Dakota Stage Presents

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

October 10 - October 20, 2024
Dakota Stage Playhouse

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

October 10 - October 20, 2024

On sale soon!

About the Show

Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this Bee is one unforgettable experience.

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 a champion! At least the losers get a juice box.

Age Recommendation

We recommend this show for ages 13 and up.

Auditions

Audition Days

August 11, 2024: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
August 12, 2024: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: This Tony-Award winning musical comedy brings to life an eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vying 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.

NOTE: Content for this show is considered PG-13. Actors must be 16 or older to audition.

What to prepare

  • A two-minute cut of a song of your choosing.
  • One of the monologues below

Download Monologues (pdf)

A callback will be held on Tuesday, August 13. Those being considered for principal roles will be asked to attend the callback.

Rehearsals

Rehearsals will be held Sunday through Thursday starting Monday, August 19. All rehearsals after September 29 should be considered mandatory for all cast members including tech rehearsal at 10:00am on Saturday, October 5.

Roles

The following principal roles are available with additional featured roles also being cast. No roles will be double-cast.

Spellers

Chip Tolentino – He’s very confident and a little arrogant since he is the previous year’s champion back to defend his title. As a 12- or 13-year-old boy, he’s finding puberty and his newfound interest in girls confusing and embarrassing.

Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre – The youngest competitor at 10 or 11 years of age, she is the most politically aware of the group and is an advocate for social equality. She speaks with a lisp and spells words on her arm.

Leaf Coneybear – He was second alternate from his local bee and never expected to be in the Putnam County Spelling Bee. Leaf comes from a large family, is home schooled, and probably has a bad case of ADHD.

William Barfee – He has a severe peanut allergy and a rare mucus membrane disorder that prevents him from breathing through one nostril. He comes off as rude and condescending. He uses a “Magic Foot” technique to write out words before he spells them.

Marcy Park – Focused and intense, Marcy comes from a background where excellence and high achievement are the expectation. She skipped two grades at her private Catholic school, plays sports, dances, plays piano, and speaks multiple languages.

Olive Ostrovsky – A bit shy, she is a newcomer to the Bee. She is often alone, as her father is too focused on work and her mother is on an extended stay at an ashram in India. Her best friend is a dictionary that she’s read since she was young.

Adults

Rona Lisa Peretti – Having won the 3rd Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, she is now the moderator and color commentator for this year’s Bee. Winning the Bee is one of her fondest memories. She is sweet, warm, and loves children.

Douglas Panch – Back from a 5 year hiatus due to “an incident” at the 20th Annual Bee, he is the judge and word pronouncer for this year’s Bee. A junior high Vice Principal, he is frustrated with life and finds the drive of these young spellers a bit alien.

Mitch Mahoney – He’s the official Comfort Counselor for the 25th Annual Bee. An ex-con, Mitch is serving community service with the Bee. He has no idea how to offer comfort but feels a great deal of empathy for the losers.

Featured Roles

The following featured roles will also be cast. At the director’s discretion, some or all of these roles may be combined with other roles.

Carl Dad – Logainne’s main trainer, he is the more intense and competitive of her dads.

Dan Dad – The more laid back of Logainne’s dads, he often finds himself coming to her defense.

Leaf’s Family – All more academically gifted than Leaf, they are even more surprised than he is by his success.

Jesus

Olive’s Dad – A fantasy version of Olive’s dad coming to the Bee from work.

Olive’s Mom – A fantasy version of Olive’s mom at her ashram in India.

Volunteers

Volunteer information to be posted at a later date

Production Team

Production Staff to be announced at a later date

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