Webster’s drama department performed “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in the Little Theater on April 3, 4, and 5. The musical is a book by Rachel Sheinkin and has previously been performed on Broadway.
It is a musical, in the words of director Todd Schaefer, “shows students how to compete and how some students go through adolescents. It also shows how some children in middle school know more than their parents think they do.”
Schaefer added, “The show is very difficult musically…, but we have a very talented cast. We have had a roller coaster ride preparing for the show”
The musical was rated pg-13 with some “adult content”. Freshman Hannah Leatherbarrow who plays Marcy Park said “I only felt awkward when I knew that my grandparents were in the audience, but they thought it was hilarious.”
About the topic Schaefer added “I think the cast enjoyed the fact that the material was edgy at times…I feel like the audience did as well. The cast liked that
The musical is about six adolescent contestants competing in a spelling bee at the fictional Putnam Valley Middle School. The contestants are: homeschooled student Leaf Coneybear (freshman Jack Wight); Marcy Park (freshman Hannah Leatherbarrow); Olive Ostrovsky (junior Sarah Addison); Chip Tolentino (senior Duncan Kinze); William Barfée (bar-fay) is played by senior Eugene Gardiner, and Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierr (senior Emma Lingle).
The band for the musical featured Linda Raddick on the piano and Music director, Clancey Novell on drums, sophomore Devin Allen on cello and Becky Padgett playing reeds.
Schaefer said “(the musical) paid all of our production expenses for the show…and we still made a profit. The show was a financial success.”
The drama department made over 400 dollars in the “minute to give it” campaign.
The drama department will be performing Neil Simon’s “Rumors” and August Wilson’s “Fences” next season in the fall. In the spring they will perform a Broadway Revue and a Shakespeare festival of scenes, songs, and soliloquies.