Wayside Theatre Artistic Director, Warner Crocker, announced the cast and schedule for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the last show of Wayside's 51st Season. This show was conceived by Rebecca Feldman, with music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin, and additional material by Jay Reiss. This production is sponsored by WVPT - Your Source for PBS and More and TV3-Winchester.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee follows six preteen misfits in their journey to win the local spelling bee, along with the three quirky adults who help run the competition. While competing in the bee, they learn about themselves and each other, and discover what winning (and losing) the bee means to them. Four audience volunteer spellers will also have a chance to compete in the bee! This show is rated PG-13 for mature content.
The performances for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will begin on Saturday, April 6th, with low-priced performances at 2:30PM and 7:30PM. The official opening night is Sunday, April 7th at 6:30PM. Performances will continue until April 27. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances are at 7:30PM; Saturday matinees are at 2:30PM; Sunday performances are at 2:30PM. Check the calendar on the Wayside Theatre website for more information on the schedule. Ticket prices are $25-$30 for adults and $10 for children 17 and under. There are also discounts available for seniors, students, and groups.
This year's cast contains Wayside Theatre favorites: Leslie Putnam (Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Glory Bea, Private Lives) as Olive Ostrovsky; Katherine Yacko (Glory Bea, Groucho, A Murder A Mystery A Marriage, Southern Crossroads: The New Orleans Adventure) as Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre; Thomasin Savaiano (Smoke on the Mountain trilogy, Wait Until Dark, Private Lives, Glory Bea) as Rona Lisa Peretti; and Don Denton (Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming) as Vice Principal Douglas Panch. Also featured in the cast are two area young people, Josh Shelor (Central High School, Charlie Chaplin: The Price of Art, Taming of the Shrew, A Christmas Carol) as Leaf Coneybear and Brandon Shockey (Moorefield High School, Taming of the Shrew, Mary Shelley: A Spark of Being, A Christmas Carol, Shenandoah) as William Barfee. Local TV3 newscaster Channing Frampton will make his Wayside Theatre debut in the role of Chip Tolentino. The cast will feature two additional newcomers to the Wayside Stage: Michael Quinichett as Mitch Mahoney and Karen O'Connell as Marcy Park.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is created by the following production staff members: Director Warner Crocker, Musical Director Steve Przybylski, Choreographer Leslie Putnam, Lighting and Scenic Designer Wes Calkin, Costume Designer Caleb Blackwell, Technical Director Zach Fullenkamp, Production Stage Manager and Prop Master Kendra Watkins.
According to Crocker, "We are incredibly excited to finish Wayside's 51st Season with such a fun show. This play was a big success Off-Broadway, and has been popular at regional theatres across the country. We are especially thrilled to be able to have audience members onstage each and every night, getting our supporters directly involved in the show!"
Single tickets and group packages for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee can be obtained by calling the box office at (540) 869-1776. Additional information can be obtained on the theatre's website at www.waysidetheatre.org. Wayside Theatre is located in Middletown, Virginia on Route 11, Main Street, just north of the intersection of I-66 and I-81.