North Central College - Naperville, IL

Celebrate the ‘25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ with North Central College

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Students will direct and perform the popular musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” March 1-4 at North Central College.

The musical will be presented at 7:30 p.m. March 1, 2 and 3 and at 2 p.m. March 4 in North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $15/adults and $10/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

“Spelling Bee” is a hilarious musical about the struggles of growing up while making your mark in the world. Actors portray five elementary school-aged youngsters clawing, conniving and spelling their way into Putnam County history.

The musical boasts an outstanding score, with songs including “I’m Not That Smart” and “Woe is Me.” The production features quirky characters, witty improvisation and a dash of audience participation.

Based on Rebecca Feldman’s improvisational play “C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E,” “Spelling Bee” made its Broadway debut in 2005 at the Circle in the Square Theatre. The original production was nominated for six Tony Awards and won two, for Best Book and Best Actor in a musical.

North Central’s production of “Spelling Bee” is directed, choreographed, staged and coordinated entirely by senior students majoring in theatre. The students started working together last spring, selecting the show they wanted to present, then holding auditions and rehearsals this school year.

The principal parts for North Central’s production of  “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” include (part, actor, town, year, major):

Chip Tolentino: Max Detogne of Arlington Heights, a junior majoring in speech communication
Leaf Coneybear: Bryan Renaud of Sugar Grove, a junior majoring in theatre
Mitch Mahoney: Darien Hutchinson of Plainfield, a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Vice Principal Panch: Mark Campbell of Glen Ellyn, a senior majoring in English writing
William Barfee: Kyle Ryan of Plainfield, a freshman majoring in speech communication
Logan SchwartzandGrubenierre: Tina Naponelli of Crystal Lake, a freshman majoring in choral music education
Marcy Park: Cassie Nelson of Lincoln, Neb., a sophomore majoring in music and musical theatre
Olive Ostrovsky: Grace Heimerl of Naperville, a junior majoring in musical theatre
Rona Lisa Peretti: Chelsea Ward of Naperville, a freshman majoring in musical theatre

Chorus singers/understudies include Cara Burke, Kathryn Lepine, Brett Bush and Aronzo Traylor.

North Central College offers majors in theatre or musical theatre and a minor in dance. A full range of acting and dance classes is available, as well as opportunities to direct a full-length production. Students of all majors can participate in musical and nonmusical performances, actor showcases and one-act plays and performances in the College’s four theatre venues. Full-time professors and active professionals who are artist-teachers serve as faculty. Visit to learn more about studying theatre at North Central College. 

USG Corporation and Navistar, Inc. are underwriting sponsors of North Central College’s 2011-2012 Sesquicentennial Fine & Performing Arts Season. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. This performance is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).