FNT presents "...Spelling Bee"!
THE 25th ANNUNAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, presented FREE TO THE PUBLIC/PAY-IF-YOU-WANT as part of FNT's Theatre For All Initiative (TFAI) opening DECEMBER 8th, 2023 and running for SIX PERFORMANCES ONLY at the all new Greenfinch Theater! The TFAI aims make the art form more accessible actors and audiences alike by providing shows like this free to the community as well as offering our students a chance to share a stage with local professionals without ever having to pay "performance fees".
Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, about an eclectic group of six mid-pubescents who are vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime, has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens 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. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves a champion! At least the losers get a juice box.
FNT's “SPELLING BEE” is presented under the direction of Artistic Director Colin Healy, starring Fly North friends: Jordan Wolk (Assassins, Caroline Or Change), Sarah Lantsberger (Assassins), Abraham Shaw (Forgottonia), and an ensemble of FNT students!
A note from the director on what to expect:
Dear theater patron,
Thank you for your interest in our show.
While not appropriate for the youngest of audiences, I consider Spelling Bee to be essential viewing for those who are in the throes of being a tween or teen and deals with the drama and comedy of childhood in very frank terms which some, including 15-year old me when Spelling Bee debuted on Broadway, may find comforting. However, I'll be the first to admit that Spelling Bee's talk of death, use of mild profanity, and light sexual references including a pretty overt reference to the male anatomy (though I find that song to be about the anger of not being in control of life's adverse outcomes) is not for everyone.
If you're still with me, I believe that Spelling Bee elucidates a feeling of “not-alone-ness” among all those who have ever experienced the pressure cooker of growing up. In fact, one might find that the titular “Spelling Bee” itself is a stand in for that universal experience.
This show is often done by high schools and professional companies alike with either all students or all adults. However, through Fly North's Theater For All Initiative (TFAI), we have the pleasure of working with FNT's students and local grown-up professional actors to do something that is rarely done with this show: have an age-appropriate cast. This show features three local professional actors as well as a cohort of FNT students ages 10-18 as the “spellers.” I've had the pleasure of working on FNT's past TFAI shows, A Year With Frog and Toad and Peter and the Starcatcher and every time it's been a joyous and unique opportunity for all parties (including me) to learn and grow as performers and people.
Spelling Bee is presented at our new venue and Greenfinch Theater & Dive, a new South City establishment that includes an 85-seat black box theater replete with a comfy chairs and a projection screen, as well as a bar (for theater kids 21+) that's open every night. While we're excited to produce Spelling Bee in our own house, there's lots of stuff happening there before our show to check out!
We're so happy to share this important and hilarious work of musical theater with you. All proceeds from this production go to help fund the TFAI so pay as generously for your ticket as you can and we'll see you at the show!
-Colin Healy, Director of “Spelling Bee” & Artistic Director of Fly North Theatricals