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Theatre & Performing Arts

Music Theater Works: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

WILMETTE, IL – Music Theater Works is proud to announce the cast and creative team for the first production of its 2024 season, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,  in the North Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts In Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, March 7 – 31. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, conceived by Rebecca Feldman, additional material by Jay Reiss, music and lyrics by William Finn and book by Rachel Sheinkin, is directed and choreographed by Christopher Pazdernik, assistant directed and choreographed by Keely Vasquez and music directed by Michael McBride. The schedule includes a preview performance Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. and a performance schedule of  Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. andSundays at 2 p.m. The two performances: Saturday, March 23 and March 27 at 7:30 p.m., are for guests 18 years old and above as words spelled will be of an adult nature and may not be suitable for children.Tickets are now on sale from $39 to $106 with tickets for guests 25 years old and younger available at half-price at or by calling the Music Theater Works box office at the North Shore Center, 847.673.6300. Group discounts are also available for groups of 10 or more by contacting 847.920.5360.


Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has won the hearts of theatergoers across the country with its mix of wit, wills, and audience participation. Join this group of unique and dedicated students as they compete for the spelling bee championship that celebrates the pursuit of the ultimate prize while finding the joy of being oneself.


The cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee includes Neala Barron (she/her, Rona Lisa Peretti); Zach Kunde (he/him, Douglas Panch); Michael Davis Arnold (he/him, Mitch Mahoney); Will Koski (he/him, William Barfée); Rachel Guth (she/her, Olive Ostrovsky); Jamie Dillon Grossman (she/her, Logainne  Schwartzandgrubenierre); Mai Hartwich (she/her, Marcy Park); Joe Lewis (he/him, Leaf Coneybear) and Brandon Acosta (he/him, Chip Tolentino). The understudies include Joselle Reyes (she/her, Marcy/Olive U/S); Kevin Parra (he/him, Leaf/Chip U/S); Dane Strange (he/him, Barfee/Mitch U/S); Lilli Galuzzo (she/they, Logainne/Rona U/S) and Bryson Howard (he/him, Panch U/S). 


The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’screative team is Christopher Pazdernik (any with respect, director/choreographer); Keely Vasquez (she/her, assistant director and assistant choreographer); Michael McBride (he/him, music director); Amber Wuttke (she/her, fight & intimacy choreographer); Allison Gonzales (she/her, stage manager); Ethan Colish (he/him, assistant stage manager); Ben Lipinski (he/him, scenic designer/paint charge); Ab Rieve (they/them, props designer); Kristen Brinatti (she/her, costume designer); Melanie Saso (she/her, asst. hair, wig and makeup designer); Levi K. Wilkins(he/him, lighting designer); Forrest Gregor (he/him, sound designer) and Andersonville Scenic Studios (scene shop).


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