PRESS RELEASE: Spelling Bee

THE KEEGAN THEATRE PRESENTS “THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE”
Running June 4 – July 3, 2011

The Keegan Theatre presents THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY
SPELLING BEE, running June 4th through July 3rd at the Church Street Theater.
This six-time nominated Tony Award winning musical tells the story of five
eccentric kids vying for 1st prize, bragging rights, and most importantly, a trip
to the National Spelling Bee Competition. With music and lyrics by William
Finn and book by Rachel Sheinkin, this show is known for its humor, originality, and
poignancy.

SPELLING BEE is directed by Christina A. Coakley, who co-directed the Helen Hayes Recommended A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE at Keegan last season.  Coakley, a company member and executive staff member at Keegan Theatre, is joined by music director, Elisa Rosman, a newcomer to Keegan, and choreographer, Melissa Douglass Bustamante, who serves as Director of Theatre at Contradiction Dance.

This unique musical comedy features many Keegan audience favorites, including Michael Innocenti, Katie McManus, Madeline Botteri, Chris Mueller, Shayna Blass, and Dan Van Why. Keegan also welcomes Tina Ghandchilar, RaMond Thomas, and Dan Sonntag, who make their Keegan Theatre debuts with this production.

“Church Street is the perfect venue for the BEE,” Coakley explains. “Formerly a girl’s gymnasium, this theater — with just over 100 seats — delivers  intimacy like nowhere else.  And this dynamic cast will transport audiences into the private dreams and public humiliations of these awkward adolescents (and adults).   ‘SPELLING BEE’ resonates so strongly because these characters are as hilarious as they are relatable, and their struggles and insecurities are universal — one of the reasons it’s such a popular and beloved show.”

“Initially, it was the score that drew me to the piece,” says Coakley. “Finn is known for his complex compositions and relevant lyrics. However, Sheinkin’s Tony Award winning book completes this unique package. What excites me the most about this show is the potential for modifications.”

The show is crafted so that topical references never go stale—no two shows are the same. Pieces of the text are altered at least weekly to remain relevant and fresh, and four audience volunteers are selected to participate in the BEE at each performance.

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE will open on a limited five-week engagement in Washington, DC on June 4, 2011. The press opening is Monday, June 6, 2011, at 8:00pm.

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WHERE:
Church Street Theater
1742 Church Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

WHAT:
25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
by Rachel Sheinkin & William Finn

PRESS OPENING:
Monday, June 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm
PERFORMANCES:
June 4 – July 3, 2011
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm
Sunday matinees at 3:00pm
**Special added performances:
Monday, June 6 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, June 25 at 11:00 pm – ADULTS ONLY PERFORMANCE

TICKETS:
$40 – General admission/$35-students and seniors/group rates available



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