The school musical all spelled out

Newhard, top left, with Michaels, center, along with their fellow cast members at a recent rehearsal.

Newhard, top left, with Michaels, center, along with their fellow cast members at a recent rehearsal.

Katherine Bird, Staff Writer

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is coming to Farmington High School. This production, which students have been rehearsing for over two months so far, will be performed May 3 and 4 at 7 p.m and May 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and $12 for adults.

This production includes several new aspects not yet featured in past productions.

“It’s a little more of an unconventional show,” said senior Nick Michaels who plays Chip, one of the spellers.

This story will be the first to include audience involvement. Lauren Keur, the musical’s director, described the plot as being about a group of middle school students who are participating in an all-county spelling bee.  

“The students each have their own hilarious way of dealing with the pressures of being the top speller.  They all have a special way they spell the word that makes them a champion! Only one can win! It is a hilarious production,” Keur said.

Both the director and cast members alike are doing everything they can to get community members hooked on the show, including hanging up posters and making PA announcements at both Harrison and Farmington, but believe that the production will speak for itself.

The show is very light-hearted said senior cast member Lauren Newhard, who plays Olive.

“I think that the audience volunteers along with the humor of the show will attract students. It’s fun to watch and the characters are extremely entertaining,” Newhard said.

While the production is ahead of schedule, according to Michaels, it has also posed positive, constructive challenges for everyone involved.

Cast members “have to prepare [themselves] for endless possibilities,” said Michaels. He also mentioned that every night will be different from the last since the show includes a lot of improv when the actors interact with the chosen audience volunteers.

The show also includes many complicated songs and several cast members are playing characters who have personalities polar opposite of their own.

“The entire show is definitely new, but I like the change,” Newhard mentioned.

The cast has been rehearsing two hours per day and four days per week since February.

“The budget for production comes from ticket sales of past production,” Keur noted, so they hope that this year’s production is as much of a hit as they are anticipating.

“I am so proud of this show being my last show,” Newhard said. “The whole cast is so talented, and I am proud of the work we’ve put into the crazy choreography and characters. It’s so amazing to have a group of talented people to make art with.”