“Spelling Bee” Is Quirky Musical

Posted on 4/4/2016 11:24:22 PM

Erin Murphy as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Amos Glass as William Barfee, and Hannah Hughes as Rona Lisa Peretti in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"IUP’s Theater-by-the-Grove and Music Theater will present its season finale, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, April 14–17 and 20–23, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. and April 17 at 2:00 p.m. The hit musical will be presented on the Waller Hall Mainstage of the IUP Performing Arts Center.

This quirky show centers on a middle school spelling bee and chronicles the experiences of six adolescents vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. The show includes improvisation and the participation of some audience members as spellers. Rob Gretta directs the production, with music directed by Oliver Lo.

Based on an original improvisational play titled C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, the production was conceived by Rebecca Feldman and performed by The Farm, a New York improvisational comedy troupe. The music and lyrics are by William Finn, with a book by Rachel Sheinkin

Gretta explained, “...Spelling Bee is one of my favorite musicals. It has such a lovely, heartwarming message about friendship, integrity, and the importance of losing as well as winning. Finn’s music and lyrics are so clever, funny, and touching. I can’t wait for audiences to fall in love with this show and its characters as much as I did.”

Tickets for this event are available now online or the Lively Arts’ online ticketing website. They can also be purchased at the Hadley Union Building ticket office on the IUP campus or by calling the HUB ticket office at (724) 357-1313. Seats remaining will be sold at the door starting one hour before each performance.

Tickets are priced at $18 for regular admission, $15 for senior citizens and groups of 15 or more, and $12 for children, students, and I-Card holders. The play is not recommended for children under the age of 10.

For more information on this and other events within the Lively Arts, call (724) 357-2787 (ARTS) or e-mail lively-arts@iup.edu.

Theater-by-the-Grove is produced by the Department of Theater and Dance and Music Theater is produced by the Department of Music. Both are departments with the College of Fine Arts. Both programs are funded, in part, by the IUP Student Cooperative Association. 

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Pictured above, left to right, are Erin Murphy as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Amos Glass as William Barfee, and Hannah Hughes as Rona Lisa Peretti. Photography by Chris Juengel.