Email or text 407-558-8687 your audition video today! Submit a one minute monologue and 16-32 bars of a musical theatre song.

*25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Open to grades 7-12, Rehearses Wednesday/Sunday nights; Shows: April 19-20)

                          *Currently we are in the callback stage for this show.

James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Open to grades 2-12, Rehearses Sundays 4-8; Shows:May 3-5) Callbacks will be scheduled after the holidays.

Aladdin Jr. (Open to grades 1-12, Rehearses Sundays 12-4, Shows: May 17-19) Callbacks will be scheduled after the holidays.

1. Email or text 407-558-8687 your audition video file.
2. Go to the REGISTRATION PAGE to fill out the on-line form
3. Go directly to our shopping cart link to pay tuition for the program. Tuition must be paid prior to audition/callback process. Registration guarantees your spot in the program, in one of the productions. Auditions are for casting purposes only.

Auditions Must-Haves: 

1. Please prepare a memorized one minute monologue and 16 bars of a musical theater song.
2. Please submit the following with your audition video: 
- 8x10 HEAD SHOT
- THE REGISTRATION FORM (link at the top of this page)

Below is for in person auditions.... 
3. When you arrive, please sign in. Parents do not enter the audition room. Actors are seen 4-5 at a time by appointment. Each session last 15-25 minutes.

Tips for SHINE IN THE LIMELIGHT Admission Success....
a. Please be sure you have looked over all dates carefully and you are available for all rehearsals and all performances. Do not ask for any exceptions in attendance, including any requests for leaving early or coming late to any event.

b. Please be aware of age limits per production. If we need an actor or two younger than the requirement for a show, we will invite them.

c. When completing the Registration Form, check which productions you are available for and eligible for.  Indicate if you would like to do both. There is a $50 discount if you do more than one. We will cast you in the production in which you will receive the best role. Being open to more than one choice increases your opportunities for better roles! 

d. All production program tuition must be paid in full prior to or at auditions. Space is in this program is limited and auditions are for casting purposes only - not admission into the program.  

e. All new SHINE In the Limelight students must also pay the one time $25 registration fee. This includes a SHINE tee shirt.

f. Please contact us privately if you need to be considered for partial scholarship due to financial need.

g. All roles will be assigned at the start of the rehearsal process, and call backs will be scheduled by invitation only. Do not ask for your role prior to the first rehearsal.


AUDITIONS VIDEO SUBMISSIONS now being accepted. Email or text 407-558-8687 your audition video for Aladdin or James and the Giant Peach. We are in callback stages for Spelling Bee. See all age requirements, rehearsal schedules, available roles, show synopsis,  tech week, performances listed below.

Disney’s Aladdin Jr.

Music by Alan Menken

Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice & Chad Beguelin

Book by Chad Beguelin

Based on the Disney film written by Ron Clements, John Musker, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and directed & produced by Ron Clements & John Musker

Musical theater production training program. Tuition: $450

AGE REQUIREMENTS:    For ages: 1st grade through 12th grade (For Kindergarten, please contact the director with interest/ questions/exceptions). Casting 30 roles.

Rehearsals: Sundays afternoons from 12:00pm-4:00pm, January 13-May 12, 2019

Tech Weeks: Monday-Thursday, May 13-16 from 5:30-8:30 at the ME Theatre, 1300 LaQuinta Drive, Orlando.

Performances: Friday, May 17 at 7pm, Saturday, May 18 at 7pm, Sunday, May 19 at 1pm at the ME Theatre

General Synopsis

Discover "A Whole New World" with this magically updated version of the Academy Award-winning Disney classic!

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Disney’s Aladdin JR. is based on the 1992 Academy-Award®-winning film and the 2014 hit Broadway show about the “diamond in the rough” street rat who learns that his true worth lies deep within.

The story you know and love has been given the royal treatment! Aladdin and his three friends, Babkak, Omar, and Kassim, are down on their luck until Aladdin discovers a magic lamp and the Genie who has the power to grant three wishes. Wanting to earn the respect of the princess, Jasmine, Aladdin embarks on an adventure that will test his will and his moral character. With expanded characters, new songs, and more thrills, this new adaptation of the beloved story will open up “a whole new world” for your young performers!

Full Synopsis

Genie and the Agrabahns welcome us to Agrabah, introducing Aladdin and his penniless pals, Babkak, Omar, and Kassim; Princess Jasmine and her doting father, the Sultan; and the evil Jafar and Iago ("Overture/ Arabian Night"s). Inside the marketplace, a Shop Owner berates the hungry Aladdin for stealing a loaf of bread, causing Razoul and his Guards to chase after him and his pals ("One Jump Ahead") until they escape. Afterward, when an Apple Vendor reviles two Beggars, Aladdin offers them his bread and defends them when Prince Abdullah shoves them out of his way ("One Jump Ahead - Reprise / Proud of Your Boy").

In the palace, Jafar plots with Iago to become Sultan as Jasmine rejects Prince Abdullah and the Sultan declares that she must marry by the next moon. Frustrated, Jasmine confides in her attendants - Isir, Manal, and Rajah - who encourage her to open up to experiences beyond the palace ("These Palace Walls"). As Jasmine disguises herself and takes off to heed their advice, Jafar and Iago invoke an incantation, and a Spooky Voice reveals that Aladdin is the key to finding a magic lamp that will grant Jafar the power to become Sultan.

In the marketplace, Aladdin and his friends put on a show in hope of earning some money ("Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim"). When Aladdin notices the seemingly out-of-place Jasmine and offers to show her around the marketplace, Jasmine unthinkingly takes an apple from a vendor, catching the attention of the guards. The two escape together and share their mutual experience of feeling "trapped." When the guards discover and detain them, Jasmine reveals herself to be the Princess and is escorted back to the palace, vowing to get Aladdin released. In disguise, Jafar and Iago pay off the guards and lead Aladdin to the Cave of Wonders, where he is instructed to fetch only the lamp. Distracted by the treasures, Aladdin becomes trapped within the cave until he rubs the lamp and releases the all-powerful Genie ("Friend Like Me"), who helps him escape. Granting the first of Aladdin's three wishes, Genie transforms him into Prince Ali Ababwa, which Aladdin hopes will help him to woo Jasmine.

Back at the palace, Jafar, thinking that Aladdin is still trapped in the cave, informs a despondent Jasmine that the boy's sentence has already been carried out. Just then, Aladdin and his friends make a grand entrance as Prince Ali with his Entourage ("Prince Ali"), but his demeanor offends Jasmine, who storms off. Frustrated, Aladdin lashes out at his friends, who in turn abandon him and leave the palace.

Later, on the Princess's balcony, Prince Ali gains Jasmine's trust and invites her on a magic carpet ride ("A Whole New World"). After bidding her farewell, Aladdin is arrested by Jafar for trespassing in the Princess's private chambers.

Omar, returning to help Aladdin, witnesses his arrest and runs to tell his pals, who pledge to help him ("High Adventure"), but they too are detained as they storm the palace. Aladdin uses his second wish, and Genie frees them all.

Aladdin vows to tell Jasmine the truth, but changes his mind when she tells him he is to become Sultan after they wed. Unsure of his own moral character and ability, Aladdin fears he may need his third wish to succeed as a ruler. After a disappointed Genie turns his back on Aladdin and retreats into the lamp, Aladdin weighs his options, and ultimately runs off to tell Jasmine the truth. He leaves behind the lamp, which Jafar and Iago gleefully take.

At the wedding, Jafar reveals Prince Ali's real identity ("Prince Ali - Reprise") and demands that Genie make him Sultan. Aladdin then tricks him into wishing to become the most powerful genie of all time - forever trapping him inside his own lamp. Using his last wish, Aladdin frees Genie; and the Sultan, moved by Aladdin's courage and Jasmine's wisdom, alters the law so that the Princess can rule Agrabah and marry whomever she chooses. Picking Aladdin, Jasmine and all of Agrabah live happily, and freely, ever after ("Finale").

Character Breakdown


Aladdin, a poor street urchin, longs to make his mother proud, but sometimes loses his way. He’s the thief with a heart of gold, so cast your most charismatic actor with the versatility to play both the playful prankster and romantic lead. Make sure he has the vocal chops to carry this heavy- singing role., a poor street urchin, longs to make his mother proud, but sometimes loses his way. He’s the thief with a heart of gold, so cast your most charismatic actor with the versatility to play both the playful prankster and romantic lead. Make sure he has the vocal chops to carry this heavy- singing role.

Gender: Male

Vocal range top: E4

Vocal range bottom: G2

Babkak, Omar, and Kassim

Babkak, Omar, and Kassim are Aladdin’s three loyal and playful pals. Babkak is the Agrabahn foodie who loves to snack, kindhearted Omar has a sensitive soul, and stubborn Kassim yearns to be a leader. When auditioning, have your potential pals read together to get a sense of their chemistry – they should be a truly tight-knit trio of strong singers and actors.

Gender: Both

Vocal range top: E4

Vocal range bottom: G2


Genie is the fast-talking, fun-loving, scene- stealing wisecracker who lives in the lamp and yearns to be free. Genie doesn’t need to be your strongest singer or dancer – look for an actor with great comic timing and a flashy and fun sense of showmanship.

Gender: Both

Vocal range top: D#4

Vocal range bottom: G2


Iago is the fawning and funny sidekick to Jafar. With only one lyric to sing, focus on finding an actor who can execute this lackey’s many sarcastic asides with comedic flair.

Gender: Both

Vocal range top: E4

Vocal range bottom: Bb2

Isir, Manal, and Rajah

Isir, Manal, and Rajah, Jasmine’s devoted attendants, keep the Princess grounded with their honesty and openness. Isir, whose name means “inspiration,” is optimistic; Manal, “achievement,” is assertively encouraging; and Rajah, “hope,” is the most protective. As with Aladdin’s three pals, audition potential attendants together to get a sense of their chemistry, but above all, cast strong singers who can pull off “These Palace Walls” with aplomb.

Gender: Female

Vocal range top: Eb5

Vocal range bottom: B3


Jafar is the power-hungry and crooked Grand Vizier. Cast a strong actor who can sing and portray both sides of Jafar’s two-faced personality – loyal advisor to the Sultan and scheming villain – as well as pull off delicious comedic moments with his lackey, Iago.

Gender: Male

Vocal range top: Eb4

Vocal range bottom: Bb2


Jasmine, the Princess of Agrabah, longs to experience the world outside the palace walls. Curious and assertive, she knows what she wants and craves the freedom to make her own choices. Cast a strong actor and singer who can portray both the romantic lead and a young woman caught between her responsibilities to her people and to herself.

Gender: Female

Vocal range top: E5

Vocal range bottom: G3


Sultan, the warm-hearted ruler who dotes on his daugther, is committed to upholding the ancient laws of Agrabah. With only a single lyric to sing, focus on casting an actor who can play this father figure convincingly.

Gender: Male

Vocal range top: C4

Vocal range bottom: Ab3


Agrabahns are the citizens of Agrabah who help to create the bustling marketplace – merchants, shoppers, beggars, guards, etc. Included in this ensemble are the following featured roles:

• The Beggars (3) are a small group with whom Aladdin briefly interacts. Feel free to cast more beggars than the three who have scripted lines.

• The Apple Vendor is a merchant who reviles the beggars and from whom Jasmine unintentionally steals an apple.

• The Fortune Teller unwittingly helps Aladdin escape the guards in “One Jump Ahead.”

• The Shop Owner is a marketplace vendor from whom Aladdin steals bread.

• Razoul, the rough and commanding head of the palace guards, answers to Jafar. Cast a performer who can portray an intimidating leader.

• The Guards (2) follow Razoul’s orders. While there are only two speaking roles, feel free to include as many additional guards as you like in your production, who can help Razoul defend the palace during “High Adventure.”

Gender: Both

Prince Abdullah

Prince Abdullah is one of Princess Jasmine’s haughty and arrogant suitors.

Gender: Male


The Attendants (2) accompany Prince Abdullah on his journey to Agrabah.

Gender: Both

Spooky Voice

The mysterious Spooky Voice, conjured by Jafar, reveals the location of the lamp. This voice can be recorded, come from offstage, or with creative staging, come from an ensemble performer onstage.

Gender: Both

Cave of Wonders

The Cave of Wonders is the ominous voice that instructs Aladdin to fetch only the lamp from the treasures within. This voice can be created in a variety of ways, much like the Spooky Voice.

Gender: Both


The Ensemble in “Friend Like Me” is conjured by Genie to help wow Aladdin by singing, dancing, and assisting in performing fun and fabulous magic tricks.

Gender: Both


The Entourage, led by Aladdin’s three pals, helps to create the visually spectacular parade through the palace in “Prince Ali.”

Gender: Both


Book by Timothy Allen McDonald

Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (The guys who wrote The Greatest Showman, Dear Evan Hansen, Lalaland)

Based on the book, "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl.

Musical Theater Production Training Programming

AGE REQUIREMENTS:    For ages: 2nd grade through 12th grade (For K-1st grade, please contact the director with interest/ questions/exceptions). Casting 30 roles.

REHEARSALS: Sunday afternoons from 4:00pm-8:00pm, January 13-April 28, 2019

TECH WEEK: Monday, April 29-Thursday, May 2 from 5:30-8:30 at the ME Theatre, 1300 LaQuinta Drive, Orlando

PERFORMANCES: Friday, May 3 at 7pm, Saturday, May 4 at 7pm, Sunday May 5 at 1pm at the ME Theatre, 1300 LaQuinta Drive, Orlando.

General Synopsis

A delightfully offbeat adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl adventure, a boy and his insect friends take an amazing journey across the ocean.

Based on one of Roald Dahl’s most poignantly quirky stories, Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach JR. is a brand new take on this "masterpeach" of a tale.  Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming book, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic.

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.

The possibilities for creative costuming and puppetry abound, and young actors will love playing the outlandish and larger-than-life human and insect characters.


As the overture ends, Ladahlord, our mysterious narrator, makes his entrance on the empty stage, quickly joined by the rest of the Company ("Right Before Your Eyes"). The scene transitions into Painswick Orphanage, where the Matron Nurse calls for lights out. James talks in his sleep; he is having a nightmare about his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Trotter, who were tragically killed when a Rhino escaped from the London Zoo. As Karl Kreatour warns the crowd about the rhino, James wakes up from the nightmare and frantically searches for his father s glasses and his mother's scarf, his only mementos of his parents. He spots a Ladybug and a Grasshopper and sends them on their way ("On Your Way Home"). Suddenly, the Matron Nurse announces that James has two aunts in Dover who have agreed to take him in. They rush to catch the train to Dover as Ladahlord follows along ("Right Before Your Eyes – Reprise #1").

In Dover, Vagrants crisscross the stage and introduce Spiker and Sponge, who survive by stealing, lying and bribing Billy and Bobby Bobby-Cop ("Property of Spiker and Sponge"). They learn that they have been named the guardians of James and quickly plan to use him as their own personal servant. Violet Funkschmeller, Ridgley Rapscallion, Chris Cryermouth and Doreen Driggles commiserate with Spiker and Sponge over their forced motherhood. They pick him up from the train station and whisk him back to their cottage in Dover, where they inform him he will live in the basement with the rest of the creepy-crawlies. Spiker and Sponge decide on a day at the seashore, sending James inside to get the picnic basket. Meanwhile, Sponge walks directly into a spider web and catches the Male Spider between two giant pieces of bread, taking a large bite out of the horrible sandwich. James returns with the picnic basket, excited to play with his friends at the beach, but Spiker and Sponge command him to chop down the peach tree instead. Ladahlord keeps watch as James picks up the axe to chop down the tree ("Right Before Your Eyes – Reprise #2"). Before beginning on the tree, James rescues a poor Earthworm who is running for his life from an aggressive Centipede.

Suddenly, Ladahlord appears and offers James the chance to change his life by choosing a spell from his book ("Shake it Up"). The Garden Chorus and Insects help James assemble the potion for Crocodile Tongues. Ladahlord explains that James must add seven drops of well water and drink it all in one gulp ("Shake it Up – Reprise"), but James trips and spills the entire contents of the bag. Earthworm, Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug and a Spider each chase a crocodile tongue offstage.

The next morning, Spiker and Sponge are nursing their sunburns when they notice there is a peach in the peach tree... a giant peach! Sponge wants to eat it, but Spiker sees some potential in the peach, inviting Reporters, the Ladies Garden Guild, Bitsy Botana, Hollywood Agents and Buzz ("There's Money on That Tree") to view it. James wants to move to the seashore with all the money they've made, but Spiker and Sponge don't believe him when he claims to have made the peach grow. They break his father's glasses and rip his mother's scarf, declaring that liars must sleep outside ("On Your Way Home – Reprise").

James notices something strange: there is a doorknob in the peach. Upon further investigating, his arms get stuck on the peach and, suddenly, he is sucked into it, coming face-to-face with human-sized insects! Introductions are made with Grasshopper, Ladybug, Spider, Earthworm and Centipede. Suddenly, the peach's stem snaps and it goes rolling away from the cottage ("Our Adventure Begins!") Ladahlord narrates as the peach rolls past Spiker and Sponge, Farm Animals, Willy Wonka and Oompa-Loompas, finally splashing into the sea. They determine they are drifting across the English Channel to France ("Floatin' Along"). Though they are all hungry, the problem is quickly solved by James: he suggests they eat the peach ("Floatin' Along – Reprise").

Back at the cottage, Spiker and Sponge realize they are in big trouble without the giant peach. They take their money and run, narrowly avoiding an Angry Crowd and Billy and Bobby Bobby-Cop ("A Getaway for Spiker and Sponge"). Back on the peach, the Insects revive James from a nightmare. The Insects share their horrible past experiences with Spiker and Sponge, and James reveals to them that his parents are gone. The Insects explain that his parents are always with him ("Everywhere That You Are").

Days later, on the deck of the Jewel of the Sea, Ladahlord is in disguise as a ship's porter ("Right Before Your Eyes – Reprise #3"). Spiker and Sponge are onboard and en route to New York City, where they plan to set up their old routine ("I Got You"). They notice the peach floating in the distance and set out after it. On the peach, Centipede is seasick and attracts the attention of some Seagulls, but the peach has attracted the attention of some Sharks, too! James and the Insects form a plan to capture the seagulls with Spider's web and fly away from danger, but they need Earthworm to act as bait ("Plump and Juicy").

Ladahlord, dressed as a seagull, reveals that the plan works ("Right Before Your Eyes – Reprise #4"), and they quickly arrive in New York City, where Spiker and Sponge are waiting for them. The seagull web snaps, sending the Screaming Women, Lucille Van Kooglestein and Bunny Mackenzie the Third, into a panic as the peach lands on the Empire State Building ("Empire State/The Attack"). Spiker and Sponge threaten the Insects with fumigators, claiming they are taking James and the peach home, but before they can make a move, the peach slips free and lands on them. James is relieved that they will never hurt anyone ever again ("Welcome Home") and celebrates his remarkable new family. 

Character Breakdown


Ladahlord is a mysterious character who seems to have a hand in the magical things that are happening. Though he may seem a bit off, he carefully watches over James, making sure James moves towards to a better life. Ladahlord also serves as a guiding narrator throughout the story. This is a perfect role for a charismatic young actor who can sing and dance well.

Gender: Male

Vocal range top: Gb5

Vocal range bottom: G3


James is the hero of our story, on an epic quest to find a family of his own and gain confidence in himself. Cast a young boy with an unchanged voice and someone who has great acting instincts. Make sure he can win over an audience and is comfortable being onstage.

Gender: Male

Vocal range top: E5

Vocal range bottom: G#3


Ladybug immediately takes on a doting, maternal role in Jameslife. This is a fantastic role for a performer with a great singing voice and a regal demeanor.

Gender: Female

Vocal range top: D5

Vocal range bottom: A3


Grasshopper, the leader of the Insects, is ever the optimist and assumes a paternal role in Jameslife. Cast a performer who can sing and act well, but foremost has a warm, inviting presence.

Gender: Male

Vocal range top: F#5

Vocal range bottom: A3


Spider is a clever creature who becomes a fun-loving older sister to James. A young woman with a spunky personality and a great voice is a perfect choice for the role.

Gender: Female

Vocal range top: C5

Vocal range bottom: B3


Earthworm is a gentle spirit, although he can be a bit of a coward. Luckily, he gains enough courage to save the day by baiting some gullible seagulls. Earthworm looks at James as a brother figure. Cast a performer who can sing well, and more importantly, someone who isnt afraid of being a little outlandish.

Gender: Male

Vocal range top: A5

Vocal range bottom: B3


Centipede may be a bit of grouch, but he is ever-loyal to the pack, and by the end of the story, hes won over by James. James sees Centipede as that cranky uncle with a heart of gold. Centipede should have a good singing voice, and be able to make strong, specific acting choices.

Gender: Male

Vocal range top: F#5

Vocal range bottom: G3

Spiker and Sponge

Spiker and Sponge are the sort of aunts (or monsters) that you fear ever being stuck with. They take James into their home but only so that he can be their own personal servant. Spiker is the brains of the operation, and Sponge is more concerned with finding something to eat. These are great character roles for two young performers who are fantastic singers and actors. To play into the humor, cast a duo that contrasts completely in physical appearance.

Gender: Female

Vocal range top: E5

Vocal range bottom: F3

Zoo Crowd

Mr. Trotter, Mrs. Trotter, Karl Kreatour and the Zoo Crowd are all part of Jamesnightmare. These are small, featured roles, so feel free to cast from your ensemble.

Gender: Both

Matron Nurse

The Matron Nurse runs the Painswick Orphanage, and you definitely get a sense she hasnt had a vacation in years. This is a great acting role for a young woman who can command a room.

Gender: Female

Billy and Bobby Bobby-Cop

Billy and Bobby Bobby-Cop are a perfectly unified pair of cops working for Scotland Yard. This is fun cameo role for two performers who work well together.

Gender: Male


The Vagrants, including Doreen Driggles, Ridgley Rapscallion, Violet Funkschmeller, and Chris Cryermouth are an ensemble of have-nots to support Spiker and Sponges treacherous plans. These ensemble roles are important for making up the world of the musical. The Passing Man, Man (with wallet) and Passing Woman all have featured moments where they fall victim to Spiker and Sponge.

Gender: Both

Garden Chorus

The Garden Chorus comes to life in Shake It Upas Ladahlord mixes a magical potion. This is a great place to cast kids of various skill level and get them excited about musical theater.

Gender: Both


The Reporters, including Ida Walters, are on the scene just as the peach is becoming larger than life. Cast a group of energetic performers.

Gender: Both


Bitsy Botana and the rest of the LadiesGarden Guild are in flowery frocks and hats, intent on having Spiker and Sponge give the keynote speech at their conference. A few young performers with good voices will do the trick.

Gender: Female

Hollywood Agents

The Hollywood Agents, led by Buzz, jump in on the success of the growing peach with movie and Broadway deals for Spiker and Sponge. Like the Reporters, this is a fun group to cast with some lively performers.

Gender: Both

Farm Animals, Willy Wonka And Oompa-Loompas

Farm Animals, Willy Wonka and Oompa-Loompas are all in harms way as the peach outgrows its stem and rolls towards the ocean. These are very fun cameo roles for performers with personality.

Gender: Both

Angry Crowd

The Angry Crowd is in search of the amazing giant peach, but they quickly turn into an angry mob when the peach is nowhere to be found. These ensemble parts are easy to cast from any of your company.

Gender: Both

Cruise Ensemble

The Cruise Ensemble are various vacationers en route to New York with Spiker and Sponge. Use anyone from your ensemble to fill out the scene!

Gender: Both

Sharks And Seagulls

The Sharks and Seagulls are featured in Plump and Juicy.Cast strong movers and dancers in these roles.

Gender: Both

New Yorkers

New Yorkers, including the Screaming Women, Lucille Van Kooglestein, Bunny Mackenzie The Third, Jake and Joe all witness the peach land directly on the Empire State Building and are sent into a panic! Cast a handful of characters for these cameo roles.

Gender: Both

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Conceived by

Rebecca Feldman

Additional Material by

Jay Reiss

Music and Lyrics by

William Finn

Book by

Rachel Sheinkin

Musical theater production training program. Show title is rated PG13. Tuition is $450.

AGE REQUIREMENTS: 7th grade through 12th grade. Casting 18 roles.

Rehearsals: Wednesday nights 6:00-8:30pm; Sunday nights 5:00-8:00pm (subject to change/alter/flex according to which characters will be called), January 9-April 14, 2019

Tech Week: Monday-Thursday, April 15-18  from 5:30-8:30 at the ME Theatre, 1300 LaQuinta Drive, Orlando.

Performances: Friday, April 19 at 7pm, Saturday, April 20 at 1pm and 7pm  at the ME Theatre


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. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience.

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. The small cast and unit set make this a perfect option for high schools or community theatres. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a fast-paced crowd pleaser and an instant theatre patron favorite.


In a high school gym, long time hostess, Rona Lisa Peretti, finalizes the preparations for the annual county spelling bee, reminiscing about her own spelling bee victory, many years prior. The current crop of spelling contenders arrives ("The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"). The contestants include last year's champ, Chip (a boy scout), Schwarzy (the youngest and most politically aware contestant), Coneybear (the somewhat wide-eyed offspring of hippie parents), Barfee (an allergy-plagued student), Marcy (an over-achieving Asian-American) and Olive (a tentative newcomer).

Rona also calls on four volunteers from the audience to join the competition (these are real audience members who have been selected through an interview process before the show).

It is revealed that Olive has failed to pay her $25 entrance fee, but Rona assures her that it will be worked out later. Barfee rudely fends off Olive's attempts to befriend him. Rona introduces Vice Principal Douglas Panch, a last-minute substitute word pronouncer, and Mitch Mahoney, a menacing ex-con who is serving as "Comfort Counselor" as a part of his community service sentence. Panch, Rona and the spellers review the contest's elimination-style rules ("The Rules").

The contest begins. As the students are individually called upon, Rona provides color commentary, revealing background info about each of them. A flashback reveals that Coneybear only made in into this contest because his school's winner and first runner-up were unable to attend due to a Bar Mitzvah. He appears to have no hope of spelling words correctly, but snaps into abrupt trances, during which he performs perfectly.

Olive reflects on a lonely childhood, where her main source of companionship (and spelling excellence) was a dictionary ("My Friend the Dictionary"). The audience volunteers are also called upon to participate. Volunteers who answer incorrectly are eliminated ("Goodbye #1"). Barfee uses a bizarre "magic foot" technique to spell his words.

Rona reveals that Marcy placed high in the ranking for last year's national spelling bee, impressing all of the contestants. One of the audience volunteers is asked to spell "cow," prompting outrage from the contestants. The contest swings into high gear ("Pandemonium") as Panch requests spellings for words that vary enormously in their level of difficulty.

A flashback reveals Schwarzy, drilling for the contest with her two overbearing gay dads. Coneybear, for the second consecutive time, is asked to spell a word related to South American rodents. He confesses that his family does not consider him to be particularly intelligent ("I'm Not That Smart").

Barfee calls upon his magic foot technique to help him spell the word, "hasenpfeffer" ("Magic Foot"). By this point in the contest, all but one of the audience volunteers have probably been eliminated. Chip is eliminated after getting distracted by seeing Coneybear's attractive sister, Marigold, in the audience ("Pandemonium – Reprise"). Mitch escorts him from the stage ("Chip Goodbye").

Rona is excited by the unexpected early elimination of last year's champ ("Rona Moment #2").

The final audience volunteer is eliminated when asked to spell a ridiculously difficult word. Mitch consoles the loser ("Prayer of the Comfort Counselor").

During a snack break, Chip distributes free candy to the audience and laments the fact that his sexual arousal cost him a victory in the spelling bee ("My Unfortunate Erection"). Chip bickers with Barfee and terrorizes him with a packet of peanut M&Ms before being ejected. Olive comforts Barfee.

As the break ends and the bee resumes, Schwarzy reflects on the tremendous pressure placed on her by her dads ("Woe Is Me"). A lighting-fast blaze of spelling ensues, and Coneybear is eliminated when he fails to spell chinchilla correctly ("I'm Not That Smart – Reprise").

Rona reveals that Marcy speaks six languages. Marcy is exasperated at always being thought of as superior in every way ("I Speak Six Languages"). She is asked to spell the word, "camouflage," whereupon she rhetorically exclaims "Dear Jesus, can't you come up with a harder word than that?" Much to her astonishment, Jesus Christ immediately appears and reveals that He doesn't care who wins this contest. Marcy, relieved, deliberately misspells her word, joyfully eliminating herself.

Only Schwarzy, Olive and Barfee remain. Olive receives a phone call from her dad. Taking advantage of the pause, Schwarzy seizes the microphone and makes a political statement. One of Schwarzy's dads attempts to sabotage Barfee by pouring a can of Coke onto the stage, hoping the stickiness will immobilize Barfee's magic foot. It is implied that Olive's father is unwilling to pay her $25 entrance fee.

Olive is given the word "chimerical," which means "wildly fanciful and highly unrealistic." This prompts her to fantasize about her neglectful parents ("The I Love You Song").

Barfee's magic foot is foiled by the spilled Coke, but he manages to spell "crepuscule" correctly anyway. Schwarzy is eliminated ("Woe is Me – Reprise"). Only two spellers remain, and Rona is breathless with excitement ("Rona Moment #3").

After a volley of correctly spelled words, Olive misspells a word ("Second, Part One") and Barfee hesitates before claiming victory, sensitive to Olive's feelings. Olive reassures him, and he claims the victory. Panch, taking pity on Olive, invents a $25 prize for "runner up," which he produces out of his own pocket to cover Olive's entrance fee. Rona is moved by Panch's kind gesture. Olive and Barfee warmly congratulate each other.

A series of epilogues reveal the future fates of the characters and explains how their experiences during the spelling bee shaped each of their lives ("Finale").

Character Breakdown

Chip Tolentino

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.

Logainne Schwartzandgrubeniere (Schwartzy)

Logainne 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. She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and will be back next year.

Leaf Coneybear

The second runner-up in his district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark and finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. He is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. He has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance.

William Barfee

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

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. Her many talents include piano, dance, martial arts, baton twirling, and/or whatever special gifts you can find in your casting pool.

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. 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

The number-one realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion herself, and the 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 and his feelings for her. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward.

Douglas Panch

The Vice Principle. Frustrated with his life, he 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

The Official Comfort Counselor. An ex-convict, Mitch is performing his community service with the Bee, and hands out juice boxes to losing students. He has no idea how to offer comfort, but does find himself wishing he could find a way to make the kids feel better.

Carl Dad

Schwarzy's main trainer, the more intense and competitive of Schwarzy's fathers. Normally played by actor playing Leaf.

Dan Dad

the more laid back and ineffectual of Schwarzy's fathers. Normally played by the actor playing Mitch.

Jesus Christ

Deity invoked by a speller in need. Normally played by the actor playing Chip.

Leaf's Mom, Dad, And Siblings

All more academically gifted than Leaf, they are even more surprised than he is by his success. Normally played by the spellers and audience volunteers as indicated in the script.

Olive's Dad

A fantasy version of Olive's dad coming to the bee from work. Normally played by the actor playing Mitch.

Olive's Mom

A fantasy version of Olive's mom at her Ashram in India. Normally played by the actor playing Rona.

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