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WCSU theatre arts department to present ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’

image of a scene from 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'
A scene from ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts will present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” from Thursday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. Performances will be at 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 (High School/Student Preview Night), and at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 8; with 2 p.m. matinees on Dec. 8 and 9.

The performance will be on the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. For tickets, go to or call (203) 837-8732.

The production is a well-known musical comedy, centered on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, which is run by three equally quirky adults. According to Music Theatre International, the eclectic group of students compete in the “spelling championship of a lifetime” while candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives. The tweens also “spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming ‘ding’ of the bell that signals a spelling mistake.”

Based on the book by Rachel Sheinkin, the added music and lyrics of William Finn helps to bring this story to life. The 2005 Broadway production by James Lapine was nominated for six Tony Awards, winning two, including Best Book. The show has also inspired numerous other productions throughout the United States and across the world.

The cast includes Krista Allen, of East Hampton, as Logainne Schwartzandgrubinerre; Nathan Clift, of Trumbull, as William Barfée; Lu DeJesus, of New Haven, as Mitch Mahoney, Colin Gallaher, of Wappingers Falls, New York, as Leaf Coneybear; Emma Giorgio, of Ridgefield, as Olive Ostrovsky; Tony Harkin, of New Milford, as Chip Tolentino; Izzy Mercaldo, of Brookfield, as Marcy Park/Movement Coach; Jessica Schwartz, of Brookfield, as Rona Lisa Peretti; and Dominick Ventrella, of Ridgefield, as Douglas Panch.

The crew includes Director Phillip George, Music Director Howard Kilik, Assistant Director Chelsea Weaver, Production Stage Manager Sarah Renzoni, Lighting Designer Stef Carr, Costume Designer Jessica Bowe and Set Designer Abigail Bueti.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.