The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee invites us into the lives of 6 young spelling bee contestants and the 3 adults attempting to run the show. Included in the chaos are last year’s winner, Chip Tolentino whose body has a mind of its own, youngest contestant Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre whose double-dose of dads add to an already stressful situation, the much-maligned William Barfée, clueless but charming Leaf Coneybear, overachiever Marcy Park, and last-minute entry Olive Ostrovsky. The three adults are Rona Lisa Peretti, real estate agent and former spelling bee champ, Doug Panch, tightly-wound vice principal, and Mitch Mahoney, who serves as the bee’s “comfort counselor.” The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee features music & lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin, and is conceived by Rebecca Feldman. This bodacious and boisterous musical comedy is directed by Pam Cardell with musical direction by R. MacKenzie Lewis. To round out the fun, four audience members will be invited onstage to participate as guest spellers at each performance. Anyone wanting to try their hand at spelling in the spotlight, should be sure to bring proof of vaccination to the performance. Guest spellers will be required to keep their masks on while onstage. No Covid cooties are welcome at the bee.

April 1, 2, 8, 9 at 7 p.m. and
April 3 & 10 at 2 p.m.

Legacy Theatre

Suggested for audiences ages 13+
WARNING: Strobe-like lighting effects will be used in this production.

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Parking on EMU’s campus is available for a fee and a credit card is required for payment. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday performance parking is available in the Alexander Guest Lot and Ford Commuter & Staff Lots. Additional parking can be found at meters on campus or the Pease Guest Lot. Those with an EMU parking permit may park accordingly. Visit for more details about parking on campus.

  • Alexander Lot is $1.75 per hour. Patrons will pull a ticket on entry, scan the same ticket at exit and use a credit card to process payment.
  • Ford Lots event rate will be $5; transaction will total $5.35 with service fee. The Ford Commuter & Staff lot will use Text to Park/Snap to Park options, texting or scanning a QR code. Patrons will pay via one of those options, by credit card, before exiting their vehicle prior to attending the event.

Covid protocol for audiences attending EMU Theatre productions:

  • MASKS ARE A MUST: Everyone attending an EMU Theatre event must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while in the building. If you need a mask, please see a house manager.
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING: We ask that patrons maintain a minimum of 3 feet of social distancing while in attendance. Once inside the theatre we will be distancing by leaving an empty seat between parties.
  • VACCINATIONS & TESTING: While vaccinations are not currently required for audiences, we strongly encourage Covid vaccinations and/or testing before attending any public event.
  • SICK? STAY HOME: If you aren't feeling well or are exhibiting any Covid symptoms, we ask that you do not attend a performance. Refunds and exchanges will be available for those unable to attend.