Auditions

Winter 2020

  • Tuesday, December 3 ~ 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

  • Thursday, December 5 ~ 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

  • Location: Osseo United Methodist Church
    16 2nd Ave SE, Osseo, MN 55369

Preparing for auditions:

  • All performers, 15 years old and up, are welcome to audition for this show

  • Audition times are first come, first serve

  • Every character in this show is an equal lead role; there are no secondary roles. It is an “actor’s musical” where each actor will be truly challenged to develop and communicate a unique and heart-felt character. 

  • Please bring a printed head shot, any snapshot will do

  • You will be asked to complete an audition form to capture your previous experience. Feel free to bring a resume and come prepared with all of your rehearsal conflicts (Jan-Feb). 

  • Prepare a 90 second song cut (the song does not need to be from a musical). If you choose to sing a prepared song you must bring the sheet music with you and have it in the key in which you will sing it. Please have it marked from the measure where you will begin and the measure you will end. An accompanist will be provided. Do not bring recorded music.

  • The artistic staff will be looking for you to engage and entertain, communicate emotion through the song, as well as demonstrate your musicality (consistent pitch, rhythm, vocal range, quality of tone, ability to effectively vary dynamics, etc.).

Character list:

  • CHIP TOLENTINO [actor also plays JESUS]
    The reigning spelling champion of Putnam County, relatively athletic and social, he expects things to come easily to him. Lately though, he’s been going through some weird changes, and things are slipping out of his control.

  • LOGAINNE SCHWARTZANDGRUBENNIERE
    Younger than most bee participants, she is driven by internal and external pressure-but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers (from whom she takes her combined last name) proud. She lisps, is a little uncomfortable in her body, has some tics, but still manages to strike a strong presence with her political awareness and keen sense of justice. Having drilled words for hours a day, she is aware of everything that passes in the room.

  • LEAF CONEYBEAR [actor also plays Carl Dad]
    A second alternate, he never expected to compete here today. Home-schooled with his many siblings, everything about this public bee is an adventure for him, from meeting the other kids to showing off his homemade clothing, to each moment of unexpected attention. He may have severe Attention Deficit Disorder but delights in his own wandering focus. Leaf doesn’t expect to win—or even to spell one word correctly—but he finds absolutely everything incredibly amusing. His mother has made him wear his protective helmet to the bee.

  • WILLIAM BARFEE
    Has a host of health problems and a lot to prove. Loud and combative as a defensive posture, he is the fat kid who became a bully to avoid being picked on (though he often gets picked on anyway so gets into a lot of fights). His parents are divorced, his father remarried to a much younger woman; and William does not expect kindness from anyone but his mother. So friendship takes him by surprise. Still, he’s noticed on the spelling circuit for his remarkable technique—spelling words out on the floor with his foot. Taken out of competition last year because of an ill-timed allergic reaction, he’s here for vindication. The journey he doesn’t expect is one of coming to care about someone else—when he sees outside his own needs for perhaps the first time, it shakes him fundamentally. [Note: the actor who plays William Barfee DOES NOT need to be overweight at all; the actor may be any height, shape, and size].

  • MARCY PARKS
    The ultimate over-achiever, 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. Having moved often because of her parents’ work, she knows she can beat the local competition. Her many talents include piano, dance, martial arts, baton twirling, and/or whatever special gifts (she may have).

  • OLIVE OSTROVSKY
    A word lover, Olive has a fairly quiet life. An only child with often-absent parents, Olive spends a lot of her time alone. She fills some of that time reading the dictionary—the words bring her comfort, as does the idea of the vastness of the world the book contains. During the first half of the bee, she often peers into the audience to see if her father, who is delayed at work, has made it yet. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms.

  • RONA LISA PERRETTI [Actor also plays OLIVE’S MOM in fantasy]
    Putnam’s long-time spelling bee hostess, a local realtor, and 3rd annual Putnam County spelling champion. This is Rona’s day to be queen. From her perspective she keeps the bee running smoothly, upholds protocol, and conveys crucial information to the audience. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward. She thinks of this as a complex cerebral sporting event, and she wants the audience to understand every twist and turn. If anything, in her life in general, she has to minimize the importance of the event to her, embarrassed that her own championship moment remains such a highlight. A little concerned when the substitute word pronouncer arrives, she knows she has to step up her game to make the day a success.

  • VICE PRINCIPAL DOUGLAS PANCH  
    Douglas Panch is frustrated with his life. He fell into education, less out of love than a general ability uncoupled to a particular passion. The drive of the young spellers is alien to him. He never found anything that important. Stuck in his current job, endlessly awaiting a promotion that isn’t coming, he was not happy to get the call this morning that he was needed to substitute; but he starts the bee eager to do well, to redeem himself for past mistakes, and to impress the local hostess, Rona Lisa, who impressed him long ago. [Note: While all the actors need to be quick thinking in an improvisation-oriented style, Panch (as the word caller) needs to be particularly quick and humorous with many choices which need to be made in the moment.]

  • MITCH MAHONEY [Actor also plays DAN DAD and OLIVE’S DAD in fantasy]
    With a bouncer’s physique and demeanor, Mitch appears an odd choice to be the bee’s “comfort counselor,” but it’s part of his community service assignment. The outsider, who in a way gets to inhabit the audience perspective, he wonders about the wisdom of putting the kids through this at all. He has no idea how to offer comfort but does increasingly find himself wishing he could find a way to make the kids feel better about losing, and perhaps place misspelling in wider perspective.

Doubled characters:

  • CARL GRUBENIERRE [CARL DAD, played by actor playing Leaf] Schwarzy’s main trainer, the more intense and competitive of Schwarzy’s fathers.

  • DAN SCHWARZ [DAN DAD, played by actor playing Mitch] The more laid back and ineffectual of Schwarzy’s fathers.

  • LEAF’S MOM, DAD, and SIBLINGS [played by the spellers] All (of the family are) more academically gifted than Leaf, they are even more surprised than he is at his success.

  • OLIVE’S MOM [played by actor playing Rona] A fantasy version of Olive’s mom at her Ashram in India.

  • OLIVE’S DAD [played by actor playing Mitch] A fantasy version of Olive’s dad coming to the bee from work.

  • JESUS CHRIST [played by actor playing Chip] Deity invoked by a speller in need.

  • NOTE: Should we wish to accommodate a larger cast it is hypothetically possible to separate these doubled roles

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Summer 2020

  • March 2020 – Check back form more details