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Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
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.
Associate Director/ William Barfee
Chris Califano is BEEaming to return to the streets of Putnam County as the feisty, gawky, and hyperallergic William M. Barfée. Notable credits include: Spelling Bee (Leaf), Little Shop (Mushnik), Legally Blonde (Emmett), and Hairspray (Fender). This show is dedicated to every child I have ever taught; who has not only helped keep me young at heart, but has also inspired the many nuances for the characters in this show. Feedabee.com
Olivia Berger (Olive Ostrovsky) is thrilled have this opportunity to perform with Sapphire Theatre Company. She was most recently seen as Heather Chandler in Heathers at Onstage Playhouse. She will also be graduating this December with a BFA in Theatre Performance. Other favorite roles include Elle Woods (Legally Blonde) Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and Kitty (The Drowsy Chaperone). She would like to thank Jenn, Erik and Chris for this incredibly fun experience, and her family for their tremendous support.
Jillian is excited to be working with Sapphire Theatre Company again! She is a recent graduate from SDSU with a BA in Music and a Minor in Theater. Equally at home in opera and musical theater her favorite roles include the title role in Amelia Goes to the Ball, Mama/Sarah Longstreet (High Button Shoes), Minnie Fay (Hello Dolly), Conversa (Suor Angelica) and Billy’s Mum (Billy Elliot – The Musical). She’s been a fan of the performing arts ever since she was little. She wants to thank her friends and family for always supporting her. Enjoy the show!
Eve Jack is performing in her second mainstage productions with Sapphire Theatre Company, as well as in their cabaret series The New Broadway and An Enchanted Cabaret. Some of her favorite regional theatre credits are: Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal) King & I, RENT, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy), Jesus Christ Superstar, Company (Marta), The Fantasticks (Luisa), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cobweb), Music Man, and Wizard of Oz. Eve works for the #1 real estate company in the US. She enjoys wellness-focused activities, enjoys beach dates and horror movie dates with her hubby and LOVES purple! She is honored to be a part of this wonderful and fun show!
Audrey is thrilled to be making her Sapphire Theatre debut. Originally a dancer, she started her theatre career in 2015 with her first off-broadway show, Can You Hear Me, Betty White? (Estelle). She graduated from University of California, Irvine with a degree in theatre and was most recently seen in How To Succeed in Business (Hedy) and was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her performance in A Chorus Line(Val). T-H-A-N-K-S to the brilliant production team, her family, and the dood.
Shane Ruddick Allen is ecstatic to be returning for his second show with Sapphire Theatre Company – having played Gabe in STC’s inaugural production of Next To Normal in 2015 – and his second time competing in the Putnam Bee, having played William Barfée in ASL Musical’s 2016 production. Other past highlight roles include: Beethoven in Dog Sees God with Breakthrough Workshop Theatre; Bobby in Coyote On A Fence, and Allan in Play It Again, Sam, both with OnStage Playhouse; and his various roles, both onstage and behind-the-scenes, with Turning Tydes Theatre Company. Shane’s favorite word to spell is phenolphthalein, which is the only interesting thing he retained from his high school chemistry class.
Michael returned to the stage last year after some time away and he is thrilled to continue this journey in his first show with Sapphire. Some previous theatre credits include: West Side Story (Anxious) and Carousel (Featured Dancer) with the Heritage Repertory Theatre, Into the Woods (Jack, South Carolina Children’s Theatre), A Chorus Line (Al, University of Virginia), Joseph…Dreamcoat (Simeon/Choreographer, Furman University), Titanic (Barrett, Knoxville Players (IL)), Billy Elliot: The Musical (Miner/Policeman, CYC), The Wiz (Ozzian/Royal Messenger, CYC), …Charlie Brown (Linus, Depot Players (GA)), City of Angels (Quartet), Cabaret and Pippin. Michael sings with the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, and is a Spanish Professor at San Diego Mesa College. He lives in Serra Mesa with his amazing husband of 14 years, Clay.
ALEXANDRA LEE is thrilled to be working with Sapphire Theatre Company alongside this incredible cast and crew! Favorite credits include: James and the Giant Peach at The Barn Stage Company, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Lucy) at Grossmont College, Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale (Rapunzel), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Ruth) at The Coronado Playhouse, and Dog Sees God (Marcy) at Breakthrough Workshop Theatre. She has also appeared in the choir of Chess in Concert at The Barn Stage Company and of Disney Theatricals’ The Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse. Alexandra can also be seen singing with Southern California’s most exciting cover band, Paging the 90s, and in Down in Birdland, a Manhattan Transfer Tribute Show. She would like to thank her boyfriend, Brian, for his love and support.
Kenny Perry is excited to return to the musical theatre stage for his first production with The Sapphire Theatre Company. Kenny is active duty in the United States Navy, and he works as a hospital corpsman for 14 years. Kenny often sings for special events at the hospital. He is also a proud member of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus where he has been featured as a soloist and dancer. He would like to thank Jenn and Erik for this wonderful opportunity, and he is so excited to be back on the stage. To all the cast and crew, thank you for making him feel so welcomed as he has made his return to the stage.
Kevin is ecstatic to be in his debut show with Sapphire Theatre. A few of his credits are J. Pierrepont Finch in How To Succeed In Business, Johnny in American Idiot (Patio Playhouse), Moritz in Spring Awakening (Palomar College), and Enjolras in Les Miserables (Star Repertory). Kevin is honored to share the stage with the passionate actors of this show and thanks his friends and family for their continued support.
Alexandra Robbins-Goddard is thrilled to be making her Sapphire Theatre Company debut with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Favorite past roles include, Cinderella (Into The Woods), Kim MacAfee (Bye Bye Birdie), Rona Lisa Perretti (…Spelling Bee), and Anna (Spring Awakening). You can see her next as the Baker’s Wife in Sapphire’s upcoming production of Into The Woods. She would like to thank the wonderful cast and production team for making this experience so enjoyable!