A Musical Comedy
Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Directed by Michael Ng
Music Direction by Darcie Yoshinaga
Choreography by Dwayne Sakaguchi
Saturday and Sunday, April 17 & 18, 2021
2:00pm - 5:00pm, by appointment only
at Manoa Valley Theatre
To make an appointment, please call the theatre at (808) 988-6131
June 17 - 27, 2021
The Tony Award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book, and a truly fresh and vibrant score, this bee is one unforgettable experience. In this musical comedy, an eclectic group of middle-school spellers compete at their annual spelling bee. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Through charming, funny, and poignant songs, we get to know each speller’s unique story and discover that winning isn’t everything.
Please prepare 16-32 bars of a contemporary pop song that best showcases your vocal range and character. Auditionees must provide their own instrumental track to accompany their song. Please bring the track on your phone or other electronic device, cued to your cut, if necessary, and be prepared to plug it into a player (e.g., bring the cord or other hardware required for physical plug-in). There will be no pianist to accompany you for this audition and no a capella performances will be allowed.
Auditionees will also be asked to participate in a short improvisational activity.
Seeking performers (ages 18+) to play the following roles. All roles are available. Some roles will be doubled. Open to all genders, races, and ethnicities.
Chip Tolentino (also plays Jesus) / Vocal Range: Tenor
Last year’s Putnam County champ who begins to learn the ups and downs of puberty during the bee. He is strong-willed, competitive, ambitious, and - most of all - very distracted by girls.
Logainne SchwarzandGrubeniere / Vocal Range: Mezzo-Soprano
Younger than most bee participants, she is driven by internal and external pressure - but above all else, a desire to win to please her two fathers. Speaks with a lisp.
Leaf Coneybear (also plays Carl Dad) / Vocal Range: Tenor
As the second runner-up in his district’s bee, he really should not be competing here. He and his siblings are homeschooled by his hippie parents. He makes his own clothes and is a free spirit and gets lost in his imaginary world. He is strange but very sweet.
William Barfee / Vocal Range: Tenor
Has a host of health problems and a lot to prove. Loud and combative, he becomes the bully to avoid being picked on by others, but eventually warms up. A strong comedic role.
Marcy Park / Vocal Range: Mezzo-Soprano
The ultimate over-achiever, Marcy has never been given another option. She comes from a family where excellence is expected and so simply produced. Role requires various tricks, such as baton twirling, cartwheels, splits, etcetera.
Olive Ostrovsky / Vocal Range: Mezzo-Soprano with Belt
Olive is left to her own devices at the bee by her absent parents. She is shy, but hopeful, and a sweet girl who longs to be loved, or at least noticed, by her parents. Her best friend is the dictionary.
Rona Lisa Peretti (also plays Olive’s Mom) / Vocal Range: Mezzo-Soprano with Belt
The number-one realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion herself, and the returning moderator. She is a sweet woman who loves children. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward. This character requires an actress with comic/improvisational skills.
Vice Principal Douglas Panch / Vocal Range: Any
The vice-principal of a local middle school, he is frustrated with his life. Forced to be a substitute co-host of the bee, he finds the whole thing odd but attempts to play along to impress Rona, on whom he has a crush. This character requires an actor with comic/improvisational skills who can carry a tune.
Mitchell M. Mahoney (also plays Dan Dad and Olive’s Dad) / Vocal Range: Tenor
With a bouncer’s physique and demeanor, Mitch appears an odd choice for the bee’s “comfort counselor,” but it is part of his community service.
Please call MVT to make an audition appointment 808-988-6131
About the Directors
Michael Ng (Director) holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Last seen as The King of Siam in I’m A Bright Kid Foundation’s The King and I, he has worked professionally as an actor both in Hawai’i and on the mainland. Credits include Nickelodeon’s iCarly, Big Time Rush, FOX’s Dollhouse, CBS’ Criminal Minds, Hawaii Five-0, ABC’s Last Resort, and Cameron Crowe’s Aloha. As a filmmaker, Michael wrote, produced, and directed Peace by Piece which premiered at the 2013 Hawai’i International Film Festival. He is currently on the teaching staff at the Kaimuki High School Performing Arts Center where he has helmed the live stage productions of Grease, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Once On This Island, In The Heights, Hairspray, Mamma Mia!, and Little Shop of Horrors. Other directing credits include Manoa Valley Theatre’s production of Lisa Matsumoto’s The Princess and the Iso Peanut and Edgewater Productions’ A Timeless Princess.
Darcie Yoshinaga (Music Director) began her musical theatre endeavors playing in the orchestras for Ronald Bright productions at Castle High School, and more recently has music directed DHT’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder and The Bodyguard, and Edgewater Productions’ A Timeless Princess. Assistant musical director credits include MVT’s Rent, KHSPAC’s Hairspray, In the Heights, Mamma Mia! and Little Shop of Horrors, and CPAC’s Pippin, On the Town, Shrek, Les Miserables, and Ragtime. Darcie has also played in various pit orchestras, some favorites being Altar Boyz, Titanic, Goodbye Girl and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (DHT), Avenue Q & Next to Normal (MVT), and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (KHSPAC).
Dwayne Sakaguchi (Choreographer) holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a focus in Public Relations. He is a 2012 Kaimuki High School graduate, KHSPAC alumni, and a 2018 Po’okela award winner for his performance in DHT’s production of Newsies. Most memorable roles include Chino in West Side Story, Kenickie in Grease (KHSPAC), Angel in Rent (SLPAC), Mike in A Chorus Line (ACT), a featured dancer in MVT’s last production of Honk!, and most recently as an Angel in DHT’s production of Kinky Boots. Sakaguchi began his dance training under the direction of Deanna Luster in 2010 and was a Directed Studies student for 2 years. A former DHT Shooting Star, he has trained at various studios around the island including Queen Emma Ballet, Hawai’i Ballet Theatre, 24-7 Danceforce, Central Y, and Honolulu Dance Studio. He has taught dance at Applause Performance Academy and Punahou Dance School under the direction of Charlys Ing. He is humbled and honored to debut as a community theatre choreographer with this show!