Long Beach Landmark Theatre Company is holding open auditions for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Music and Lyrics by William Finn, Book by Rachel Sheinkin, Conceived by Rebecca Feldman, with additional material by Jay Reiss. Artistic Director/Stage Director, Megan O’Toole; Musical Director, Curtis Heard; Executive Director, Mark Wheeler.
This is a fully staged production, with professional live orchestra. There is no pay. Performance dates are Friday and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm on May 10-12 and 17-19.
Auditions will be held Saturday, February 23 from 11:00am – 3:00pm, and Sunday, February 24 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. No appointments necessary. Be prepared to sing 32 bars of music in the style of the show, and/or that demonstrates your vocal range and power. An accompanist will be provided. Bring sheet music, resume and headshot. Callbacks will be scheduled.
Rehearsals start March 12th and will be Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and all day Saturdays.
Auditions, rehearsals and performances are in the historic sanctuary at First Congregational Church of Long Beach at 241 Cedar Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802. Direct questions to [email protected] or by phone at (562)366-0085.
An athletic, social, boy scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment.
Logainne Schwartzandgrubeniere (Schwartzy)
Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures. She is driven by internal and external pressure, but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud. She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and will be back next year.
The second runner-up in his district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark and finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. He is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. He has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance.
A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts and is back for vindication. His famous “Magic Foot” method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy, bullying personality. He develops a crush on Olive
The ultimate over-achiever, Marcy has never been given another option. She comes from a family where excellence is expected and so simply produced. A parochial school student, she assumes God, too, expects perfection. She sees herself as a mass of problems but she keeps them to herself. Having moved often because of her parents’ work, she knows she can beat the local competition. Her many talents include piano, dance, martial arts, baton twirling, and/or whatever special gifts you can find in your casting pool.
A young newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual, but he is trying to come sometime during the bee. Having found comfort in its words and vastness, Olive made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms.
Rona Lisa Peretti
The number-one realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion herself, and the returning moderator. She is a sweet woman who loves children, but she can be very stern when it comes to dealing with Vice Principal Panch and his feelings for her. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward.
The Vice Principle. Frustrated with his life, he finds the drive of the young spellers alien to him. After five years’ absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge. There was an “incident” at the Twentieth Annual Bee, but he claims to be in “a better place” now, thanks to a high-fiber diet and Jungian analysis. He is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, but she does not return his affections.
The Official Comfort Counselor. An ex-convict, Mitch is performing his community service with the Bee, and hands out juice boxes to losing students. He has no idea how to offer comfort, but does find himself wishing he could find a way to make the kids feel better.
Schwarzy’s main trainer, the more intense and competitive of Schwarzy’s fathers. Normally played by actor playing Leaf.
the more laid back and ineffectual of Schwarzy’s fathers. Normally played by the actor playing Mitch.
Deity invoked by a speller in need. Normally played by the actor playing Chip.
Leaf’s Mom, Dad, And Siblings
All more academically gifted than Leaf, they are even more surprised than he is by his success. Normally played by the spellers and audience volunteers as indicated in the script.
A fantasy version of Olive’s dad coming to the bee from work. Normally played by the actor playing Mitch.
A fantasy version of Olive’s mom at her Ashram in India. Normally played by the actor playing Rona.