First Year Players selects ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’
First Year Players, a student-run musical theater organziation, has selected “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” as this year’s musical, scheduled for April 14-16.
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical comedy that follows six eccentric, over-achieving adolescents as they compete for the top spot in the bee, which is run by three offbeat adults. The competition unfolds with laugh-out-loud moments as the students fight to stay in the bee, cope with personal issues and learn what it really means to be a W-I-N-N-E-R.
Before beginning a national tour in 2007, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” received numerous Tony Award, Drama Desk and Theatre World Award nominations, resulting in multiple wins. In 2005, writer Rachel Sheinkin, won the Tony Award for Best Book, as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical.
“‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ is, at its core, a story about young kids coping with very real, mature things,” says junior television, radio and film major Nicholas Deyo, one of the co-producers of FYP, along with Kieran Siao, a senior environmental science major at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. “There’s an undeniable energy about this show that we are very excited about. Each year, FYP’s mission is to take it to the next level—to go beyond what is ‘safe’ or conventional and really challenge ourselves. I think ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ does just that.”
This year’s production will be directed by Kimberly Ndombe, senior television, radio, and film major in the Newhouse School; choreographed by Lisa Bondi, senior communications design major in the College of Visual and Performing Arts; and music will be directed by Nina Elias, a magazine journalism major in the Newhouse School.
FYP has performed a musical every spring since its founding in 1992. Auditions for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will begin in the spring. During the fall semester, FYP is hosting informational sessions on Oct. 11 and 18 at 8 p.m. in room 500 of the Hall of Languages, and is planning a series of workshops during the rest of the semester. These workshops are not part of the audition process, but are opportunities to meet members of the organization while working on acting, singing and dancing skills.