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 middle schoolers (played by young adults)
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 challeging words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing "ding" of the
bell that signals a spelling mistake. A riotous ride, complete with audience participation, The
25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius.
Here is a list of characters (9) and the ages I am looking for:
Chip Tolentino (18-30 yrs old)
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
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 (18-30 yrs old)
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.
William Barfee (18-30 yrs old)
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 (18-30yrs old)
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 (18-30 yrs old)
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 (35-45 yrs old)
The number-one 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.
Douglas Panch (35-45 yrs old)
The Vice Principle. 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 (25-40 yrs old)
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.
With the exception of Panch, all the performers have solo songs.
Auditions are Sunday, 4/11 and Monday, 4/12 at 7pm at the Fred Harper Theater on
the campus of the English Meadows National Elks Home in Bedford. Auditionees should
prepare one Broadway style song. Readings will be taken from the script.