Saturday, October 31, 2015

Auditions: ‘25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ at Playhouse 22



Playhouse 22, East Brunswick’s Community Theater, will be having open auditions for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin, at 7:30 PM on Monday, December 14th and Tuesday, December 15th with callbacks on December 17th at 7:30 PM.

The show will run February 5-21, 2016, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm.

Auditions will be held at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center, 721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816. The show will be directed by Mark Kalet, with musical direction by Chris Curcio and choreography by Jaime Moritz.

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.

Looking for a multi-ethnic cast of 10 people. Auditioners will be expected to sing, dance and read from the script.

Please prepare no more than 32 bars of a Broadway-style song (songs from the show are acceptable). You must bring sheet music for piano. No acapella.

Please dress comfortably as all auditioners will be expected to participate in the dance audition.

Character Breakdown (Age range is mid-20’s to mid-50’s)
Chip Tolentino – An athletic, social, boy scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment. Also plays Jesus.
C4 – B5

Logainne Schwartzandgrunenierre – (Schwartzy) Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures. She is driven by internal and external pressure, but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud. She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and will be back next year.
A3 – F5

Leaf Coneybear – The second runner-up in his district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark and finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. He is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. He has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance. Also plays Carl Dad.
A3 – A5

William Barfee – A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts and is back for vindication. His famous “Magic Foot” method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy, bullying personality. He develops a crush on Olive.
E4 – B5

Marcy Park – A recent transfer from Virginia, Marcy placed ninth in last year’s nationals. She speaks six languages, is a member of all-American hockey, a championship rugby player, plays Chopin and Mozart on multiple instruments, sleeps only three hours a night, hides in the bathroom cabinet, and is getting very tired of always winning. She is the poster child for the Over-Achieving Asian, and attends a Catholic school called “Our Lady of Intermittent Sorrows.” She is also not allowed to cry. Gymnastics ability preferred.
C4 – E5

Olive Ostrovsky – A young newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual, but he is trying to come sometime during the bee. Having found comfort in its words and vastness, Olive made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms.
B3 – F5

Rona Lisa Peretti – The number-one realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion herself, and the returning moderator. She is a sweet woman who loves children, but she can be very stern when it comes to dealing with Vice Principal Panch and his feelings for her. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward. Also plays Olive’s mom.
B3 – F5

Douglas Panch – The Vice Principle. Frustrated with his life, he finds the drive of the young spellers alien to him. After five years’ absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge. There was an “incident” at the Twentieth Annual Bee, but he claims to be in “a better place” now, thanks to a high-fiber diet and Jungian analysis. He is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, but she does not return his affections. Looking for good improve ability. Does not sing.

Mitch Mahoney – The Official Comfort Counselor. An ex-convict, Mitch is performing his community service with the Bee, and hands out juice boxes to losing students. He has no idea how to offer comfort, but does find himself wishing he could find a way to make the kids feel better. Also plays Olive’s Dad, Dan Dad.
E4 – A5

Those auditioning should sign up here: If you chose not to sign up, upon arrival at auditions, your name will be placed on a waiting list and you will be seen when time permits on a first come/first serve basis.

Questions can be emailed to or by calling (732) 254-3939. For more information about Playhouse 22, please visit

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