The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ~ October 6 through October 22, 2011

How do you spell H-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-sI-r-r-e-s-i-s-t-i-b-l-e?   M-a-g-i-c-a-l?  Test your spelling skills and enjoy a unique theatrical experience at Sierra Stages’ production of the Tony-Award® winning musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee playing from October 6 through October 22 at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City.

A Nevada County premiere, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is the latest collaboration between local theatre group Sierra Stages and the historic Miners Foundry Cultural Center.  In 2009, the two organizations presented a series of three musicals staged in a concert setting – The Sound of Music, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and She Loves Me. In the subsequent two years, Sierra Stages has presented several musicals and plays at various Nevada County venues, including Into the Woods, Lend Me A Tenor, A Grand Night for Singing, Marry Me A Little, Old Explorers and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

In The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. With its enormously appealing cast of lovable misfits, nerds, neurotics, Spelling Bee hilariously captures the angst, exhilaration, and heartache that makes growing up so painful and so wonderful.

The show is structured as an actual spelling bee in real time, where four volunteer spellers from the audience are invited to interact with the characters on stage as participants in the bee – incorporating a fundamental element of improvisation throughout the show. Enjoy the suspense as the competition unfolds. Root for your favorite character. Brush up on your spelling. And see for yourself how six endearing “spelling geeks” make use of their individuality, talents and strengths to become winners, each in their own way.

Spelling Bee is directed by Robert Rossman, with musical direction by Ken Getz, who will also conduct the eight-person band. The ensemble cast includes nine extremely talented local Nevada County actors:  Isaias Acosta, Kristine Alcamo-Williams, Evan Brienza, Lyra Dominguez, Nancy Haffey, JR Lewis, Rebekah Martino, Kim Wellman and Stephen Wellman.

Performances of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” are Thursdays at 7 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm.  In addition, on Saturday October 22, there will be a special performance at 5 pm.  The first two performances on October 6 and October 7 are designated “previews” and seats are only $15.00 both in advance and at the door.  For all other performances, tickets are $20 in advance for Thursday performances, and $25 in advance for Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances. Advance tickets are available online at www.SierraStages.org, by calling 530-346-3210, and at BriarPatch Co-op and The Book Seller, both in Grass Valley.  If available, tickets are $25 at the door for Thursday performances and $30 at the door for Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances.  In addition, a limited number of $12 student rush tickets will be available at the door for each performance. 

NoteSpelling Bee is recommended for audiences age 12 and above.  The subject matter and language may be unsuitable for pre-teens.

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