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Join us for the Tony Award winning musical comedy

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee", with music and lyrics by William Finn.


The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups. This show is part of our Professional Training Program, featuring TSP's professional training team who teach as they direct. A great training and performance.experience.

*Covid Policies are in place and can be read at https://www.theatresouthplayhouse.org/covid-19

Plan A will have all vocal rehearsals in person outside our Theater.
Plan B will feature some music being taught over zoom. *Only in a quarantine situation.

*All staging and choreography rehearsals will be in-person at TSP unless a lock-down occurs in which we will move to a Plan B.

The performances will all be outdoors at our Hunter's Creek Amphitheatre or another outdoor venue. *Please have both weekends May 22nd/23rd and 29th/30th available for performances. Please list any conflicts and we will let you know if we can work around them.


Callbacks- Tues 3/9  (youth cast at 4:30pm) & Wed. 3/10  (older cast at 5pm) at TSP
Cast Read Thru- Thurs. 3/11 at 5:30pm for the younger cast and 6pm for the older cast.

Rehearsals-Start the week of 3/22. 
Tuesdays 4:30-6:30  & Saturdays 10-12:30pm for our younger cast.

Thursdays 6-8:30pm & Saturdays 3-6pm for our Teen/College cast.


Fee: Two payments of $265

Performances are the weekend of May 28th.

*9th graders may be considered for the Middle School Cast.

**Some mature content and language.

-The Roles-

*Please note, due to the limited size cast not everyone will be cast.

**We will possibly have two casts for the Junior Group and for the Older Group.




Last Year's Putnam County champ who begins to learn the ups and downs of puberty during the bee. He is strong willed, competitive and ambitious. An athletic, social, boy scout, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment.  This role has some of the most difficult singing in the show and requires long sustained high notes.




Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures and her mature world views.  She has two overbearing gay dads who have turned her neurotic and self-conscious. She speaks with a lisp though has a real confidence about her at times.




As just the second runner-up in his district's bee, he really shouldn't be competing here.  He finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. He is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. He makes his own clothes, is home schooled and lacks social skills. He’s strange but very sweet, loving and kindhearted but distracted. He has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance.   This role allows a ton of personal interpretation and requires physical comedy (i.e. falls).




A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts and is back for vindication. He has no interest in making friends at the bee. 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.   This role requires a strong character actor with impeccable comic timing and the ability to create his own character. The character does not necessarily need to be overweight and is not specific as to ethnicity or race. He must a strong character voice and be an above average dancer.




Marcy is the most feared and practiced competitor in the bee. She made it all the way to ninth place in Nationals last year and is back to win again. 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 does not recognize her own lack of humor. She is incredibly intense. She is also not allowed to cry. We would prefer an actress with unique talents (i.e. playing piano, twirling batons, juggling, gymnastics) but are open to all interpretations.




A young newcomer to competitive spelling.  The heart of the show, Olive is basically deserted at the bee. Her mom is in ashram in India and her dad never shows up, even after promising that, this time, he'll try to make it. Her best friend is a dictionary.  She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms.  This role requires an actress who, despite her meek appearance, has an incredibly strong voice and belt.




This former Spelling Bee champ is not only the county's top realtor, she also runs a highly lucrative e-Bay business, selling sensible pumps at sensible prices. She is incredibly kind to the spellers, having been in their shoes many years earlier. 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.


Should have both a high belt and lovely mix, with amazing improv skills. Along with Panch, she guides the comedy of the show and the audience volunteers.




The Vice Principle. Frustrated with his life, he finds the drive of the young spellers alien to him. He was involved in an "incident" at the Twentieth Annual Bee that got him removed from the judging panel. After five years' absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge, in "a better place,” thanks to a high-fiber diet and Jungian analysis. He/She is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, but she does not return his/her affections.  

We are looking for a strong character actor with impeccable comic timing and the ability to improv.


9) MITCH MAHONEY (or Michelle)


The Official Comfort Counselor.  This former felon is fulfilling his/her court ordered community service at the bee and acting as the bee’s “comfort counselor,” handing our juice boxes and a dose of reality to the losers. He/she has no idea how to offer comfort, but does find him/herself wishing he/she could find a way to make the kids feel better. He/she comes across as scary and tough but is really a big softy deep down.

ALL Ensemble:



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.