Source: Chelsey Eimer, cbeimer@k-state.edu
Hometown interest for: Hutchinson, Manhattan, Overland Park, Shawnee and Topeka, Kan. and Fenton, Mo.
News release prepared by: Rosie Hoefling, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011

A SINGING BEE: MUSICAL 'THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE' COMING TO NICHOLS THEATER

MANHATTAN -- Theater and music students at Kansas State University will put their acting, singing and phonetic skills into action for the musical "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

The musical will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13-15 and Oct. 18-22, with matinee performances at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 16 and Oct. 23, all in Nichols Theater. "Spelling Bee"contains adult themes and is rated PG-13.

The Tony Award-winning production follows six misfit children from Dos Passos Junior High School. Looking to escape their outsider status, the students plot to claim the champion title in Putnam County’s 25th annual Spelling Bee. Audience members are asked to participate as the elementary and middle school students spell their way through this hit Broadway musical.

"'Spelling Bee' is a modern musical comedy where spellers learn that winning isn’t necessarily everything and that losing doesn’t always make you a loser,” said K-State’s Dwight Tolar, instructor of theater and director of the production.

Based on the play "C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E" by Rebecca Feldman, "Spelling Bee" made its Broadway debut in April 2005 at the Circle in the Square Theater. The show remained on Broadway until January 2008 -- after more than 1,000 performances.

Nominated for six Tony Awards, the original Broadway production won two Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Featured Actor. 

In addition to Tolar, K-State theater and music faculty, artistic staff and faculty designers include: Kathy Voecks, associate professor of theater, set design; Dana Pinkston, associate professor of theater, costume design; John Uthoff, associate professor of theater, lighting design; Paul Hunt, professor of music, music director; and Reginald Pittman, associate professor of music, voice director.

Tickets are $16 for the general public, $14 for seniors and military, and $11 for students. They can be purchased at the McCain Auditorium box office from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by calling 785-532-6428 during box office hours. Tickets also may be purchased at the Little Theater box office in the K-State Student Union from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Groups of 10 or more may receive a discount rate. For more information or assistance in planning a theater party, contact Marci Maullar at 785-532-6878.

K-State students in the cast or crew for "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" include:

Alex Spence, junior in applied music and music education, Hutchinson, as Chip Tolentino; D.J. Davis, senior in applied music, Manhattan, as William Barfee; Sara Belhouari, sophomore in theater, as Marcy Park, and Elise Poehling, freshman in theater and music, as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere, both from Overland Park; Kirsten Hyde, junior in music education and applied music, Shawnee, as Rona Lisa Peretti; and Kyle Myers, senior in theater, as Leaf Coneybear, and Randy Rhoten, freshman in theater, as Mitch Mahoney, both from Topeka.

From out of state: Heather Haberberger, senior in applied music, Fenton, Mo., as Olive Ostrovsky.