Six quirky middle schoolers competing in the local spelling bee, a few interesting parents and teachers, and an improv element with audience interaction spells F-U-N to be had this weekend at the Grain Valley High School’s (GVHS) production of the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”.
The musical will be performed Thursday, November 21st—Saturday, November 23rd at Grain Valley High School.
Theatre Director John O’Neil, in his third year at GVHS, knew he the talent to pull off the show.
“I chose the show this year because I had a number of great comedic actors and wanted to give them an opportunity to showcase their work. It is a very fun musical comedy,” O’Neil said.
The musical debuted in 2004 and was nominating for six Tony awards in 2005, winning two including an award for Best Book of a Musical.
Four audience members are recruited to participate in each performance, keeping the cast on their toes and each performance unique.
Junior Aidan Kroemke portrays William Barfee,
“He (Barfee) is kind of a weird kid. He’s got a mucous membrane issue, so he snots a lot. He’s got a hankering for McChicken’s, and a sea anemone collection. He’s a very fun person, but he’s also very competitive,” Kroemke said.
Kroemke may excel at playing quirky characters like Barfee, but he is an accomplished member of the Speech and Debate team with an eye on a career as a history and philosophy teacher.
Freshman Mariah Gattenby-Snyder portrays Marcy Park, a high strung, snobby Catholic school student.
“She has always been pushed to achieve the highest grades and be the best at everything,” Gattenby-Snyder said.
“The show is hilarious. The musical numbers are all fun. The teamwork that has gone into putting this production together has been absolutely amazing.”
Gattenby-Snyder is involved in acting outside of school, performing recently in the Wizard of Oz production at Starlight Theatre.
A silent auction will be held in the lobby during this weekend’s performances.
“People can come out, see the show, and do a little Christmas shopping to support the Theatre Department,” O’Neil said.
The Department will also host a Chipotle fundraiser at the Blue Springs location on Tuesday, November 26th from 4:00pm—8:00pm.
Tickets for this weekend’s performances at the Jerry Mueller Performing Arts Center are $8/adults, $5/students and can be purchased at the door prior to each performance or online in advance at www.grainvalleytheatre.org.
Grain Valley High School’s Theatre Department presents the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” on November 21st—23rd. Tickets can be purchased online at www.grainvalleytheatre.org.
Photo credit: Grain Valley High School Theatre Department
Junior Aidan Kroemke portrays William Barfee and Mariah Gattenby-Snyder portrays Marcy Park in this weekend’s GVHS Theatre production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Photo credit: Valley News staff