Audition Notice: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

5th Floor Theatre Company is pleased to announce auditions for our upcoming production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee!  Please see below for audition details.

If you’d like to be involved in another capacity, there are a number of ways you can be a part of the Spelling Bee team.  Please drop us a line at and let us know how you’d like to help.  We hope to hear from you!



The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

5th Floor Theatre Company

Speyer Hall Theatre



Music and Lyrics by William Finn

Book by Rachel Sheinkin

Conceived by Rebecca Feldman

Additional Material by Jay Reiss

Director: Joey Nelan

Producer: Michael Gioia

Casting: Nikki Grillos


Auditions: Monday, January 22nd and Tuesday, January 23rd from 7pm-10pm

Callbacks: Thursday, January 25th from 7pm-10pm

Rehearsals begin Monday, January 29th and will occur Monday and Tuesday evenings and Saturdays during the day

Tech: March 18-21

Performances: March 22-24 (8pm), March 25 (3pm), March 28-31 (8pm) at Speyer Hall Theatre on the Lower East Side

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.


SEEKING NON-UNION PERFORMERS ONLY. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT IF YOU ARE AEA. All performers should be excellent actors with a contemporary musical theatre sound. Some performers will double as other small roles. No pay; we are an entirely volunteer-based non-profit company dedicated to providing performance opportunities for young actors in NYC.



We are seeking a diverse cast of 9 for the following roles. Please DO NOT let any preconceived notions of these characters—and the typical way they are portrayed—deter you from submitting. We are actively seeking submissions from all ethnicities, colors, sizes, and physical abilities. Focus on each character’s qualities and quirks!



CHIP TOLENTINO – A social boy scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment. Tenor, C4-B5.

LEAF CONEYBEAR – The second runner-up in his district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark and finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. He is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. He has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance. Tenor, G3-D5.

LOGAINNE SCHWARTZANDGRUBENNIERE – Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures. She is driven by internal and external pressure, but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud. She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and will be back next year. Mezzo-soprano, A3-F5.

MARCY PARK – A recent transfer from Virginia, Marcy placed ninth in last year’s nationals. She speaks six languages, is a member of all-American hockey, a championship rugby player, plays Chopin and Mozart on multiple instruments, sleeps only three hours a night, hides in the bathroom cabinet, and is getting very tired of always winning. She attends a Catholic school called “Our Lady of Intermittent Sorrows.” She is also not allowed to cry. Mezzo-soprano, C4-E5.

OLIVE OSTROVSKY – A young newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual, but he is trying to come sometime during the bee. Having found comfort in its words and vastness, Olive made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms. Mezzo-soprano, B3-F5.

WILLIAM BARFEE – A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts and is back for vindication. His famous “Magic Foot” method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy, bullying personality. He develops a crush on Olive. Tenor, E4-B5.


RONA LISA PERETTI – The number-one realtor in Putnam County, a former Putnam County Spelling Bee Champion herself, and the returning moderator. She is a sweet woman who loves children, but she can be very stern when it comes to dealing with Vice Principal Panch and his feelings for her. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward. Soprano, B3-F5.

DOUGLAS PANCH (Male, any ethnicity) – The vice principal, frustrated with his life, he finds the drive of the young spellers alien. After five years’ absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge. There was an “incident” at the 20th Annual Bee, but he claims to be in “a better place” now, thanks to a high-fiber diet and Jungian analysis. He is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, but she does not return his affections. Non-singing role; actor should be adept at improvisation.

MITCH MAHONEY – The Official Comfort Counselor. An ex-convict, Mitch is performing his community service with the Bee, and hands out juice boxes to losing students. He has no idea how to offer comfort, but does find himself wishing he could find a way to make the kids feel better. Tenor, E4-A5.

To be considered, submit your headshot, resume, and brief cover letter to Please include the role(s) for which you would like to be considered in the subject line. Let us know in advance about any immovable conflicts. If selected for an appointment you will be emailed further details. Please double check audition/callback dates and times and make sure you are available for all show dates before submitting.


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