The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Auditions

Sunday, February 6, 2022
Performing Arts Resource Center (PARC)

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Music and Lyrics by William Finn, Book by Rachel Shenkin, Conceived by Rebecca Feldman

Directed by Penelope Haskew

Spelling Bee Summary:

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.   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.  A riotous ride, complete with audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius.

Character Breakdown:

There will be doubling. Nine roles are open for actors 17 and up and no actors have been pre-cast.

Chip Tolentino (Tenor C4-B5)

An athletic, social, boy scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment. - Actor also plays Jesus

Logainne Schwartzandgrubeniere (Schwartzy) (Mezzo Soprano A3-F5)

Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures. She is driven by internal and external pressure, but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud. She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and will be back next year.

Leaf Coneybear (Tenor A3-A5)

The second runner-up in his district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark and finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. He is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. He has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance. - Actor also plays Carl Dad

William Barfee (Tenor E4-B5)

A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts and is back for vindication. His famous "Magic Foot" method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy, bullying personality. He develops a crush on Olive.

Marcy Park (Mezzo Soprano C4-E5)

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. She sees herself as a mass of problems but she keeps them to herself. 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 can find in your casting pool.

Olive Ostrovsky (Mezzo Soprano C4-E5)

A young newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual, but he is trying to come sometime during the bee. Having found comfort in its words and vastness, Olive made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms.

Rona Lisa Peretti (Mezzo-Soprano B3-F5)

The #1 realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion herself, and the returning moderator. She is a sweet woman who loves children, but she can be very stern when it comes to dealing with Vice Principal Panch and his feelings for her. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward. - Actor also plays Olive’s Mom

Vice Principal Douglas Panch (non-singing role)

The Vice Principal. Frustrated with his life, he finds the drive of the young spellers alien to him. After five years' absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge. There was an "incident" at the Twentieth Annual Bee, but he claims to be in "a better place" now, thanks to a high-fiber diet and Jungian analysis. He is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, but she does not return his affections.

Mitch Mahoney (Tenor E4-A5)

The Official Comfort Counselor. An ex-convict, Mitch is performing his community service with the Bee, and hands out juice boxes to losing students. He has no idea how to offer comfort, but does find himself wishing he could find a way to make the kids feel better. - Actor usually also plays Dan Dad and Olive’s Dad.

Audition Details:

General Auditions: Sunday February 6 at 6:00pm at the PARC (70 Saltspring Dr.)

If you would like to audition but are unable to attend, please email director Penelope Haskew: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange for a video audition or alternate appointment.

  • Please be prepared to show photo ID and provide proof of vaccination at auditions.
  • Auditioners are requested to remain masked except when auditioning.

Callbacks: Wednesday, February 9th, 6:30pm at the PARC (70 Saltspring Dr.)

What to Prepare

  • Approximately 16-32 bars (roughly a verse and chorus) of an uptempo modern (post 1980) musical theatre song.
    • Please bring backing tracks on your own device or links to tracks you can play on our device. Find tracks on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, etc.
    • A cappella songs are not appropriate for this audition.
  • A 30 second monologue or be prepared to improvise a 30 second monologue.
  • Auditions will also consist of readings from the script (sides). The sides will be available beginning January 18th at the SJCT Box Office, open 11am-2pm, Tuesday-Friday. Copies of the full script are also available with a $10 deposit (refundable on return of the script).
  • Please be prepared to participate in some improv games.

COVID Precautions

  • All cast & crew for Spelling Bee must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. Per Washington State, performers are not required to mask while rehearsing and/or performing.
  • SJCT requires proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test result for all patrons attending performances.

Production Schedule Details:

Rehearsals at PARC Building (70 Saltspring Drive) and San Juan Community Theatre

  • May 15-June 12 , 6:30-9:30pm Sun-Thur
  • June 13-June 29, 6:30pm-10:00pm Sun-Thur
  • June 29 - July 3, 6pm-10pm Sun-Thur
  • July 5-6, 6pm-11pm

Performance Schedule:

  • July 7 - July 31
  • Thursdays - Saturdays; 6:30pm call time, 7:30pm performance
  • Sundays; 1:00pm call time, 2:00 performance
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