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Baldwin to Present The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Posted 10/29/2018 01:04PM

Baldwin's Maskers Club presents the improvisational musical one-act comedy about coming of age and competition: "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." The play will run for three performances Friday, November 9 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the Baldwin Campus in The Simpson Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students.

Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this "Bee" is one unforgettable experience. Audience interaction and improvisation, along with original jokes created for each performance, allow for a unique and individual performance with every show!

In a high school gym, long time spelling bee hostess, Rona Lisa Peretti (played by senior Ashley Tate '19), finalizes the preparations for the annual county spelling bee, reminiscing about her own spelling bee victory, many years prior. As she shares her joy for spelling, she introduces this year's contenders.

The contestants include last year's winner, Chip, a boy scout (Aiden Curry), Schwarzy, the youngest and most politically aware contestant (Skylar Ortiz '22), Leaf Coneybear, the somewhat wide-eyed offspring of hippie parents (Sam Cappel), Barfee, an allergy-plagued student (Jattu Fahnbulleh '20), Marcy, an over-achiever (Lily Altman '21) and Olive, a tentative newcomer (Layla Siahatgar '21).

Once Vice Principal Panch (Abby Shen '20) arrives to assign the words to the competitors, the rules are read and guest spellers are invited to join the cast on stage. Mitch Mahoney (Caroline Lingle '22), who happens to be working off his community service hours, is present as a juice box toting comfort counselor for the kids.

Other students in the cast are Lucy Bonin '21 (who will write original jokes for each performance), David Zachai DiSimone, Meghan Mahoney '20, Esther Moola '21, Blanche Jiang '20, Miles Hyatt-Long, Talia Viroslav '20 and Taylor Levinson '21. Students on stage crew include Destiny Brown '19 (Stage Manager), Carys Li '19 (Choreographer), Estella Stein '22 (Assistant Director), Alyssa Morales '19 (Set Design), Andrea Coler '19 (Costume Design), Elizabeth Delaney '22 (Assistant Stage Manager), Sanae Hagino '21 (Assistant Stage Manager), Caroline Prendergast '22 (Crew), Becky Resnick '20 (Light Design) and Amy Erskine '22 (Sound Design). Baldwin drama teacher Aileen McCulloch and music teacher Lee Hagon-Kerr direct the show. Hagon-Kerr also plays piano for the show along with Jessica Shen on flute.

(The Maskers advise parents to consider that the play deals with some mature subject matter involving youth development and puberty, and some mature language is used.)

Tickets are on sale now at for all shows.

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