Saturday, November 26, 2022

25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee Research, Part 1

All of the things to get you started with Spelling Bee:
[Be careful with online vocal ranges, btw - some of them are suspect.  I'm 99% certain the following is correct]

Chip Tolentino
An athletic, social, boy scout and champion of the 24th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment. Male, teen, Range: C3 – B4. 

Logainne Schwartzandgrubeniere (Schwartzy)
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. Female, teen, Range A3 – F5

Marcy Park
The ultimate overachiever, Marcy has never been given another option. She comes from a family where excellence is expected and so simply produced. A parochial school student, she assumes God, too, expects perfection. She sees herself as a mass of problems but she keeps them to herself.  Female, Teen, Range 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 slowly blossoms. Female, teen, Range B3 – F5.

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 spells words correctly while in a trance. Male, teen, Range A2 – A4

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. Male, teen, Range E2 – B4.

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. Female, Adult, Range B3 – F5.

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. Male, Early 20s, G3 – A4.

Douglas Panch
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 better diet. He is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, who does not return his affections. Male, Adult, Range N/A. 

OTHER CHARACTERS (may be doubled by actors playing parts listed above)
Carl Dad: Schwarzy’s main trainer, the more intense and competitive of Schwarzy’s fathers. Range C3 – E4.

Dan Dad: Dan is the more laid back and ineffectual of Schwarzy’s fathers. Range C3 – G4.

Jesus Christ: Deity invoked by a speller in need. Range N/A. 

Leaf’s Mom, Dad, and Siblings: All more academically gifted than Leaf, they are even more surprised than he is by his success. Range N/A. 

Olive’s Dad: A fantasy version of Olive’s dad coming to the bee from work. Range E3 – B4.

Olive’s Mom: A fantasy version of Olive’s mom at her Ashram in India. Range D4 – E5.

Cello (NO bass book)
Synthesizer/Keys 2  
Reed 1 - (Alto Sax, Bb Clarinet, Flute, Oboe)

I performed this show solo, so I cannot fully comment on the programming experience.  I've read comments that have noted the Keys 2/Synth book is the biggest challenge to program.  

Chip Tolentino - #9 My Unfortunate Erection  m. 86-end 
Schwartzy - #10 Woe Is Me  m. 69-end   
Marcy Park - #12 I speak Six Languages  m. 24-51
Olive Ostrovsky - #14 I Love You Song   m. 94-137
Leaf Coneybear - #4 I'm not that Smart   m. 47-end
William Barfee -  #5 Magic Foot  m. 87-end
Rona Lisa Peretti - #6B Rona Moment #2 or #3
Mitch Mahoney - #7 Prayer of the Comfort Counselor  m. 38-56
Douglas Paunch - #1a The Rules or #11 m. 25-end  
Carl Dad - #10 Woe is Me m. 95-end
Dan Dad - #10 Woe is Me m. 95-end
Olive Dad - #14 I Love You Song m. 171-end
Olive Mom - #14 I Love You Song m. 159-180

Another TMD/PMD suggestion for picking callback music: try a Google search for "auditions [or "callbacks"] 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee".  With any luck, you may find a theater or school's callback material available online. 

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