Spelling Bee Play

Center for the Arts presents the Tony Award-winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University running April 26 – May 5.

Come cheer on these unforgettable characters in this story of socially awkward adolescents who find both joy and heartache while vying for the regional spelling bee title. In the cast of 9 actors, the 6 ‘spellers’ include 3 MTSU students and 3 Belmont University students.

Director Rachel Jones, who previously directed the award-winning Heathers the Musical at the Center in 2018 and Ragtime in 2017, is excited for everyone to see this show.

“Spelling Bee is so incredibly fun, and our cast is made up of the most amazing storytellers,” said Jones. “The talent level is outstanding, and we can’t wait to showcase this story on the CFTA stage. You don’t want to miss this show!”

Spelling Bee centers around six mid-pubescents portrayed by adults as they compete for the first place trophy and a $200 cash prize while dealing with personal dilemmas and sharing about their lives outside of the spelling bee. Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre (Virginia Tipps, MTSU student), has two overbearing fathers that stress her out. Leaf Coneybear (Brooks Bennett, Belmont student), believes he’s dumb because that’s what his family always tells him. Olive Ostrovsky (Melissa Tormene, Belmont student), is shy and reserved as a result of her largely absent parents. William Barfée (Josh Smith, MTSU student) is extremely confident in his spelling abilities and uses an unusual technique to spell out words. Marcy Park (Tori Peterson, MTSU student) is a brilliant, overachieving contestant who is tired of always being good at everything. Chip Tolentino (Riley Henderson, Belmont student) is easily distracted by an attractive audience member which leads to an unfortunate circumstance.

The spelling bee tweens work their way through a series of words as they disclose hilarious and touching stories from their home lives and do everything they can to avoid hearing the dreaded “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter but only one speller wins! This musical, complete with audience members chosen to join the Spelling Bee, is a charming story of fun, heartbreak and triumph.

This interactive, fast-paced, and hilarious story set to music is all about learning that winning – and losing – isn’t everything.

Tickets start at $14 and are currently on sale at boroarts.org, by calling 615-904-ARTS (2787), or at the Center for the Arts Box Office, 110 West College Street, in downtown Murfreesboro.

This production is rated PG-13 for scenes with sexual references and profanity.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee runs Friday, April 26 – Sunday, May 5.

Fridays – 7:30 pm
Saturdays – 7:30 pm
Sundays – 2:00 pm
Adult $18.00; Seniors (65+)/Students/Military: $16.00; Children: $14.00
Discount of $2.00/ticket for groups of 10 or more. Call 615-904-2787 for group reservations.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Cast List:
William Barfeé – Josh Smith
Olive Ostrovsky – Melissa Tormene
Logainne S. – Virginia Tipps
Marcy Park – Tori Peterson
Leaf Coneybear – Brooks Bennett
Chip Tolentono – Riley Henderson
Panch – Mark David Williams
Rona Lisa Peretti – Ella Green
Mitch Mahoney – Dylan Webster