UND Today

University of North Dakota's Official News Source

UND Theatre presents ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’

Play runs Feb. 24-26 and March 3-5
UND Theater will present ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ at UND’s Burtness Theatre Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 24-26 and March 3-5, at 7:30 p.m. Pictured (L-R) are Erin Chaves, Kyle Mason, Robert Cooper, Otto Lieder, Piper Sommer, Tacy Crawford. Image courtesy of Brad Reissig, UND Theatre.

It runs at UND’s Burtness Theatre Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 24-26 and March 3-5, at 7:30 p.m.

An eclectic group of tweens arrive at the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, each eager to win for very different reasons. Sweet and shy Olive brings her only best friend (the dictionary) with her to the bee; bold and hyperallergic speller William Barfee uses his “magic foot” to propel him to greatness; former champion Chip is struggling with his burgeoning puberty; easily distracted Leaf is unconvinced that he’s smart enough to be a challenger; overachiever Marcy is disappointed by her consistent success; and politically aware Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre only wants to impress her two dads.

In hilarious, touching, and catchy songs, each speller reveals their hopes, struggles, and passions as they make their way through the competition. With an engaging, tuneful score by William Finn and a sweet, funny book by Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee causes audiences to fall in love, both with the show itself and its “perspicacious,” “jocular,” and “effervescent” spellers.

Head to the Burtness Theatre Thursday through Friday, Feb. 24 – 26 and March 3– 5, to find out who the newest spelling champion will be! Each show begins at 7:30 pm, and masks are required while viewing the production.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students, and can be purchased at burtness.und.edu or over the phone at the number (701) 777-2587. There is no intermission, so enjoy a quick night out at the theatre that is sure to bring joy to any audience member!

Front Row (L-R) Erin Chaves, Piper Sommer. Back Row (L-R) Tacy Crawford, Kyle Mason, Robert Cooper, Otto Lieder. Image courtesy of Brad Reissig, UND Theatre.

Production information

Production Team

  • Directed and choreographed by Chelsea Chimilar
  • Music directed by Mandy Moreno
  • Costume, hair, & makeup design by Camilla Morrison
  • Assistant costume design by Daniel Jung
  • Scenic & lighting design by Brad Reissig
  • Technical direction & sound design by Patrick Reading


  • Rona Lisa Peretti: Stevee Wittlieb
  • Douglas Panch: Dylan Merritt
  • Mitch Mahoney: Tyler Hebert
  • Chip Tolentino: Robert Cooper
  • Leaf Coneybear: Otto Lieder
  • William Barfée: Kyle Mason
  • Olive Ostrovsky: Erin Chaves
  • Marcy Park: Tacy Crawford
  • Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre: Piper Sommer

Production Staff:

  • Production stage manager: Alex Rice
  • Assistant stage manager: Brigitte Froslee
  • Assistant choreographer: Trece Hopp
  • Properties lead: Abby Bye
  • Scene shop assistants: Ariel Long, Grace Rhoads, AJ Waldge, Jake Doll, Andrew Maxwell
  • Scenic artists: Brad Reissig, Daniel Jung, Autumn Horton, Alex Rice
  • Costume shop manager: Amy Hahn
  • Costume shop assistants: Tacy Crawford, Jessie Grabouski, Daniel Jung, Anne Mitchell, Anissa Oveson
  • Wardrobe head & wig lead: Anissa Oveson
  • Drapers: Daniel Jung
  • Dressers: Ariel Long
  • Light board operator: Jenna Lester
  • Sound board operator: Grace Rhoads
  • Stage hand: Payton Davis