Conval Performing Arts presenting ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’

Ryan Whitney, Amelia Blancette and Logainne Mackensen rehearse for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Ryan Whitney, Amelia Blancette and Logainne Mackensen rehearse for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” PHOTO BY ISABELLA MESSA

Conval Performing Arts group members, from right, (front) Beau Olesky, Bella Stehly, (second row) Amelia Blanchette, Cupid Torres, Jenna Bergeron, Amanda Bergeron, (back row) Anneliese Strong, Ryan Whitney, Logainne Mackensen, Aramis Olivo, Sophia Judd, Lukas Baker, Jazzy Woodhouse, Ben Mauchaud and choreographer Eve Pierce.

Conval Performing Arts group members, from right, (front) Beau Olesky, Bella Stehly, (second row) Amelia Blanchette, Cupid Torres, Jenna Bergeron, Amanda Bergeron, (back row) Anneliese Strong, Ryan Whitney, Logainne Mackensen, Aramis Olivo, Sophia Judd, Lukas Baker, Jazzy Woodhouse, Ben Mauchaud and choreographer Eve Pierce. PHOTO BY ISABELLA MESSA

By ISABELLA MESSA

For the Ledger-Transcript

Published: 04-03-2024 9:34 AM

Modified: 04-04-2024 8:31 AM


Conval Performing Arts is preparing to present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” on Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 13, at 2 and 7 p.m.

The musical follows six adolescents competing in a spelling bee run by three adults, and the upcoming performances follow auditions that took place in February.

The auditions, run by musical director Brian Moore, stage director Elizabeth Moore, stage manager Gabby Ramsden and choreographer Eve Pierce, included five minutes of either reciting a portion from the script or singing a song from the script.

“My character, Marcy Park, speaks six languages and I sort of see myself in that because I study languages as well as take interest in spelling,” said Bella Stehly, one of the “spellers” in the musical.”

“I changed last-minute to go for something I was more comfortable with,” said Katlyn Ross, another “speller.” “I had a social obligation in playing my character, Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere.”

Elizabeth Moore explained the choice behind “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

“We don’t view the spring musical as just one season, but instead as a four-year program for students. Last year our show was big and epic and classical, so this year we want something more comedic to create contrast. The choice of show also complements and challenges the students acting and gives them a real learning opportunity in the process. At its heart it shows how we can support each other and show differences, which represent ConVal as a whole.”

Moore followed up with a thought about how she, Brian Moore and Pierce

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“We all try to balance what we’d like to see, seeing the students' choices as well, because sometimes their choices are better than ours. My main job is to help everyone's decisions work together,” she said. 

Overall, program leaders believe the plays showcase the students both inside and outside of school.

“I’m always impressed with the amount of things these students at ConVal juggle, while also being energetic and responsible with their education,” Elizabeth Moore said.

Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for students, staff and seniors.