UNT Theatre scores with comic musical "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Kole Franklin, left, and Danielle M. Holway act up with typical middle school hijinks before preparing to take the stage for UNT Theatre's production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee musical, April 17 to 27.
Monday, April 7, 2014 - 09:34

What: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a PG-13 (language) comic musical that tells the tale of six adolescents in the throes of puberty who are vying for a spelling championship, presented by the UNT Department of Dance and Theatre

When: 7:30 p.m. April 17 (Thursday); 2 p.m. matinee (due to Good Friday) April 18 (Friday); 7:30 p.m. April 19 (Saturday), April 24 (Thursday), April 25 (Friday) and April 26 (Saturday); 2 p.m. matinee April 27 (Sunday)

Where: UNT's University Theatre, located in the RTFP Building, 1179 Union Circle, Denton

Tickets: $10 for students, seniors and UNT faculty and staff; $15 for adults. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be purchased by calling 940-565-2428 or 817-267-3731.

What else:

  • The play is guest directed by Michael Serrecchia, a Dallas-based director and choreographer with 18 years of experience performing on Broadway, including as original cast member of The Chorus Line
  • Opening night, 7:30 p.m. April 17 (Thursday), there will be an Audience Talk-Back forum following the play
  • Each performance offers a different experience for audiences because of the guest spellers picked straight from the audience. These guests include celebrity spellers from UNT and DFW theatre, and the Denton community, as well as other volunteer audience members
  • Parking: From 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, free no-permit parking is permitted in D spaces in Lot 50 behind the Theatre building. There is also nearby street meter parking and paid parking available at the Union Circle Garage, 1155 Union Circle, and the Highland Street Garage, at Avenue A and Highland Street. More information, including rates, is available online.

DENTON, Texas (UNT) – Middle school hijinks, surprise guests joining the actors on stage and a Broadway-trained director await audiences at UNT Theatre's production of the Tony-award winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

The PG-13 (language) play tells the tale of six adolescents confronting puberty and their own personal issues while competing in a spelling bee. It is guest directed by Michael Serrecchia of Dallas, who was an original cast member of A Chorus Line, for which he received a Special Drama Desk Award and Theatre Critics Circle Award.

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a unique and wonderful show," said Serrecchia. "This current cast of UNT students brings a new and fresh twist to the 'competition.' You love them and cheer for them – you'll cheer their victories and your heart will break when they lose. But, who will take the Bee?"

"This is a heartwarming story of young high achievers and the cost of winning or losing the Bee," said Managing Director Marjorie Hayes. "Celebrate your inner nerd! Our Bee will be so much more fun than practicing 'omphaloskepsis' at home alone."

Each performance offers a different experience because of the guest spellers picked straight from the audience. UNT and DFW theatre, and Denton community members have been picked as celebrity spellers for several performances. Other audience members who would like to participate will also be called upon to join the celebrity spellers and actors on stage.

Celebrity spellers include:

  • Yolanda Flores Niemann, UNT Senior Vice Provost
  • Denise Simmons, UNT Assistant Vice President, UNT Research Development
  • Christy Crutsinger, UNT Vice Provost for Faculty Success
  • Cynthia Mohr, Design Chair at UNT College of Visual Arts and Design
  • Patricia (Trish) Glazebrook, Chair of UNT Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies
  • Maestro David Itkin, Director of the UNT Symphony Orchestra
  • Phyllis Slocum, Station Manager for NTTV, UNT student television station
  • Jacqueline Vanhoutte, UNT Associate Professor of English
  • Kimi King, Associate Professor of Political Science
  • James Meernik, Acting Dean of the UNT Toulouse Graduate School and Professor of Political Science
  • Edra Bogle, Retired UNT English Professor
  • Lucinda Breeding, Features Editor at the Denton Record Chronicle
  • Susan Sargeant, Producing Artistic Director of Wingspan Theatre Company, Dallas
  • Buff Shurr, Director of Garland Summer Musicals
  • Lindsey Keefer, Community Actor

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 17 (Thursday); 2 p.m. matinee (due to Good Friday) April 18 (Friday); 7:30 p.m. April 19 (Saturday), April 24 (Thursday), April 25 (Friday) and April 26 (Saturday); 2 p.m. matinee April 27 (Sunday) in UNT's University Theatre, located in the RTFP Building, 1179 Union Circle, Denton. Tickets are $10 for students, seniors and UNT faculty and staff; $15 for adults. Tickets may be purchased by calling 940-565-2428 or 817-267-3731.

From 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, free no-permit parking is permitted in D spaces in Lot 50 behind the Theatre building. There is also nearby street meter parking and paid parking available at the Union Circle Garage, 1155 Union Circle, and the Highland Street Garage, at Avenue A and Highland Street. More information, including rates, is available online.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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