MONMOUTH — The Monmouth Community Players announce the cast of its spring musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

It will be staged April 20-22 and 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday at historic Cumston Hall.

The play is based on the award-winning book by Rachel Sheinkin.

The production team includes director Josie French, musical director Steve Barter, assistant director Tim MacLeod and producer Cindy Dunham.

The show follows six middle-schoolers competing in their county spelling bee for a spot in a national bee. Moderated by the winner of the third annual bee, Rona Lisa Peretti, played by Karen Lipovsky of Monmouth, and Vice Principal Douglas Panch, played by David Marshall of Monmouth, the contestants’ backstories and idiosyncratic quirks are revealed through song and dance.

The contestants treat the bee as if it were the Olympic Games. The can be only one winner and those who fail to achieve their goal are sent away with a hug and a juice box from the bee’s comfort counselor, Mitch Mahoney, played by Chad Jacobson of Topsham.

The first contestant is Boy Scout Chip Tolentino, played by Ethan Rombalski of Turner. Next is Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, played by Maya Veilleux and Alexa Gallant, both of Augusta, a politically active speller with a lisp that makes her somewhat unintelligible at times.

The tenderhearted Leaf Coneybear, played by Tim MacLeod of Auburn, was invited to the bee because the winner and first runner-up of his own district’s bee went to the winner’s Bat Mitzvah.

William Barfée, played by Danny Gay of Auburn, is the uptight runner-up of last year’s bee with only one working nostril and a sea anemone circus in his basement. Marcy Park, played by Megan Record of Auburn, is a high-achieving student with a multitude of talents.

Finally, there is Olive Ostrovsky, played by Sarah Flagg of Westbrook, a kind and bright young girl who loves her dictionary.

On the surface, the play is an absurd and whimsical glimpse into the world of children’s competitive spelling, but strewn throughout are small moments of bitter realism. These moments are brought to life through a strong ensemble of characters portrayed by: Jane Mitchell of Greene, Andy Tolman of Readfield, Sarah Wheatley of Old Town, Jeff Fairfield of Hallowell, Amy Griswold, Ginger Smith and Cindy Dunham, all of Winthrop, Henry Quintal of Augusta, Ann-Marie Caron and Nancy Kenneally, both of Lewiston, and Ray Fletcher and John Lipovsky of Monmouth.

Tickets are $14 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors. To order tickets, or for more information, please visit MCP’s website at www.monmouthcommunityplayers.org, or call 207-370-9566.

The cast of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” being presented next month by the The Monmouth Community Players are: front row, Chad Jacobson; second row, Ethan Rombalski, Tim MacLeod, Sarah Flagg, Megan Record, Alexa Gallant and Maya Veilleux; third row, Ginger Smith, Cindy Dunham, Karen Lipovsky, David Marshall and Henry Quintal; and fourth row, Ann-Marie Caron, John Lipovsky, Sarah Wheatley, Jeff Fairfield, Amy Griswold, Andy Tolman, Ray Fletcher, Jane Mitchell and Nancy Kenneally.


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