Blythewood musical is sure to be a hit!

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  • The rest of the cast is shocked by Panch’s behavior.

  • Vice Principal Panch is carried off by Mitch Mahoney.

  • AJ Jacobs’ character, Mitch Mahoney, goes to stop Vice Principal Panch.

  • In a fit of rage, Vice Principal Panch jumps onto the bleachers.

  • Nathaniel Becker’s character, Vice Principal Panch, finally loses it.

  • Gali Ramos rehearses her character, Logainne’s, monologue.

  • Ms. Dietel stops the actors to discuss their character motivations in this scene.

  • The theatre department gets ready to run through their scene.

  • AJ Jacobs’ character, Mitch Mahoney, carries off Vice Principal Panch.

  • Nathaniel Becker’s character scares the spelling bee contestants.

  • Nathaniel Brecker jumps on the bleachers to deliver the rest of his improved rant.

  • Nathaniel Becker’s character, Vice Principal Panch, finally loses it.

  • Gali Ramos prepares to perform her character, Logainne’s, monologue.

  • Ms. Dietel stops the performers to get them to think about their character’s motivations.

  • The actors prepare to rehearse their scene.

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Elena Keller

“Quirky, heartwarming, and loving,” is how theatre teacher Ms. Dietel describes the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee musical. This musical is a comedic, heartwarming story with fun music and engaging characters that is sure to entertain.

The Putnam County Spelling Bee is about quirky middle school kids competing in a spelling bee who realize that life isn’t always fair. The audience learns about each of the kids’ backstories, as the pressure builds to win the spelling bee and take home the prize.

Ever since they started in the spring, Ms. Dietel and the rest of the theatre department have been working tirelessly to bring this production to life. “It’s huge, it’s a lot of work,” Ms. Dietel says, “and what a lot of people don’t realize is that these musicals are really expensive.”

The rights to perform the musical and the rights to the music tracks cost $2,200 alone. Other costs include purchasing materials for the set, costumes, and props. As the theatre department is working to fundraise for the musical, they have to actually produce it as well.

First they work on learning the music, which is taught by choral director Ms. Claiborne, and then add the choreography throughout, which is taught by dance teacher Ms. Gandy. Besides the music and the dancing they also have to design the sets, costumes, and props as well as work on staging and tech.

Although the musical is expensive and requires hours of work and dedication, all of the people involved feel rewarded by this production. “My favorite part has definitely been growing closer with my castmates,” says junior Camryn Cox, who plays Olive Ostrovsky in the musical, “I love this department and I’m so glad to connect with more people in the cast and crew.”

Freshman Sanders Pitts, who plays William Barfée, also feels rewarded by working in the theatre department, saying “they’re so determined and good to be around and they’ll turn your day around if you’re having a bad day.”

This community has come together to put on an amazing performance. When asked why people should come see the musical, senior Julia Sampedro says, “One because it’s funny, but two there’s something very interesting watching brief clippets of what these kids have been working on their entire school year.”

The theatre department has definitely been working hard to put on a hilarious and touching musical that will delight everyone who sees it. Come check out the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on November 8 and 9 at 7:00 pm and November 10 at 3:00pm!

If you want to see more from the BHS Theatre department be sure to check out their Instagram and Twitter @bengalsonstage