The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

By William Finn/Rachel Sheinkin

Directed by DeeDee Bouzek

Stoughton High School Performing Arts proudly presents the extraordinarily delightful musical comedy THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, with music and lyrics by award winning American composer William Finn and book by award winning American writer Rachel Sheinkin. Students Clove Rewey and Maggie McNulty split the choreographer role, and alumni Kristen Nett and Leo Endres shared their talents as vocal coaches.

The musical was based upon “C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E,” an original improvisational play created by Rebecca Feldman and performed by The Farm, a New York-based improvisational comedy troupe. Finn and Sheinkin worked together with Feldman to transform “C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E” into a scripted full-length musical with additional material by Jay Reiss. In 2005, the musical was nominated for multiple Tony Awards; Rachel Sheinkin won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical.

This musical is the hilarious and compelling tale of socially awkward youngsters who find joy, heartache, and purpose while competing at a regional spelling bee. “We are the slightest bit bizarre” may be quite an understatement when describing some of the enjoyably eccentric tweens competing in the spelling bee. With all the excitement, desperation, weirdness, and fun one can expect from a spelling competition, these six young spellers have dreams of their hearts’ desires coming true as they compete for a chance to be “the one” to participate in the National Spelling Bee.

The stellar cast of zany characters includes: Stephanie Kittleson as Rona Lisa Peretti, Luke Soderbloom as Vice Principal Douglas Panch, Isaiah Rowley as Mitch Mahoney, Kailee Whitmire as Olive Ostrovsky, Nick Swenson as William Morris Barfée, Sean McGlynn as Charlito “Chip” Tolentino, Jon Conour as Leaf Coneybear, Clove Rewey as Marcy Park, and Delaney Seidel as Logainne “Schwarzy” SchwartzandGrubenierre. Rounding out the cast are Abby Gibson, Gabbi Unitan, Jack Trotter, and Matthew Gille.

As audience members enter the cafetorium, they will immediately feel as if they are coming to a school event with decorations and concessions organized by the “Putnam PTA.” The purchase of every ticket includes snacks, drinks, and dessert. An unusual aspect of the show is that four real audience members are invited on stage to compete in the spelling bee alongside the six young characters.

Produced by Stoughton High School Performing Arts at Stoughton High School Performing Arts Center, 600 Lincoln Ave., Stoughton, WI 53589

Performances: April 4-6, 2019

Performance Times:
April 4-6 at 7 p.m.

Tickets for this wonderful musical are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. Purchase tickets online at or at the door. This performance will be best enjoyed by ages 10 and older.

Call 608-658-0462 for more information.

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