Who can forget the trauma of a middle school spelling bee? The audience looking on; the competition; the words?
In case you’ve forgotten, the Bryan College Hilltop Players will present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Monday-Saturday, January 30-February 4 in Brock Hall.
Director Bernie Belisle said the story is built around six adolescents competing in the bee, which is run by three equally quirky adults, one of whom is a past winner of the bee who keeps reminding everyone of her triumph.
“The show received a couple of Tony Awards, and was nominated for several others,” Mr. Belisle said. “It shows how middle school kids deal with issues in their lives, with spelling a stabilizing influence. The bee forces the overachieving ‘outsiders’ to examine themselves, their families, and each other.”
Spellers include Chip, a boy in early adolescence who is beginning to notice girls; Coneybear, an underachiever in a family of overachievers; Barfee, a boy who has been bullied all his life and has become a bully; Marcy, raised to be a perfect child but with a secret ambition not to win the bee; Olive, a girl with a physically missing mother and an emotionally absent father; and Schwartzy, a girl being raised by two men.”
“It’s a wonderful show that the characters carry,” Mr. Belisle said. [See Triangle story with more details and cast photo here.]
Area students appearing in the production include Ariel Bollant of Dayton as Coneybear; Emilie Belisle of Dayton as Olive; Emily Moon of Birchwood as Schwartzy; Ashley Boyd of Birchwood as Rona, the moderator; and Dakota McClellan of Spring City as Vice Principal Panch, a frustrated educator.