Theater Company at Hubbard Hall
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin
Directed by David Snider
“It’s spelled W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L.”
The Wall Street Journal
$27 General Admission / $24 Member
$15 Student (11 and up) / $10 Youth (age 6-10) / Child (5 and under) free
Click on a specific date below to buy tickets now:
Pay-what-you-will final rehearsal: Thurs, Nov 6 @ 8 pm (Suggested donation: $15)
Friday Evening: Nov 7, 14, 21, 28 @ 8 pm
Saturday Matinee: Nov 8, 15, 22, 29 @ 2 pm
Saturday Evening: Nov 8, 15, 22, 29 @ 8 pm
Sunday Matinee: Nov 9, 16, 23, 30 @ 2 pm
In The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin, six young people learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. This hilarious tale of overachievers’ angst chronicles the experience of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. This is a great show for the whole family, as you laugh along with this quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time.
A Note from the Director
This show is perfect for this community. It’s about community and kids growing up. It’s about kids who don’t fit in (which may be all of us at one point or another in our lives), kids who are misfit toys somehow and find their joy and success in other, weird ways, like spelling competitions. When I saw this show at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC this past spring, I thought: “This would be even better in the Hall.” Because the sense of community the folks at Ford’s were working so hard to create already lives here. There are kids in this community still finding their way in life, who don’t necessarily fit in to the popular crowds, who long to find themselves (again, may be all of us). This show is about not trying to fit into anyone else’s box but finding your own way in life. Maybe you need to learn to fail? Or learn to care about others? Or believe you’re smart? Or win with grace? The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a hilarious farce – but one with a golden heart. It’s a celebration of hard work, risk taking and trying to be the best. A celebration of those who don’t fit in easily and their journey to find their own path in this world. A celebration of teachers and other adults who look back fondly at their childhood dreams and find ways to inspire those kinds of dreams in the young people around them. It’s a party for us all, to remember how it felt to be so young, so earnest and so excited to find our own way. I hope you’ll join us and bring the kids. It’s a party for you and for them.
– David Andrew Snider
Meet the Cast
Sylvia Eowyn Bloom (Rona Lisa Peretti) was a cast member of The Phantom of the Opera (Christine Company), a chorus member with the San Francisco Opera, and has sung as a soloist with the Springfield Symphony (MO) and Erie Philharmonic (PA), among many others. She currently teaches at SUNY- Adirondack, is the director of Eenie Meenie Music (a program of music and movement education for young children and their families), and is building a straw bale house in Greenwich with her family. She was not involved with spelling bees as a child, but is proud to announce that she has recently mastered the spelling of “rhythm”.
Kyra Fitzgerald (Olive Ostrovsky), despite being a college graduate with a teaching degree, has never been to or participated in a spelling bee! She has always had a love for language and music, so it seems only fitting that this her spelling bee debut is also her musical debut at Hubbard Hall! When she’s not studying her oversized dictionary with the indented border, she is most often found at Cambridge Central School directing the Drama Club or roaming around the Hubbard Hall campus completing various jobs, often in song. As a new addition to the Hubbard Hall family, she is thrilled to be a part of such a creative and wonderful community!
Edward Mawere (Mitch Mahoney) is a recent graduate of Temple University, where he studied Theatre and Musical Theatre. His recent work includes the play Liberty to Go to See (Harry/Joseph/Overseer) directed by Johnnie Hobbs Jr. at the New Freedom Theatre, and a web series, Modern Day Black Gay (Chris) directed by Donja R. Love filmed in New York. In his early teens he had the opportunity to perform an original song he wrote called “On Broadway” with the original Broadway cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for SAY: Stuttering Association for the Youth’s (formerly Ourtime Theatre Company) benefit gala at NYU’s Skirball Center. Edward gives thanks God, his family and mentors who have showered him with unconditional love, support and kindness; it is on their backs he stands.
Jeffrey Vizcaino (William Barfée) is thrilled to return to the Bee and to be making his Hubbard Hall debut! Self-proclaimed as “the world’s worst speller,” Jeffrey is very thankful for modern technology and the invention of auto-correct and spell check. While Jeffrey has never competed in a spelling bee before, this will be his eighth time at the Putnam County Spelling Bee. Favorite credits include: …Spelling Bee (Barfée, Theatre Raleigh, Winner of the North Carolina Cantey Theatre Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical), Next to Normal (Henry, Deep Dish), The Secret Garden (Dickon, Justice Theatre Project), High School Musical 2 (Jack Scott, NCT), Pinkalicious (Peter, Storybook Theatre). “Thank you to my cast, David, our production team and the entire Hubbard Hall staff. Finally, thank YOU for supporting theatre and the arts! Twitter/Instagram: @JeffViz
Digby Baker-Porazinski (Chip Tolentino) is excited to be playing the role of Chip Tolentino in the upcoming Hubbard Hall production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This will be Digby’s fourth show at Hubbard Hall; he played Orsino in the 2013 Summer Shakespeare production of Twelfth Night, various ensemble roles in King Lear (2013) and Tybalt in the 2014 Summer Shakespeare production of Romeo and Juliet. A junior in Cambridge Central School, he has also participated in five musicals with the High School Drama Club. Although he has never participated in a spelling bee, he was a great speller in elementary school. No, really. Honest. Digby looks forward to the show with great anticipation, and hopes to avoid performance anxiety. See you all there!
Chris Barlow (Vice-Principal Douglas Panch) is very happy to return to Hubbard Hive. He relishes the opportunity to cross-pollinate, employing humor and song with this swarm of fine actors. This drone has been ‘smoked-out’ to buzz in and out of: Of Mice and Men, Night of the Iguana, Our Town, You Can’t Take It With You, Incorruptible and more! Thanks to new-bee, David Snider for guiding us all to the nectar. Thanks to my Queen, Rachel.
Sebastian Durfee (Leaf Coneybear) has been interested in theater since the day he was born, having participated in every school and community play he could get his hands on since age 5, including the North Bennington Childrens’ Shakespeare Theater and school plays at Mount Anthony Union Middle and High School. Notably, he starred as Romeo in Hubbard Hall’s touring production of Romeo and Juliet, Dogberry in Mount Anthony’s production of Twelfth Night, Mr. Cladwell in Mount Anthony’s production of Urinetown, and most recently played the part of Chip Tolentino in his school’s own production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He has some prior experience in spelling Bees, having been part of his elementary school’s cross-school spelling club in sixth grade, where, ironically, the teacher could not figure out how to spell his name correctly, and eventually coming in second place; and also in seventh grade, where he competed in his school’s mini spelling bee and was eliminated immediately. He is greatly looking forward to performing with Hubbard Hall again in this wonderful show.
Sara Curtis (Marcy Park) is very excited to be returning to the Putnam Bee as Marcy Park and making her Hubbard Hall debut in one of her favorite shows of all time! Sara is a 2013 graduate from Russell Sage College with a degree in Musical Theatre. Sara loved to spell until she placed 2nd in her second grade spelling bee. Since that gruesome 2nd place “win”, Sara couldn’t get herself to continue her spelling bee career so she chose acting instead. Previous credits include: Amy in Can You Hear Me Now, Little Becky Two Shoes in Urinetown, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical, Marcy Park in Spelling Bee, Little Sally in Urinetown, Andromache in Trojan Women and many others. Sara would like to thank her family and friends for the continuing love and support and finally Barbra Streisand for being her life long idol and inspiration.
Erin Ouellette (Logainne “Schwarzy” SchwarzandGrubenierre) represented Harmony Hill Elementary School in two separate Cohoes School District Spelling Bees. She went home with two small “Participant” trophies and a hatred for the word ‘lamppost’. She was the kid who cried when she got out. And now she’s here, crying for entirely different reasons. Probably just something that got in both of her eyes at the same time… Erin has worked at a number of theaters throughout the northeast and is thrilled to be back performing at Hubbard Hall. Past Hubbard credits include: Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio), Ondine (First Judge), Twelfth Night (Malvolio), You Can’t Take it With You (Mrs. Kirby/Olga), Amadeus (Venticello 2), and Macbeth (Asst. Director/Costumer). Erin would like to thank the Family Von-Crapp for endowing her with her first love of musicals, the crew of Jellyfish Hangover, the inhabitants of Casa Batman, and Toni and Titus for giving her a new sense of confidence. She would also like to thank David for redefining the concept of “personal space” in terms of Liev Schreiber. She spell-checked this bio just to be safe.
Meet the Creative Team
Jack Boggan (Assistant Director) is a Cambridge central school student struggling to make his way through junior year. Along with working in his school’s drama club since fifth grade he has performed in multiple Hubbard hall performances including Ondine, and last years King Lear and Of Mice and Men as Curley. However this is his first time assisting directing a play and he’s eager to find out how it works. He’d like to thank his friends of family for their unwavering support and wishes his fellow actors and actresses a good show and plenty of broken legs.
Sherry Recinella (Costume Designer) has designed and constructed costumes for The Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall, Cohoes Music Hall, SUNY Adirondack, Curtain Call Theatre, Home Made Theatre, Living Room Theatre Group, Schenectady Light Opera Company, Roberts Wesleyan College, Wrightstage Productions, Lake George Dinner Theatre, Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre, Collaborative Artists, ACT, Circle in the Square (PW) NYC, and others. Filmwork: NYU Productions.Ft. Apache. Commercial work: Capital Rep/Proctors. Sherry is thrilled to be working with the talented folks at Hubbard Hall again, “Break a leg, cast and crew!”
Calvin Anderson (Lighting Designer) just finished touring the US and Canada with jazz musician, Andy Milne, and the show, Strings & Serpents. Calvin was also the Lighting and Technical Director for Ailey II from 2012-2014. During his time with the company, he toured both the US and Europe quite extensively. Calvin is excited to be working with David, and returning to Hubbard Hall for this production. His spelling bee experience has been questionable at best, never having triumphed to any final rounds. In spite of this, Calvin has somehow become a very adequate speller for all the words he needs to use.
At Hubbard Hall, Calvin has previously designed lights for Amadeus and Of Mice and Men. Select New York City credits include: The Pinks, The Subtle Body and Fallopian Fairy Tales (NY- Lighting); Yellow Brick Wall: Angry White Men played by Two Happy Asian Girls (NY- Lighting/ Projections) and working with Arc3Designs (NYC). Other favorite designs include: Our Town (CT- Lighting), Urinetown (CT- Lighting), Wearable Art Fashion Show (AK- Lighting/ Projections), and Flipzoids (AK- Lighting). Calvin is also a proud member of IATSE Local #232, based out of Northampton/Amherst, MA.
Darcy May (Choreographer) is a graduate of University of the Arts, Philadelphia, where she earned a BFA in Illustration. She grew up mostly in Pearl River, NY, where she studied Irish dance as a child at Fay and O’Connell School of Irish Dance. As an adult she danced with Wild Irish Acres, of Saratoga Springs, NY. Darcy joined Hubbard Hall about 10 years ago, first as Irish Step Dance instructor, and later as Office Manager. During that time she has taught Irish dance to hundreds of children and adults in the NY/ VT area. She also illustrated children’s books for 25 years, and continues to paint and illustrate. She resides in Greenwich, NY with her husband Greg Edinger, and their two daughters, Betsy and Virginia.
Benjie White (Technical Director) has a B.A. and an M.A. in Theater from Wesleyan University where he studied improvisation with Viola Spolin. Prior to starting Hubbard Hall Projects, he taught improvisation at the Putney School, at Wesleyan University, at the Connecticut Theater for Education Institute, and in an arts-based alternative high school. He also served as Technical Coordinator for Bennington College’s Visual and Performing Arts Center. While serving as HHP’s Executive Director he also served on several grant review panels for the New York State Council on the Arts and the Vermont Arts Council and as a consultant for emerging art centers. He directed numerous productions of the Hubbard Hall Players and has thoroughly enjoyed being part of The Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall.
Richard Cherry (Musical Director) has been the Musical Director for a number of theater companies in the region. He was the Musical Director for Sunday in the Park with George, Meet Me in St. Louis, Sweeney Todd, The Secret Garden, Man of La Mancha, Merrily We Roll Along and the world premiere of He Who Gets Slapped for The Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, New York. For Home Made Theater in Saratoga Springs, New York, he was Musical Director for How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Curtains, Hair and Nine to Five: The Musical. For Channel Z Productions in Saratoga Springs he was Musical Director for Drood, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Runaways, Zombie Prom, The Robber Bridegroom and the regional premiere of The Last Five years. He has been a faculty member of the Canberra School of Music, Canberra, Australia and of the Rockland Conservatory of Music and Blue Rock School, both in Rockland County, New York. He presently works in the Music Department at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York. When not otherwise engaged he teaches sword fencing.
David Snider (Director) was in a regional spelling bee in the sixth grade and took 17th place. He still has fond but fraught memories of hours spent in the library studying vocabulary lists. Since then he has worked in both the classical repertory of Shakespeare, Shaw and Chekhov, and on the development of hundreds of new works, with artists including Samuel D. Hunter (2014 winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Award), Charles Randolph-Wright, Karen Zacarias and Liz Lerman. Over the years he has produced, directed, acted and taught with Arena Stage, the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Kennedy Center, the Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Hangar Theatre (as Director of the Hangar’s Lab Company), Playwrights Horizons (as the Robert Moss Resident Director), Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble, Seattle Repertory Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Lookingglass Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, American Repertory Theater, CENTERSTAGE, Alliance Theater, Jean Cocteau Repertory and the Maddermarket Theatre of Norwich, England. From 2012-2014 he served as Director of Artistic Programming for Arena Stage in Washington, DC, where he produced some of the most ambitious and daring work seen at this legendary theater in over 15 years, according to The Washington Post (“Arena Stage plans ambitious season full of big names,” Peter Marks, January 2013). David gained his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Graduate Acting Program of the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.