Putnam County Spelling Bee debuts Sept. 16

Junior+Mac+Anderson.+sophomore+Jazlyn+Compton+and+senior+Jarett+Warner+rehearse+for+The+25th+Annual+Putnam+County+Spelling+Bee

photo by Joshua Krob

Junior Mac Anderson. sophomore Jazlyn Compton and senior Jarett Warner rehearse for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

In the first of three productions, the theater department will present the musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” in the auditorium Sept. 16-18.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will showcase nine actors partaking in a spelling bee. The cast has opportunities to improvise their lines throughout the performance as well as provide chances for audience participation. 

Every quarter, the sign-up sheets appear outside of theater teacher Jamaal Solomon’s room. They offer jobs in set crew, lights and sound, costumes, props and cast. All of these roles help to prepare for opening night performances where an actor’s character comes alive on stage.

“I like becoming somebody I am not, I like to become other people but still be myself,” senior Averie Newton said.

Hundreds of hours of preparation are needed for each of these shows. As of Aug. 25, the cast has dedicated around 120 hours to this musical, not counting the many practice hours at home. 

“We work very hard to prepare for a show,” junior Kenna Gay said. “I personally spend many hours memorizing lines and going over choreography.”

Senior Jarett Warner plays Mitch Mahoney, a counselor who comforts those who lose and gives them juice boxes. Warner hopes to be in props in the future, “[because] I love getting to help people have fun and tell a story.”

As a result of COVID regulations, audiences have decreased in number compared to previous years. 

“Theater can adapt and change, [it] is flexible, the arts are important [and] necessary,” Solomon said.

Tickets will be sold the week of the performance.

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