The Missouri Valley College Fine Arts department presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a musical comedy by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin, at 7:30 p.m. through Saturday, Feb. 18 in the Eckilson‐Mabee Theatre on the MVC campus.
The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, which is run by three equally‐quirky grown‐ups. Vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime, students learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.
“Spelling Bee” is a contemporary musical that allows for some improvisation and audience interaction.
Each night a group of lucky audience members will be selected to participate in the spelling bee. This means the show is never exactly the same.
Harold Hynick, assistant professor of theatre, said plays that allow such improvisation are difficult because the elements must come together seamlessly in a manner that is both truthful, and theatrically engaging.
“The performers have to coordinate acting, singing, and dancing in an effort to create engaging and recognizable characters,” Hynick said. “It also takes the coordination of the artistic team of me, Diana Malan as music director, Janie Ross as choreographer, Jay Rozema as scenic and lighting designer, and Dyann Rozema as costume designer to create the world of the play and the characters that inhabit it.”
Cast members include Mason McCloud, freshman from Marshall, Mo., as Chip Tolentino; Tyecorey Sequan Davison, senior
from Bronx, N.Y., as William Barfee; Taylor Castillo, junior from Hartsburg, Mo., as Vice Principal Douglas Panch; Natalie Cotto‐Garcia, senior from Fort Worth, Texas, as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere; Crystal Mann, senior from Marshall as Rona Lisa Perretti; Zachary McKinney, senior from Tebbetts, Mo., as Leaf Coneybear; Ivalea Wright, junior from Marshall, Mo., as Marcy Park; Taylor Witcher, junior from Marshall, Mo., as Olive Ostrovsky; and Thomas Waller, junior from Sedalia, Mo., as Mitch Mahoney.