The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

By William Finn & Rachel Sheinkin

Directed by Mark D. Lefeber

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 life, the tweens spell their way through a series of [potentially made-up] words hoping to never 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.

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Produced by Red Bud Players at Columbus Middle School, 400 S Dickason St., Columbus, WI 53925

Performances: August 22-24, 2014

Performance Times: Friday, August 22 at 7:30 PM; Saturday, August 23 at 7:30 PM; Sunday, August 24 at 2:00 PM

Ticket Prices: $10

Email for reservations or more information.

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Auditions will be held on the following days:


Please prepare a piece from the musical theatre genre (minimum of one minute). An accompanist may be available (will update when confirmed), otherwise bring an accompaniment track or feel free to sing acapella. Audition may also include reading lines from the script. Email for more information.

Call Backs (Columbus Middle School):
Wednesday, July 2—5:00 PM-8:00 PM

CHIP TOLENTINO 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.
C4 - B5

DOUGLAS PANCH 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. (no solo singing)

LEAF CONEYBEAR 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.
A3 - A5

LOGAINNE SCHWARTZANDGRUNENIERRE (SCHWARTZY) 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.
A3 - F5

MARCY PARK A recent transfer from Virginia, Marcy placed ninth in last year’s nationals. She speaks six languages, is a member of all-American hockey, a championship rugby player, plays Chopin and Mozart on multiple instruments, sleeps only three hours a night, hides in the bathroom cabinet, and is getting very tired of always winning. She is the poster child for the Over-Achieving Asian, and attends a Catholic school called "Our Lady of Intermittent Sorrows." She is also not allowed to cry.
C4 - E5

MITCH MAHONEY 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.
E4 - A5

OLIVE OSTROVSKY 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.
B3 - F5

RONA LISA PERETTI 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.
B3 - F5

WILLIAM BARFEE 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.
E4 - B5

Optional Cast:
CARL DAD Schwarzy's main trainer, the more intense and competitive of Schwarzy's fathers.
G3 - D5
Normally played by actor playing Leaf

DAN DAD the more laid back and ineffectual of Schwarzy's fathers
G3 - D5
Normally played by the actor playing Mitch

JESUS CHRIST Deity invoked by a speller in need.
Normally played by the actor playing Chip.

LEAF'S MOM, DAD, and SIBLINGS All more academically gifted than Leaf, they are even more surprised than he is by his success.
Normally played by the spellers and audience volunteers as indicated in the script.

OLIVE's DAD A fantasy version of Olive's dad coming to the bee from work.
E4 - B5
Normally played by the actor playing Mitch.

OLIVE's MOM A fantasy version of Olive's mom at her Ashram in India.
D4 - E5
Normally played by the actor playing Rona