Footlighters Theater Presents the musical comedy, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Footlighters Theater concludes its 90th season by presenting the improvisational musical comedy about coming of age and competition, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.   Opening April 26, 2019 for four (4) weekends, this is a hilarious tale of young overachievers, their hopes, their dreams and their angst as they compete for a slot in the National Spelling Bee. Overseen by three quirky grown-ups still stuck in adolescence themselves, they sing their stories, utilize unique spelling techniques and learn that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.

First directed on Broadway in 2005 by James Lapine, the musical is the winner of two Tony awards, two Theatre World awards and three Drama Desk awards. The infectious musical follows six semi-pubescent middle-schoolers competing to be the best.  Audience interaction and improvisation, along with original jokes created for each performance, allow for a unique and individual performance with every show.  Through the course of the production, this charming and quirky group of outsiders discover they can stand out and fit in at the same time.

Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, long time spelling bee hostess, Rona Lisa Peretti, opens the show sharing her joy for spelling, then introduces this year’s contenders.  They include last year’s winner, Chip (a boy scout), Schwarzy (the youngest and most politically aware contestant), Leaf Coneybear (the somewhat wide-eyed offspring of hippie parents), allergy-plagued Barfee, over-achiever Marcy and Olive, a tentative newcomer.  Once Vice Principal Panch arrives to assign the words to the competitors, the rules are read and guest spellers are invited to join the cast on stage. Mitch Mahoney (who just happens to be working off his community service hours) is present as a juice box toting comfort counselor for the kids.

Tickets for the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are available now at for all shows; just $18 for adults and $12 for children (12 and under).   Note:  Parents are advised to consider that the play deals with some mature subject matter involving youth development and puberty, and some mature language is used.

Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Tickets may be purchased in advance (recommended to avoid disappointment) at or at the door on the day of the show.  Doors typically open 45 minutes prior to showtime.

Footlighters Theater is located at 58 Main Avenue in Berwyn, PA 19312, just two blocks from the Berwyn Train station (Paoli/Thorndale line). On-street parking is available and patrons also have access to the church parking lot across the street. Many wonderful dining options are available within walking distance of the theater for pre- or post-show enjoyment.

For more information, call (610) 296-9245 or visit


Footlighters Theatre is the Main Line’s oldest community theater providing premier theater arts productions for the region. We produce a six show season of plays including two musicals in an intimate 110-seat historical converted church that dates back to 1888. We are committed to both producing outstanding productions and the education of our community in the theatrical arts. We are a 501c3 non-profit entity and welcome individual donations and corporate partnerships by those persons and companies that wish to promote arts in our community. Founded in 1929, we are currently celebrating our 90th season.  Tickets for review purposes available upon request.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s