The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

This fresh musical comedy embraces the weird, welcomes the awkward and celebrates overachieving angst.

Composed by William Finn, author of Falsettos and A New Brain, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee includes a score chock full of infectious and playful songs.

Nominated for an incredible six 2005 Tony awards and winner of two, Spelling Bee will charm and delight with its frivolous spelling bee fun.

Often chaotic, always unique, this hilarious take on American pop culture is a true delight.

The show centres around a fictional spelling bee set in a school hall somewhere in USA. The story concerns the pre-pubescent spelling contestants, all played by young adults, and the three troubled grown-up supervisors of the bee.

The three adults adjudicating the proceedings are a nostalgic former spelling bee winner, a mildly insane Vice Principal and the Official Comfort Counsellor completing his community service to the State of New York.

As the six kids face off in the battle of their lives, the competition is intense and the words outrageous. Amid infectious songs such as My Friend, the Dictionary, Woe Is Me, and I Speak Six Languages, the nerdy and wordy learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.

Foster War Memorial Arts Centre, 5 – 13 November 2010.

Ms Rona Lisa Peretti – Nicole Cooper
Vice-Principal Douglas Panch – Noel Stringer
Mitch Mahoney (Comfort Counsellor) – Paul Smith
Chip Tolentino – Josh Gardiner
Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere – Jemima Eva
Leaf Coneybear – Ivan Koetsveld
William Barfée – Emmi Latham
Marcy Park – Katelyn Ardley
Olive Ostrovsky – Gabrielle Vening

All other roles are played by the cast

Musical Director – John Laurie
Piano – Cheryl Connor
Percussion – Jim Lowe
Double Bass – Ron Murley, Tegan Murley
Clarinet/Alto Sax – Alicia Miller, Emma Miller, Brooke Little, Alasdair Campbell
Flute – Kate Woodward, Alicia Miller, Joanne Drury

Director – Nathan Eva
Musical Director – John Laurie
Choreographers – Jemima and Nathan Eva
Assistant Director – Tania Pell
Production Manager – Catherine McGlead
Set Construction – Jason Pell
Stage Banner – Geoff Davey, Kate Crowl
Costumes – Tania Pell
Stage Manager – James McIntyre
Lighting Design and Operation – Andrew Oldroyd
Follow Spot Operators – Rhonda Bland, Andrew Oldroyd
Sound Design & Operation – Brian Paragreen
Rehearsal Pianists – Cheryl Connor, Barbara Fleming, Carmel Slater
Hair and Make-Up – Tania Pell
Front of House Manager – Catherine McGlead
Publicity and Marketing – Jennifer Paragreen
Photography – Robert Paragreen
Programme – Jennifer Paragreen

Gippsland Associated Theatre Awards – Winners

Most Outstanding Musical Production – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Most Outstanding Director Of A Musical – Nathan Eva
Most Outstanding Male Support Actor in a Musical – Ivan Koetsveld (Leaf Coneybear)
Most Outstanding Female Support Actor in a Musical – Jemima Eva (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere)
Most Outstanding Cameo Performance – Paul Smith (Mitch Mahoney)
Most Outstanding Ensemble – Cast of Spelling Bee

Gippsland Associated Theatre Awards – Nominations
Most Outstanding Female Lead Actor in a Musical – Emmi Latham (William Barfée) and Gabrielle Vening (Olive Ostrovsky)
Most Outstanding Male Lead Actor in a Musical – Josh Gardiner (Chip Tolentino) and Noel Stringer (Vice-Principal Douglas Panch)
Most Outstanding Musical Director – John Laurie
Most Outstanding Choreographer – Jemima and Nathan Eva
Most Outstanding Programme – Jennifer Paragreen

Music Theatre Guild Of Victoria 2010
Junior Performer in an Open Production – Josh Gardiner (Chip Tolentino)
Director – Nathan Eva