Spelling Bee musical comes to Central


by Sarah Pullen-Harris

The cast of the show in costume

Paola Rivera, Staff Writer

Our Central theater program has a new show coming soon. It’s called the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Central East Theater Arts teacher and musical director Ms. Sarah Pullen-Harris says, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee centers around six awkward middle school spellers as they hilariously vie for the coveted spelling championship in this fast paced, Tony award-winning musical.” The production opens on February 28th, with additional shows offered on March 1st, 2nd, 7th – 10th, at the Central East PAC.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Students have been working on their portrayal of characters for since December. “The show has been a grueling, but incredible experience. We have long hours but we all know it will be completely worth it,” says junior Katherine Maitre who plays Marcy Park, an overachieving student who views winning as a chore rather than an accomplishment. “I’m playing Rona Lisa Peretti, the host of the Bee,” says senior Lauren Heard, “The child characters all come from hard home lives, so Rona especially wants to see  the kids have fun, thrive and love the competition even more.” Senior Grace Lucido explains, “I portray the role of Olive Ostrovsky, and it’s highly enjoyable to play a carefree kid who just doesn’t let the world bring her down.”

“Students should come see 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee because every night it will be different,” says junior Jason Mendoza who plays Dan Dad (one of the parents of the spellers). What makes each show unique is the interactive exchange between the actors and the audience. Jason adds, “We pull up audience spellers to participate in our production every night, making each night special to watch.” Director Pullen-Harris believes this is just one part of what makes this show memorable. “I think Central’s students will enjoy the unpredictability of it. We’re pushing the envelope and presenting hot topics with hilarious results.”

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5, for students with or without ID, $10 for parents.