Apple Tree Arts is seeking performers for its upcoming production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This show will be presented in the Great Hall at Apple Tree Arts, One Grafton Common, Grafton, MA.

About the Show

Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box. A riotous ride, complete with audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius.

Important Dates

Auditions, rehearsals, and performances will take place at Apple Tree Arts, Grafton, MA

Auditions: Saturday November 12th 10am-2pm & Monday November 14th 4pm-8pm

Callbacks: Saturday November 19th 10am-2pm (if needed)

Rehearsals: Rehearsals will begin on Sunday November 27th

Tech rehearsals: January 29th-Feb 2nd, 2023

Performances: February 3rd, 4th, 5th, 2023

Questions about auditions? Contact Director MB DeKara:

About the Roles

Apple Tree Arts encourages actors of any ethnicity, identity, ability, etc. to audition for any role. If the script requires strict adherence to any characteristic(s), those will be listed in the character description. For this production, performers must be 18+.

If you need any specific accommodations to audition, please contact Director MB DeKara, to make your request. Examples of accommodations made in the past are: wheelchair accessible audition space, large print materials, prompters in the audition room, volunteers to help fill out forms, and auditions by appointment. All choreography for the audition and the production will be designed to include actors of all abilities.

Chip Tolentino (Tenor C4-B5; male presenting)

An athletic, social, boy scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment. This actor also doubles as Jesus.

Logainne Schwartzandgrubeniere (Schwartzy) (Mezzo Soprano A3-F5; female presenting)

Schwartzy is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures. She is driven by internal and external pressure, but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud. Somewhat of a neat freak, Logainne speaks with a lisp, and will be back next year.

Leaf Coneybear (Tenor A3-A5; male presenting)

The second runner-up in the district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark and finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. Leaf is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. Neurodivergent with ADHD, Leaf’s special brain goes into a trance in order to spell words correctly. This actor also plays Carl’s Dad.

William Barfee (Tenor E4-B5; male presenting)

A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts and is back for vindication. His famous “Magic Foot” method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy, bullying personality. He develops a crush on Olive.

Marcy Park (Mezzo Soprano C4-E5; female presenting)

The ultimate over-achiever, Marcy has never been given another option. She comes from a family where excellence is expected and so simply produced. A parochial school student, she assumes God, too, expects perfection. She sees herself as a mass of problems but she keeps them to herself. Having moved often because of her parents’ work, she knows she can beat the local competition. Marcy’s many talents might include playing a musical instrument, dance, martial arts, baton twirling, and/or other special gifts the actor might bring to the show.

Olive Ostrovsky (Mezzo Soprano C4-E5; female presenting)

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. Having found comfort in its words and vastness, Olive made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms.

Rona Lisa Peretti (Mezzo-Soprano B3-F5; female presenting)

The #1 realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion, and the returning moderator. Rona Lisa is a sweet woman who loves children, but she can be very stern when it comes to dealing with Vice Principal Panch and his feelings for her. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward. This actor also plays Olive’s mom.

Vice Principal Douglas Panch (non-singing role: male presenting)

The Vice Principal. Frustrated with life, Panch finds the drive of the young spellers alien to him. 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, 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 (Tenor E4-A5; male presenting)

The Official Comfort Counselor. Ex-convict Mitch is performing community service with the Bee, by handing out juice boxes to losing students. At first, Mitch has no idea how to offer comfort, but ends up having a real knack at making the kids feel better. Actor usually also plays Dan’s dad and Olive’s dad. Vocals require a strong belt.

There will be doubling. Nine roles are open for actors of all ethnicities, ages 18 and up, and no actors have been pre-cast.

About the Production Team

Director/Choreographer: MB DeKara

Music Director: Lisa Utzig

Stage Manager: Kiersten Samalis

Producer: Lisa Scarlett for Apple Tree Arts

About the Auditions

Auditioners should prepare:

approximately 16 bars of a song from this show, as well as an up-tempo, modern (post 1980) Musical Theatre song (the latter being a backup, if needed)

A 1-2 minute contemporary monologue.

Please note the following:

  • Bring your sheet music with you in the correct key
  • A capella songs are not appropriate for this audition

Note: If you are only auditioning for Vice Principal Panch, you only need to prepare a monologue. You do not need to sing. 

Register for an audition slot here!

Fill out the audition form here! 

For any questions regarding the auditions please contact Director, MaryBeth DeKara at