Story by Mayra Monroy, Editor-in-Chief
Photo courtesy of Modest to View
With a stellar cast set and rehearsals in place, AQ Theatre’s upcoming production, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, will explore the themes of success and failure while also drawing in the crowd.
Written by Rebecca Feldman, William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin, Jay Reiss, and directed at Aquinas by Carrie McNulty, Spelling Bee follows the feat of six adolescents vying for the championship title in their county spelling bee. The one act musical allows the audience to explore the stories of each character, learning of their fears and motivations, while also learning a valuable lesson: maybe in order to succeed in life, you’ll fail sometimes.
“Spelling Bee is an incredible production because the cast is so true to each character, showcasing their histories and development over the course of the bee, in the most hysterical and genuine way possible while handling four audience volunteer spellers every night,” said stage manager, junior Mariah Cowsert. “This show is special because it also has improvisation built in with audience spellers and much like SHOUT! The Mod Musical last year, this show is an ensemble piece where there really is no lead so each character really stands out.”
Among the cast are theater veterans and newcomers alike, such as senior Kendra McInerney and junior Aaron Skorka, who both held roles in AQ Theatre’s production of Bethany earlier this year, and juniors Kenny Judge and Caleb Jenkins, who starred in Up! last year. Returning and fresh talent create a fun dynamic for the cast, who have been rehearsing since Bethany closed back in October.
“We held auditions the day after Bethany closed and started rehearsals that week as well,” said Cowsert. “It’s been a crazy ride but everyone is so focused and hardworking, which makes it even more enjoyable.”
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be playing at the Aquinas Performing Arts Center, December 3-5 at 8PM and December 6 at 2PM.
“Students should see this show because it will give them the laughs they need before exam cram and it’s also an upbeat and heartwarming story,” said Cowsert. “Spelling Bee showcases the stress that comes with adolescence, and finding out that you don’t always have to be the winner despite the pressure put upon you, which most students can relate to.”
About the Writer…
Mayra Monroy is a senior studying Communication and Journalism.She is the Editor-in-Chief for The Saint, Writer for Revue Magazine and the Marketing Intern for Van Andel Arena & DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. Mayra enjoys traveling, being immersed in local and national news, and spends her day on Twitter.