Eastern Michigan University Theatre presents the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

A winking bee on a microphone holding a dictionary is the artwork for EMU Theatre production

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University Theatre closes its 2021-2022 season with the bodacious and boisterous musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Performances are scheduled for April 1-3 and 8-10. All performances will occur in the Legacy Theatre, located in the Judy Sturgis Hill Building at 1030 East Circle Drive, on EMU’s campus. This production is suggested for audiences ages 13 and up. 

Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee invites us into the lives of six young spelling bee contestants and the three adults attempting to run the show. Included in the chaos are last year’s winner, Chip Tolentino, whose body has a mind of its own, youngest contestant Logainne Schwartzandgrubeniere whose double dose of dads add to an already stressful situation, the much-maligned William Barfée, clueless but charming Leaf Coneybear, overachiever Marcy Park, and last-minute entry Olive Ostrovsky. 

The three adults are Rona Lisa Peretti, real estate agent and former spelling bee champ, Doug Panch, tightly-wound vice principal, and Mitch Mahoney, who serves as the bee’s “comfort counselor.” The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee features music & lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin and conceived by Rebecca Feldman. Pam Cardell directs the production with musical direction by R. MacKenzie Lewis. Performances will occur in the Legacy Theatre at 7 p.m. on April  1, 2, 8, 9 and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 3.

Four audience members will be invited on stage to participate as guest spellers at each performance to round out the fun. Anyone wanting to try their hand at spelling in the spotlight should bring proof of vaccination to the performance. Guest spellers will be required to keep their masks on while onstage. 

Ticket prices for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are $18 for regular admission, $14 for seniors 60 and up, and $12 for students and mainstage patrons. Tickets are available in person at the Judy Sturgis Hill Ticket Office, by phone at 734.487.2282, and online at www.emutix.com. Ticket Office hours are Monday-Friday from 12:30-5 p.m. and 90 minutes before showtime. Please note an additional surcharge for tickets purchased by mail, phone, or online. 

In adherence to Covid protocol, everyone attending an EMU Theatre event will be required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while in the building. We strongly encourage Covid vaccinations or testing before attending this or any public event. If you are not feeling well or are exhibiting any Covid symptoms, we ask that you not attend the performance. Refunds and exchanges will be available if you are unable to attend. We will be distancing groups attending by leaving an empty seat between parties. We ask that patrons maintain 3 feet of social distancing while in attendance. 

For more information about EMU Theatre, our season, and directions to our theatre, visit www.emich.edu/emutheatre, fan us on Facebook: Eastern Michigan University Theatre, or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat: @emutheatre. For information about parking on campus, visit www.ParkEMU.com

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

March 30, 2022

Written by:
Pam Cardell

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher