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OPEN AUDITIONS: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee AuditionsOPEN AUDITIONS:
HCC’s Arts Collective Proudly Announces OPEN AUDITIONS for the Tony Award-Winning Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (AC's May-June Production)!
Saturday, FEBRUARY 27
and Saturday, MARCH 5

Time: 10:00am-2:00pm
In HCC's Dance Studio, HVPA 110

Performers, ages 16 and up are invited to attend open auditions for this spelling bee championship of a lifetime! Allergies, crushes, magic feet, neat freaks, musicians, linguists, little league, growing pains and dictionaries encompass just a few of the unique journeys included in this unforgettable, wild ride where the spellers learn that winning isn't everything (at least you get a juice box). Winner of the TONY and Drama Desk award for Best Book, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” has charmed audiences everywhere with its comic genius… complete with audience participation!

Music and Lyrics by William Finn, Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman, Additional Material by Jay Reiss
Directed by Anthony Scimonelli
Music Direction by Mayumi B. Griffie
Choreography by Jess Beach


Several singers, dancers, and actors are needed; men and women ages 16 and up. All roles are available and are non-paid; all are encouraged to audition - including HCC's current, past student, guest artists from the community!

AVAILABLE NOW: Online Audition Appointments, Forms for Actors and Tech Folks
Saturday, February 27 and Saturday, March 5, 2016
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  (Please plan to attend the entire duration.)
In HCC's Dance Studio, HVPA 110.

-Audition Appointments Encouraged: Available online only. (Confirmation follows immediately via email.)
-Submit the following Online Forms in advance:
     Audition Form: *To be completed/submitted 48 hrs. prior to audition appointments.
     Tech Interest Form – for those interested in working on our production:
     To be completed/submitted by March 1.
-Drop-In’s: Those without an appointment are welcome; however, please be prepared to wait.
-*Note: Submitting the above Actor Audition Form in advance (48 hours prior to auditions) is required, unless there are extenuating circumstances, in which case, actors must arrive 30 minutes prior to the audition start-time to complete a hard copy.


Location: Howard Community College’s Dance Studio, HVPA 110
Driving Directions: Click Here
Parking: Click Here


A U D I T I O N   P R E P A R A T I O N :
-Character Breakdown below.
-Scripts & Sides Available Beginning Monday, January 25: Materials will be available in HCC's Arts & Humanities Division Office (HVPA 200) Mon-Thurs, 9am-7pm. Note: Scripts may be signed out for 2-hour perusals only; however, please keep the Sides and bring them to your audition.
-Callbacks: Save the date – Monday, March 7, 6pm-10pm, by invitation only. (Callback snow-date: 03/12, 10am-2pm)

A U D I T I O N   C R I T E R I A :
-Prepare two contrasting songs, 16 bars each, memorized.
-Required: Bring sheet music for both.
-Song selection advice: About "contrasting songs" = Upbeat and ballad in the style of the same musical genre is preferred. No Sondheim or Jason Robert Brown please.

-Brief, fun ensemble dance combinations will be taught. Strong “technical” dance backgrounds are not required for this show; however we are looking for dancers with huge personalities and great rhythmic/comedic timing.
-All will be asked to demonstrate specialized movement skills (i.e. time step, tap or soft shoe skills, gymnastic stunts, silly human tricks or party tricks, etc.). Please be prepared to be open to experimentation with movement.
-Feet: Barefoot, in socks, or dance shoe (arrived prepared).

-Auditionees will read sides (scenes selected from the script). Sides need not be memorized.
-Scripts & Sides: Available beginning Monday, January 25, in HCC's Arts & Humanities Division Office (HVPA 200) Mon-Thurs, 9am-7pm. Note: Scripts may be signed out for 2-hour perusals only; however, please keep the Sides and bring them to your audition.
-Character breakdown here!


-Rehearsals begin approximately March 13, 2016
-The rehearsal schedule will be determined after the casting process and will be based on cast/ director/ music director/ choreographer availability.
-Rehearsals may take place approximately 5 to 6 days/evenings per week, based on availability, size of the role/ participation in the show.

PERFORMANCES: MAY 19 – JUNE 5, 2016 – Three Weekends!
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm
And a special daytime performance on Friday, June 3 at 2pm.
In HCC's Studio Theatre, Columbia, MD 21044


Cheer on everyone’s favorite six kids in the middle of puberty as they compete for the spelling bee championship of a lifetime!  Allergies, crushes, magic feet, neat freaks, musicians, linguists, little league, growing pains and dictionaries. This bee promises an unforgettable, wild ride where the spellers learn that winning isn't everything (at least you get a juice box).  Winner of the TONY and Drama Desk award for Best Book, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” has charmed audiences everywhere with its comic genius… complete with audience participation!


-Rona Lisa Peretti: The number-one realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion herself, and returning moderator. She is a sweet woman who loves children, but she can be very stern when it comes to dealing with Vice Principal Panch, who has feelings for her that she most likely does not return. Ms. Peretti herself won the Third Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by spelling “syzygy,” which she recounts at the very beginning of the opening number.
-Vice Principal Douglas Panch: After five years’ absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge. There was an “incident” at the Twentieth Annual Bee, but he claims to be in "a better place" now (or so we think), thanks to a high-fiber diet and Jungian analysis. He is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, but she does not return his affections.
-Mitch Mahoney: The Official Comfort Counselor. An ex-convict, Mitch is performing his community service with the Bee and hands out juice boxes to losing students.
-Olive Ostrovsky: A young newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual, but he is trying to come sometime during the bee. She made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition.
-William Morris Barfée: A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts. His famous “Magic Foot” method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy personality. He has an often-mispronounced last name: It is Bar-FAY, not BARF-ee (“There’s an accent aigu,” he explains with some hostility). He develops a crush on Olive.
-Logainne “Schwarzy” SchwartzandGrubenierre: Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures, with two overbearing gay fathers. She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and knows she’ll return to the bee next year.
-Marcy Park: A recent transfer from Virginia, Marcy placed ninth in last year’s nationals. She speaks six languages, is a member of all-American hockey team, a championship rugby player, plays Chopin and Mozart on multiple instruments, sleeps only three hours a night, hides in the bathroom cabinet, and is getting very tired of always winning. She is a total over-achiever, who attends a Catholic school called “Our Lady of Intermittent Sorrows.”
-Leaf Coneybear: A homeschooler and the second runner-up in his district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark: The winner and first runner-up had to go to the winner’s Bat Mitzvah. Leaf comes from a large family of former hippies and makes his own clothes. He spells words correctly while in a trance. In his song, “I’m Not That Smart”, he sings that his family thinks he is “not that smart,” but he insinuates that he is merely easily distracted.
-Charlito “Chip” Tolentino: A Boy Scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title. Relatively social and athletic, as he plays little league, Chip expects things to come easily, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment.
-Carl Grubenierre: One of Schwartzand Grubenierre’s fathers; he has set his heart on his little girl winning the Bee, no matter what he has to do, including sabotaging William’s foot.
-Dan Schwartz: Schwartzand Grubenierre’s other father; he is more laid back and doting than Carl but is still intent on his daughter winning the Bee.
-Leaf's Dad: Doubtful and finds his son annoying and unintelligent.
-Leaf’s Mom: Overprotective and doubtful of her son’s abilities to stand up to the competition. Usually played by the actor who plays Logainne.
-Leaf’s Siblings: Not very confident of Leaf’s abilities.
-Olive’s Mom and Dad: She is in India, he is working late, but they appear in Olive’s imagination to encourage her and tell her they love her.
-Jesus Christ: Appears to Marcy in a moment of crisis.

Meet the Director, Musical Director and Choreographer:

Anthony ScimonelliAbout the Director: Anthony Scimonelli
Mr. Scimonelli co-directed Howard Community College’s Arts Collective (AC) production of It’s A Wonderful Life last season with Gareth Kelly and directed AC’s production of Nobody In Particular. He performed in many AC productions from 1994-2015. Most recent AC on-stage appearances include Coffee House Under the Stars as co-emcee, What Improv Group’s (W.I.G.’s) Hallow Scream Improv Show, and Eat the Runt. Currently, he is an artistic associate and company member with Pumpkin Theatre in Baltimore where he has performed in many productions, such as Snow White, Aladdin, Peter Pan, and Jack & The Beanstalk. He has worked as a designer, musician and actor with “Spotlight UB” at the University of Baltimore from 2008-2014 and is the resident videographer at Spotlighters Theater.

Mayumi B GriffieAbout the Music Director: Mayumi B. Griffie
Ms. Griffie has studied music for over 20 years and music directed shows for over 10 years and loves every minute of it.  Music director credits include: Ragtime with Howard Community College’s Arts Collective; Shrek with Ovations Theatre; Les Miserable with KAT JR.; A Year with Frog and Toad, Wizard of Oz with KAT 2nd Stage; Rocky Horror Show, Jekyll & Hyde (nominated for Outstanding Musical Direction), and Ragtime (won WATCH award for Outstanding Musical Direction) with Kensington Art Theatre. Performance credits: Rent with Kensington Arts Theatre (ensemble) and with Laurel Mill Playhouse (ensemble/Joann understudy performed), Into the woods (Florinda) and Hairspray (Cindy Watkins/Dynamite) with Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. Director credits: Footloose with Academy of the Holy Cross Summer Stock Productions, Annie with KAT 2nd Stage.

Jess BeachAbout the Choreographer: Jess Beach
Ms. Beach has been training for over 25 years in all styles of dance in New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and up and down the east and west coast under noted dancers and choreographers, such as Nicolas Petrov (founder of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre) and Ilya Gaft (principal dancer for the Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre). She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA with a B.A. in Dance, followed by 6 years of working steadily for Stiletto Entertainment, where she worked with various noted choreographers, such as Broadway’s Patti Colombo, director, producer, and associate choreographer John Charron, and Carla Kama. Currently, Jess is an Artist in Residence and Instructor for the Dance Departments at Howard Community College and Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

About HCC’s Arts Collective

Howard Community College’s critically-acclaimed Arts Collective (AC) is a force to be reckoned with! AC is entirely committed to offering diverse, innovative, awe-inspiring works across all genres from the classics to the cutting edge, pushing the artistic boundaries inside theatre, original works, musical theatre and more!  Established in 1994, AC is known for being one of area’s most outstanding and creatively alive artistic organizations. AC continues its commitment to performers and audiences by offering stellar experiences inside the theatre. AC supports, nurtures, and fuses collaborative relationships between all artists with and without experience, from students to guest artists, on and off the stage. View AC’s 21th Season line-up:

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