona’s day to be queen; from her perspective, she keeps the bee running smoothly, upholds protocol, and conveys crucial information to the audience; her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward; a little concerned when the substitute word pronouncer arrives, she knows she has to step up her game to make the day a success. Mezzo-soprano B3-F5 (as Olive’s mom, D4-E5).
- DOUGLAS PANCH – Any ethnicity. He/him. Faculty. Panch is frustrated with his life; he fell into education, less out of love than a general ability uncoupled to a particular passion; the drive of the young spellers is alien to him; he never found anything that important; stuck in his current job, endlessly awaiting a promotion that isn’t coming, he was not happy to get the call this morning that he was needed to substitute; but he starts the bee eager to do well, to redeem himself for past mistakes, and to impress the local hostess, Rona Lisa, who impressed him long ago. Spoken role.
- MITCH MAHONEY – Any ethnicity. He/him. Faculty. With a bouncer’s physique and demeanor, Mitch appears an odd choice to be the bee’s “comfort counselor,” but it’s part of his community service assignment; the outsider, who in a way gets to inhabit the audience perspective, he wonders about the wisdom of putting kids through this at all; he has no idea how to offer comfort, but does increasingly find himself wishing he could find a way to make the kids feel better about losing, and perhaps place misspelling in wider perspective. Tenor E4-A5 (as Dan’s Dad G3-D5, as Olive’s Dad E4-B5).
The roles of Carl Dad, Dan Dad, Jesus Christ, Leaf’s Mom, Leaf’s Dad, Leaf’s Siblings, Olive’s Dad, and Olive’s Mom are doubled by the other actors in the show.
Pumphouse Players, Inc. is a volunteer-led community theatre and does not offer pay or stipends at this time.
Auditioners must be 18 years of age or older at the time of auditions to participate. This play deals with mature content in a humorous way.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
While the Bartow County community level is low/green, masks are optional inside the Legion Theatre. You can find our current policy on our website.
Email Producer Ashley Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the show or auditions.