Audience joins in the show for Lake Park High’s ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’

Lake Park High School’s musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” is a fast-paced, phonetic comedy.

The musical takes place during a county spelling bee hosted by local “celebrity” and real estate agent Rona Lisa Peretti (played by senior Mia Manella) and disgraced Vice Principal Douglas Panch (junior Julian Mostowski), along with comfort counselor Michelle Mahoney (junior Meya Wiggins), serving community service.

Join an eclectic group of six middle schoolers: Boy Scout and last year’s winner Chip Tolentino (senior Elias O’Neil), naive homeschooler Leaf Coneybear (senior Akul Sharma), politically active speller Logainne “Schwartzy” SchwartzandGrubenierre (senior Brinly Wilson), shy and reserved Olive Ostrovsky (junior Frankie Molfese), allergy-prone William Morris Barfée (junior Luke Thomas) and prodigy Marcy Park (junior Lauren Troutman) as they compete in 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 “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Eight spellers enter; one speller leaves!

The show features audience participation by different Lake Park community members, teachers, and administrators at each performance.

According to director Sara Keith, one of the challenges of the show is that part of it is improvised with different audience volunteers.

She asked the student cast and crew members for Lake Park teachers and administrators they would like to invite to be audience spellers. Those people were then invited and, based on their availability, assigned a day to perform.

“To prepare, we had the new spellers fill out an information sheet so we could prepare introductions for each of them,” Keith said.

The list of audience volunteers include the East Campus and West Campus principals, assistant principals, teachers and coaches.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will be presented by both theater and music departments at 7 p.m. Thursday to Friday, April 25-27, and a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28, in the East Campus Dice Auditorium, 600 Medinah Road in Roselle.

Tickets, which are available at the door, are $5 for adults; $3 for non-Lake Park students; and free for senior citizens, children under 13, and Lake Park students with an ID.

For information, call (630) 295-5313. Visit

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