Opening January 17th: Drama Learning Center’s Teen Professional Company Presents ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ by Tiffany Underwood Holmes

Teaching Young Actors (TYA) – DLC’s Teen Professional Company
Presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Capital improvements to be unveiled during the run

Drawings of each cast member by Danamarie Hosler.
Drawings of each cast member by Danamarie Hosler.

Tickets are now on sale for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Drama Learning Center in Columbia, opening next Friday January 17th. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee centers around a fictional spelling bee in Putnam Valley Middle School. Quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by equally quirky grown-ups. The 2005 Broadway production was nominated for six Tony Awards, and won two, including Best Book. As with the original Broadway production, this iteration will also involve audience participation. Select audience members will be brought up on stage to round out the cast as spellers each performance.

With music and lyrics by William Finn (Falsettos, A New Brain, Little Miss Sunshine) and a book by Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a hilarious tale of overachievers’ angst. “It has been awhile since TYA has performed a comedy, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to let these students’ comedic talents shine with this production,” says Director Stephanie Lynn Williams. She continues, “Spelling Bee is a smart and witty show with lots of heart; the laughs are big, but with purpose.”

As a part of Drama Learning Center’s ongoing partnership with Howard Community College, HCC Arts Collective Producing Artistic Direct Sue Kramer led a workshop with the students on improvisation skills in preparation for this unique theatrical event. “There are also several opportunities for improv throughout the show, and we are enjoying exploring that skill during our rehearsal process,” Ms. Williams shares. “In addition to having several audience volunteers on stage during each performance, we will also randomly select two of our ensemble cast members to participate in the Spelling Bee as characters that they have been creating. It is guaranteed that each show will be distinctly unique!”

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is presented with permission through special arrangement with Music Theatre International. Drama Learning Center is currently in the midst of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money for new seats in the theatre []. It is the intention to unveil the newly installed seats on opening night of Spelling Bee.

Drama Learning Center’s Teen Professional Company, TYA (Teaching Young Actors), presents its winter production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee from January 17-25, 2014 at Drama Learning Center in Columbia. Available by audition only, the TYA program allows students to work in a professional theatre environment as they learn about all aspects of theatrical work.

The cast of TYA's 'Spelling Bee' poses at the end of a rehearsal.
The cast of TYA’s ‘Spelling Bee’ poses at the end of a rehearsal.

Show Dates & Times:
January 17-18, 23-25 @ 7:30 PM
January 19 @ 2:00 pm

Production Staff:
Director: Stephanie Lynn Williams
Music Director: Tiffany Underwood Holmes
Lighting Design: Cory Jones
Costume & Set Design: Amy Weimer
Set construction: M. Gerard Williams
Scenic Painting: Dan Van Why
Stage Management: Amy Williamson
Original logo design: Danamarie Hosler

Starring TYA Company Members:
Lauren Alberg, Flora Aubin, Meredith Beisel, Claire Cerand, Lila Cooper, Bobby Grady, Cassidy Graham, Lindsay Hopkins, Hailey Ibberson, Mary Shea Kealey-Kustas, Kaity Krull, Leisha Mahajan, Sarah Nalty, Jason Quackenbush, Ryan Ritzes, Sophie Smith, Tori Stroud, Shannon Taylor, Amanda Updegrove, Dumar Valencia

Featuring TYA Alum:
Seth Fallon

Featuring Special Guest Artists:
Dean Allen Davis and Patrick J. Prebula

On sale now at or by calling 410-997-9392.
$16 in advance
$17 at the door

Drama Learning Center
9130-I Red Branch Road
Columbia, MD 21045

DC METRO logo work3

Check out Drama Learning Center’s many Best of 2013 Honors it received from the staff of DCMetroTheaterArts.


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