Nervous middle school students will try to win their way to Washington D.C. by spelling words like syzygy and Weltanschauung at the "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" opening Thursday at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse on the campus of Centenary College.

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is a Tony and Drama Desk award winning musical comedy with music and lyrics written by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin, and additional material by Jay Reiss. It was first work-shopped in 2004 and the show preimeired on Broadway in 2005, where it ran for nearly three years.

The spellers are quirky, the adults running the bee are flaky, and the songs are funny and sweet...mostly. The show is a laugh-riot, and at only 90 minutes (with no intermission) it's a very easy show to watch.

The play follows the six young spellers that made it to Putnam County’s district spelling bee, and the winner will go on to the national competition in Washington, D.C. The six spellers include Chip Tolentino, the county’s reigning champion; Logainne Shwartzandgrubenierre, the youngest speller in the competition; William Barfee, a boy who spells with his foot; Marcy Park, recent transfer and one of the top 10 spellers in the country; Leaf Coneybear, a strange young girl who makes her own clothes; and Olive Ovstrovsky, a lonely girl whose best friend is a dictionary. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee highlights a child’s obsession with winning and how losing can hurt in a good way.

"Spelling Bee" is directed by Twyla Robinson and Katie Dupont with musical direction by Jerome Tan. Rounding out the production team are: set design by Don Hooper, lighting design by Courtney Gaston, and technical direction by Alan Berry. The show will run March 30 - April 1 @ 7:30 PM, and a matinee performance on April 2 @ 2:00 PM at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse on the campus of Centenary College.

For tickets and more information, 318.869.5452 or visit

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