Auditions for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Wheaton Drama is holding auditions for their production of  The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

This is an unpaid, non-Equity production.


  • Sunday, September 17th  7-10pm
  • Monday, September 18th  7-10pm


  • Wednesday, September 20th, 7-10om

Location: Wheaton Drama 111 N. Hale Street, Wheaton.

Walk-ins will be accepted. Auditions appointments are preferred and can be made by reserving an audition time. Please email: [email protected]. Please include your headshot and resume (if you have one), and if you have a day/time preference. If you are unable to attend the in person auditions you can submit a self-tape audition. Please email the unlisted YouTube or Vimeo link to the email address listed above. All self-tapes must be submitted by September 18th, 7pm CDT. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email the director at the email above. 

All auditions will consist of up to 36 measures of a song you have prepared in the style of the show or that best showcases your voice. An accompanist will be provided. A Capella or track singing is not permitted. Please resist the urge to audition with a Sondheim or Jason Robert Brown song. Singing a song from the show is permitted but not encouraged. 

There will be a dance combo to be learned. Please be prepared for movement. 

If callbacks are necessary, they will consist of cold readings from the script and singing song selections from the show. There will not be any dancing at callbacks. If you are not invited to callbacks, this does not mean that you will not be cast in the show. 

You will be notified of callbacks asap to help you prepare. The director intends to have the show cast no later than Friday, Sept 22. 

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee – Character Breakdown 

All characters are open to any ethnicity. If you think you are right for a role but do not fit the descriptions below, schedule an audition and show the director. 

Chip Tolentino: (late 20’s- early 40’s, male presenting) An athletic, 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. C4 – B5 (Must be comfortable singing about an erection. (Will not be playing Jesus or other characters)

Logainne Schwartzandgrunenierre (Schwartzy): (late 20’s-early 40’s, gender fluid; female presenting) 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. A3 – F5 

Leaf Coneybear: (late 20’s- early 40’s, gender fluid; male presenting) 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. A3 – A5 (Will not be playing other characters) 

William Barfee: (late 20’s- early 40’s, male presenting) 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. E4 – B5 (Will not be playing other characters)

Marcy Park: (late 20’s-early 40’s, female presenting) 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 is the poster child of the Over Achiever, and attends a Catholic school called “Our Lady of Intermittent Sorrows.” She is also not allowed to cry. C4 – E5 

Olive Ostrovsky: (late 20’s- early 40’s, female presenting) 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. B3 – F5 

Rona Lisa Peretti: (mid 40’s-60’s, female presenting) 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. B3 – F5 (Will also play Olive’s Mom) Olive’s Mom: A fantasy version of Olive’s mom at her Ashram in India. Normally played by the actor playing Rona. D4 – E5

Douglas Panch: (late 40’s-70’s, male presenting) The Vice Principal. Frustrated with his life, he finds the drive of the young spellers alien to him. After five years’ absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge. There was an “incident” at the Twentieth 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. (Will not be playing other characters)

Mitch Mahoney: (mid 30’s-60’s, male presenting) 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. E4 – A5 (Will also play Olive’s Dad) Olive’s Dad: A fantasy version of Olive’s dad coming to the bee from work. Normally played by the actor playing Mitch. E4 – B5 

Additional Characters: The characters below will be played by additional cast members who will also serve as Understudys for the lead characters. They will still be in every production of the show as School Security, a custodian, School secretary (in lobby), etc. They will also fill in for “guest spellers” during rehearsals. One performance, Saturday, Nov 25th a matinee will be added to allow the Understudy a guaranteed show opportunity. We are looking to have a minimum of one male presenting and one female presenting understudy but may increase it to two of each.

Carl Dad: Schwarzy’s main trainer, the most intense and competitive of Schwarzy’s fathers. 

Dan Dad: the more laid back and ineffectual of Schwarzy’s fathers. 

Jesus Christ: Deity invoked by a speller in need. 

Leaf’s Mom, Dad, And Siblings: All more academically gifted than Leaf, they are even more surprised than he is by his success. 

Important Mandatory Dates:

  • Sunday, Sept 24th: First Read-Thru (if possible)
  • Rehearsals will primarily be Sunday-Thursdays evenings (TBD) (if not listed on conflict sheet)
  • Saturday, Nov 11th: Sitz Probe (time and date subject to change; TBD)
  • Sunday, Nov 12th: Tech (keep all day free-TBD)
  • Tech week continues Nov 13-15 (Keep in mind these are usually later nights)
  • Thursday, Nov 16th: Preview
  • Friday, Nov 17th: Opening Night
  • Shows continue Thursday thru Sunday until Dec 10th.
  • Sundays are matinees
  • There will be no show on Thanksgiving, Nov 23rd
  • There will be an added matinee on Saturday, Nov 25th
  • Sunday, Dec 10th Closing and Strike