The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is an hilarious tale of overachievers’ angst chronicling the experience of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. The show’s Tony Award winning creative team has created the unlikeliest of hit musicals about the unlikeliest of heroes: a quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time.

Music and Lyrics by WILLIAM FINN
Additional Material by JAY REISS

Originally produced on Broadway by
David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo
Barrington Stage Company, Second Stage Theatre.

Licensed exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia).
All performance materials supplied by Hal Leonard Australia.

Production Team
Director – Kristin Telfer
Musical Director – Sarah Whiteley
Choreographers – Rachel Dow & Rebekah Stonelaitken

Performance Season
October 27 – 28, Nov 1 – 4 at 8pm
Oct 28 & Nov 4 at 2pm
The Goodwood Institute, Goodwood.

Olive Ostrovsky – Alisa James
Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre – Emily-Jo Davidson
Marcy Park – Naomi Crosby
Chip Tolentino – Angus Robson
Leaf Coneybear – Shay Stonelaitken
William Barfee – Ashleigh McFadden

Rona Lisa Peretti – Sarah Wildy
Vice Principal Douglas Panch – Jamie Wright
Mitch Mahoney – Joseph Giblin



Production Team:

Kristin Telfer – Director

N-E-O-P-H-Y-T-E: a person who is new to a subject or activity.

Kristin Telfer has been involved in community theatre for several years, in various capacities both off and onstage.

Her onstage roles have included Eugenie in The Manchurian Candidate and Myra in Deathtrap for the Blackwood Players, Friar Francis in Much Ado About Nothing, Kristine in A Doll’s House and Ines Serrano in No Exit for the former Burnside Players, and most recently Comrade Chin in M. Butterfly for St Jude’s Players.

Offstage, she has stage-managed, assistant-stage-managed and assistant-directed productions for groups including the former Spotlight Theatre, the Blackwood Players, the Stirling Players and the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild.

She has directed several plays including a contemporary drama The Cat’s Paw for Spotlight Theatre, a comedy Secret Bridesmaids’ Business for the Blackwood Players, an old-fashioned thriller House Guest for the Noarlunga Theatre Company, and last year she self-produced Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden at Holden Street Theatres to tiny audiences but critical acclaim.

Having said all that…. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is her first foray into musical theatre, a genre she has previous experience with only as an (enthusiastic) audience member. She was overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude when Marie Clark asked if she would like to direct Spelling Bee for them, and can’t wait to get started!

Sarah Whiteley – Musical Director

Sarah is a jazz performance graduate with a Bachelor of Music from the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music. She has attended many different courses in the Estill Voice Model and is currently in the process of training for the Estill Figure Proficiency Test. A registered special authority teacher, she is currently teaching specialist voice and ensemble at Mercedes College, Nazareth College and Mary Mackillop College. Currently Sarah is the proud director of the Sarah Jane Voice Studio specializing in technique, musicianship and excellence in musical theatre, jazz, soul and all contemporary styles.

As a professional musician, she received critical acclaim for her performance as Aretha Franklin in the Adelaide Fringe Festival’s Blues Brothers Revue. Television appearances include channel 9 and 7. Her musical credits include roles in Smokey Joes Café, Evita, Sugar, Back to the 80s, Rent and various Fringe and Cabaret Fringe Festival shows. Sarah regularly performs as a pop, jazz and soul singer in Adelaide. She is also a performer and teacher associated with Gospo Enterprises, The Jones Commentary, Australian Girls Choir Alumni, Tee Tree Gully Council and various other vocal ensembles and duos. Sarah is excited to take on the role of Musical Director for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.


Rachel Dow – Choreographer

Rachel began with Marie Clark Musical Theatre in 2004 with Brigadoon, and fell in love with musical theatre from that point on.

After almost twenty years of dance experience, it was a joy and a challenge to explore musical theatre and take her performance to a whole different level.

Since then, she has become involved in most aspects of production, including performance, choreography, production management and becoming president of the MCMT committee.

Some of Rachel’s highlights include choreography for the South Australian premiere of Honk! (MCMT, 2010), Forbidden Broadway (MCMT, 2012), the award-winning, ridiculously-fun Young Frankenstein (MCMT, 2014) as well as playing Hedy LaRue in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (MCMT, 2013) and ensemble in Northern Light’s Beauty and the Beast, just to name a few.

Rebekah Stonelaitken – Choreographer

Rebekah has been involved with the performing arts since the age of three, when her Nanny June told her parents that Fairy Ballet (TIDC Performing Arts Centre) on a Saturday morning would be a great and easy to manage hobby. 21 years, three overseas performance trips, two dance teacher exams and countless rehearsals later, Rebekah is excited to be choreographing her third musical, following on from Catch Me If You Can and Jekyll & Hyde.

Rebekah has performed in many musicals over the years, including, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (MCMT, 2007), Young Frankenstein (MCMT, 2014), The Wedding Singer (MCMT, 2015), The Producers (HMC, 2013) and Eurobeat (NLTC, 2013).

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