Your Word Is…

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Your Word Is…

Tori Beels, Business Manager

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The child walked up to the center of the stage, the bright lights shining in their nervous eyes. The announcer states, “Your word is…” and so the spelling bee began.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a musical comedy featuring six young children and even a few members from the audience who compete in the spelling championship of a lifetime. Throughout the bee, the six children spell their way through the competition by spelling a series made up words and sharing touching stories from their home life to create six characters that the entire audience will come to love. The children go through the bee with the hopes to never hear the dreadful ding of the mistake bell.
The spelling bee begins with a brief introduction of the spellers. Chip Tolentino (Billy Zambelli ’19), the winner of last year’s spelling bee. Logainne Schwartzandgruenniere (Anna Hadfield ’19), the youngest competitor. Leaf Coneybear (Brayden Hunter ’19), a very hyper and nervous boy. William Barfée (Alec Diem ’19), last year’s tragedy. Marcy Park (Bina Khan ’19), the unknown new girl. And Olive Ostrovsky (Faith Borowy ’19) who did not pay her entrance fee.
Next comes the rules of the spelling bee; a speller may ask questions about the words pronunciation, definition, or language of origin; once you start a word you can restart it, but the sequence of the words already spoken may not be changed; if you misspell a word Mrs. Perretti (Janeann Paratore ‘19) will ring the bell; and the comfort councilor Michelle Mahoney (Shelby Wunderlich ’19) will escort all losers off stage.
Throughout the play you learn about all the special qualities the characters possess and about the troubles they go through in their adolescent life. The characters portray these troubles in a humorous way, allowing the audience to enjoy themselves while also experiencing real world problems with the characters.
Despite the play being incredible to watch, a lot goes on behind the scenes at rehearsals and practices. Being in the musical is incredibly hard work. “It was incredibly fun! The chorus was small, but we were all very close by the end of the play. It was difficult because we all had different levels of experience with dancing and performing.” Erin White,’20.
Overall, the play was AMAZING! The characters were portrayed beautifully, the stage looked incredible, and the atmosphere was perfect. One of the best parts of the play was the involvement of the audience. Certain people from the audience were picked to go up onto the stage during the play and participate in the strange spelling bee along with the characters. This added an element of humor unmatched by anything else. Kyle Mowid, ‘19 was picked from the audience to join the spelling bee on stage. “I went into the play expecting to enjoy the production, but I ended up being IN it! The spontaneity and not knowing what to expect made it so much fun! The words to spell, snarky remarks, and actors really tied together a great show!” said Mowid. If you missed the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, you truly missed out!

Cast of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Rona Lisa Perretti Janeann Paratore
Receptionist Kendall Borowy
Chip Tolentino Billy Zambelli
Logainne Schwartzandgruenniere Anna Hadfield
Leaf Coneybear & Carl Dad Brayden Hunter
William Barfée & Dan Dad Alec Diem
Marcy Park Bina Khan
Olive Ostrovsky Faith Borowy
Vice Principal Douglas Panch Mike Danj
Michelle Mahoney Shelby Wunderlich
Leaf’s Mom Megan Houlihan
Leaf’s Sister, Brook Erin White
Leaf’s Dad Joey Valentic
Jesus Christ Joey Valentic
Olive’s Mom Megan Houlihan
Olive’s Dad Alex Merkel
Leaf’s Siblings and Chorus Ashtyn Arino
Kendall Borowy
Diana Helferty
Madelyn Hutchinson
Erin White
Stage Managers Natalie Heino
Michael Bell