Music and Lyrics by William Fimm
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Directed by Richard Roland
Musical Direction by Hana Cai
An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.
Meet the Contestants!
An athletic, social, boy scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment.
Logainne Schwartzandgrunenierre (Schwartzy)
Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures. She is driven by internal and external pressure, but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud. She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and will be back next year.
The second runner-up in his district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark and finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. He is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. He has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance.
A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts and is back for vindication. His famous "Magic Foot" method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy, bullying personality. He has a crush on Olive.
The ultimate over-achiever, Marcy has never been given another option. She comes from a family where excellence is expected and so simply produced. She's moved around because of her parents' work and she knows she can beat the local competition. She has many, many talents.
A young newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual. Having found comfort in its words and vastness, Olive made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition.
Running Time: -
Additional materials by Jay Reiss
Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine
Originally produced on Broadway by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo Barrington Stage Company, Second Stage Theatre