Briar Woods Theatre Presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

Instagram, @briarwoodstheatre

Instagram, @briarwoodstheatre

Anna Chung

This year, Briar Woods Theatre will be putting on The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as their annual musical. Contrary to popular belief, the production will not be an actual spelling bee but rather a musical comedy that incorporates audience participation and witty one liners. The play follows six contestants in a middle school spelling bee, overseen by three equally quirky adults and punctuated by breakout song and dance numbers such as Pandemonium and My Friend, The Dictionary


In addition to the comedic nature of the show, senior Jacqueline Preston loves the unpredictability that the audience participation brings. “You never know what to expect,” she says. Jacqueline plays the part of Rona, a middle school teacher who is the returning moderator of the spelling bee. As a former champion of the bee, the show also incorporates flashbacks from Rona’s past which serve to add more flair and dimension to the otherwise linear storyline.


This musical comedy is a sharp contrast to last year’s performance of the tragic Les Misérables. However, the soundtrack in this musical is equally moving. “My Unfortunate Distraction is the most fun song ever in my opinion,” says senior Kira Shinas, “but the I Love You song gives me chills; it’s so beautiful.” Kira plays the role of Marcy Park, one of the spelling bee contestants. 


The show includes a variety of unique characters that each bring their own quirks and idiosyncrasies to the stage. This year, the directors have double casted the show, and each actor has had fun bringing these characters to life. “Everyone [in the cast] loves each other,” says Kira. “We miss each other when we perform without the other cast.” 


Briar Woods Theatre has worked tirelessly to create a production that showgoers of all ages can enjoy. They are excited to put on a great show and want to encourage the student population to come out to watch one of their six productions on Feb 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, and March 1. Prospective audience members can not only look forward to a great night of spelling, singing, dancing, and laughter, but can have the chance to showcase their own spelling expertise.