The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Book by: Rachel Sheinkin
Music and Lyrics by: William Finn
Conceived by: Rebecca Feldman
*Please note: Callbacks and rehearsal dates have been altered to adhere to the current Covid-19 social distancing guidelines. If these guidelines are extended, we will make further alterations to comply with safety measures.
PERFORMANCE DATES: July 10 - 12, 2020
AUDITION VIDEO SUBMISSIONS DUE: April 30 - submit audition form, and submit theater resume and audition video to dropbox.com/request/DQTc34ixi2VtcpASwm8j. If you have any questions, please contact us email@example.com.
WHAT TO PREPARE:
A song in the style of the show
Dance call may be required during call backs
A song from the show may be required for call backs - please familiarize yourself with the music from the show
*Call backs will happen during the last week of May, pending the state of the world!*
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! ~MTI
We at Blue Fire are remaining optimistic! Regardless of the fact that we cannot see you in person at this time, we are accepting video auditions from actors (ages 20 & up) for the following roles:
CHIP TOLENTINO (Actor also plays Jesus)
The reigning spelling champion of Putnam County, relatively athletic and social, he expects things to come easily to him. Lately though, he’s been going through some weird changes, and things are slipping out of his control.
Younger than most bee participants, she is driven by internal and external pressure -- but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud. She lisps, is a little uncomfortable in her body, has some tics, but still manages to strike a strong presence with her political awareness and keen sense of justice. Having drilled words for hours a day, she is aware of everything that passes in the room.
LEAF CONEYBEAR (Actor also plays Carl Dad)
A second alternate, he never expected to compete here today. Home-schooled with his many siblings, everything about this public bee is an adventure for him, from meeting the other kids to showing off his homemade clothing, to each moment of unexpected attention. He may have severe Attention Deficit Disorder, but delights in his own wandering focus. Leaf doesn’t expect to win - or even to spell one word correctly - but he finds absolutely everything incredibly amusing. His mother has made him wear his protective helmet to the bee.
Has a host of health problems and a lot to prove. Loud and combative as a defensive posture, he is the fat kid who becomes a bully to avoid being picked on (though he often gets picked on anyway so he gets into a lot of fights). His parents are divorced, his father remarried to a much younger woman, and William does not expect kindness from anyone but his mother. So friendship takes him by surprise. Still, he’s noticed on the spelling circuit for his remarkable technique - spelling words out on the floor with his foot. Taken out of competition last year because of an ill-timed allergic reaction, he’s here for vindication. The journey he doesn’t expect is one of coming to care about someone else - when he sees outside his own needs for perhaps the first time, it shakes him fundamentally.
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 and baton twirling.
A word lover, Olive has a fairly quiet life. An only child with often-absent parents, Olive spends a lot of her time alone. She fills some of that time reading the dictionary - the words bring her comfort, as does the idea of the vastness of the world the book contains. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms.
RONA LISA PERRETTI
(This role has already been cast)
VICE PRINCIPAL DOUGLAS PANCH
As the Vice Principal of Lake Hemingway Dos Passos Junior High, he is frustrated with his life. He fell into education, less out of love than a general ability uncoupled to a particular passion. The drive of the young spellers is alien to him. He never found anything that important. Stuck in his current job, endlessly awaiting a promotion that isn’t coming, he was not happy to get the call this morning that he was needed to substitute, but he starts the bee eager to do well, to redeem himself for past mistakes, and to impress the local hostess, Rona Lisa.
MITCH MAHONEY (Actor also plays Dan Dad and Olive’s dad in fantasy)
With a bouncer’s physique and demeanor, Mitch appears an odd choice to be the bee’s “comfort counselor,” but it’s part of his community service assignment. The outsider, who in a way gets to inhabit the audience perspective, wonders about the wisdom of putting the kids through this at all. He has no idea how to offer comfort, but does increasingly find himself wishing he could find a way to make the kids feel better about losing.
REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:
Rehearsals start June 1, (possible virtual rehearsals pending state of the world). Rehearsals will be Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 6:00-9:00 PM