Alternate College Theatre Presents Musical Comedy ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’

The Alternate College Theatre (ACT) at the College of the Holy Cross will present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” directed by Julia McCarthy ’15, in Fenwick Theatre, located on the second floor of O’Kane Hall. The performances will be held Jan. 29, 30, 31 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for members of the Holy Cross community and $15 for the general public and can be reserved by calling the box office at 508-793-3536.

The musical comedy, conceived by Rebecca Feldman with music from William Finn, is based on a book by Rachel Sheinkin that follows the lives of middle-schoolers as they face the challenge of tricky words and their own personal demons in the annual spelling bee.

“This show is hilarious and full of lots of wild jokes, but also allows for some great improv and input from the actors,” says McCarthy. “There are sections of audition participation where we pull people up on stage to spell a word, which allows for some great humor.”

The cast performed a short scene from the musical during the announcement made last Thursday, Jan. 15 that Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an internationally acclaimed design firm known for its vibrant, interdisciplinary approach, will be designing the new performing arts center on campus.

“When I watched my actors perform at the press event, I was beaming like a parent with such pride and joy. We have all come a long way together, and my actors have worked so hard and have been such great sports. They couldn't have made my job any easier, or enjoyable, than they did,” adds McCarthy of their performance.

ACT is a student-run organization at Holy Cross. For each show, students manage every aspect of choreography, directing, lighting and set design, stage-managing, and vocal directing.

The play’s cast features Lauren Connolly ’15, Catherine Cote ’18, Angelo DeNofrio ’16, Patrick O'Konis ’16, Maureen O'Meara ’15, Brian Ott ’16, Ivan Perez ’16, Erik Schneider ’16, Tess Staley ’15, Emily Vecchiarelli ’16, with the ensemble including Emma Callahan ’18, Natalie Correa ’17, Ashley Dhaim ’15, Rebekah Dowdell ’16, Kaitlin Kelleher ’18, Chris Little ’17, Phillip Losquadro ’18, and Carly O'Brien ’17.