Auditions Announced for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Open Auditions: Thursday, May 9 & Friday, May 10 from 6:00-9:00 pm
Callbacks/Pick up Auditions: Sunday, May 12 from 6:00-9:00 pm

Where: The Historic Owen Theatre, 205 S. Commercial St. Branson, MO 65616

These auditions are for ages 18+ only. Spelling Bee is rated PG-13 and is intended for mature audiences.

• Please bring a headshot and resume for production team to keep.
• We will be accepting video/online submissions but a live audition is strongly recommended. Please submit all online submissions to
• Two contrasting songs in the style of the show (Musical Theatre Repertoire only NO POP SONGS) An accompanist will be provided. Please bring clearly marked music in the proper key. An MP3 track is also accepted. (No CDs)
• There WILL be a required dance call. Please bring proper dance attire (Clothing that is form fitting and shows off your physique, and proper shoes. NO OPEN TOED SHOES)

You will be given the opportunity to change after initial audition

• Be prepared to do cold readings from the show and improv!

Synopsis- An eclectic group of six mid-pubescent’s vies for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.

A riotous ride, complete with audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a fast-paced crowd pleaser and an instant theatre patron favorite.

All Roles Available: *Note each role will play multiple characters

Chip Tolentino
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.

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.

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 has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance.

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.

Marcy Park
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 you can find in your casting pool.

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 shyly blossoms.

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.

Douglas Panch
The Vice Principle. 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.

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.

Carl Dad
Schwarzy’s main trainer, the more intense and competitive of Schwarzy’s fathers.
• Played by actor playing Leaf.

Dan Dad
The more laid back and ineffectual of Schwarzy’s fathers.
• Played by the actor playing Mitch.

Jesus Christ
Deity invoked by a speller in need.
• Played by the actor playing Chip.

Olive’s Dad
A fantasy version of Olive’s dad coming to the bee from work.
• Played by the actor playing Mitch.

Olive’s Mom
A fantasy version of Olive’s mom at her Ashram in India.
• Played by the actor playing Rona.

The 2019 Youth Troupe Summer Theatre Institute is now accepting students for it’s production of Shrek the Musical, Jr.

Register your child (ages 6-18) to experience the Branson Regional Arts Council’s exciting summer theatre camp at the Historic Owen Theatre in Branson. The theme is Shrek the Musical Jr., with classes on Monday thru Friday, 8:00am – 12:00pm from May 20 thru June 9th. There will be a initial parent/student meeting on Sunday, May 19th from 6pm-7pm. (No class on May 27th for Memorial Day).

No auditions or previous experience required to participate!

Tuition for the entire session, including performances is $150 per student ($125 for BRAC members). A limited amount of scholarships are available based on need and situation.  Contact for information.

The students will learn acting, dancing, singing, and stage movement culminating in a magnificent stage production of Dreamworks’ Shrek the Musical Jr. with public performances June 6-9, 2019. Reserved seat tickets for Shrek the Musical Jr. are on sale now at

JUMP INTO THE SWAMP!!! Register your child for this MAGICAL award-winning musical theatre experience!


Shrek the Musical Jr. is based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film and the Broadway production that received a total of twelve Drama Desk Awards and eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical! Beauty is in the eye of the ogre! It’s a “big bright beautiful world” as everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek, leads a cast of fairytale misfits on an adventure to rescue a princess and find true acceptance. Part romance and part twisted fairy tale, Shrek JR. is an irreverently fun show with a powerful message for the whole family.

Summer Institute Class and Performance Schedule will be as follows:

 Sunday May 19 – 6:00 to 7:00 pm (Parents & Students Information Meeting)
 Monday May 20 – 8:00am to 12:00pm (Hollister Students only – 4:00pm to 6:00pm)
 Tuesday May 21 – 8:00am to 12:00pm (Hollister Students only – 4:00pm to 6:00pm)
 Wednesday May 22 – 8:00am to 12:00pm
 Thursday May 23 – 8:00am to 12:00pm
 Friday May 24 – 8:00am to 12:00pm
 Monday May 27 – Off (Memorial Day)
 Tuesday May 28 – 8:00am to 12:00pm
 Wednesday May 29 – 8:00am to 12:00pm
 Thursday May 30 – 8:00am to 12:00pm
 Friday May 31 – 8:00am to 12:00pm
 Monday June 3 – 8:00am to 12:00pm
 Tuesday June 4 – 8:00am to 12:00pm
 Wednesday June 5 – 8:00am to 12:00pm
 Thursday June 6 – 1:00 to 5:00 pm Performance at 7:00pm
 Friday June 7 – Call Time 5:00 pm Performance at 7:00 pm
 Saturday June 8 – Call Time noon Performance at 2:00 Call Time 5:00 Performance at 7:00
 Sunday June 9 – Call Time noon Performance at 2:00 Call Time 5:00 Performance at 7:00

Fairytale Musical Into The Woods Opens At Historic Owen Theatre

Forte Theatre Productions and the Branson Regional Arts Council are excited to team up for the second musical of the 2019 Season at the Historic Owen Theatre, Into The Woods, with performances on April 4,7,8,11,14 and 15 at 7:30pm.

Advance reserve tickets are $16.95* (Adults 18+), and $11.45* (Youth 4-17) and are available at or by calling 417-336-4255. *Tickets include a small ticketing service fee. Proceeds benefit the community theatre program at the Historic Owen Theatre.


“Forte brings a new level of theatrical entertainment to the Ozarks,” says Jim Barber, BRAC Executive Director. “They are a highly talented and dedicated troupe of professional actors and directors, and the Branson Regional Arts Council is honored to collaborate with them on a regular basis. Whether a full stage musical, Shakespeare in the Park, or a themed Cabaret show, a Forte production is guaranteed to entertain, educate, and inspire!”

Into The Woods is an epic, musical fairytale about wishes, family, and the choices we make. Rated PG13, this production will stand alone as one of the highlight productions of the 2019 season.

James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece… and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.

The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

The cast for Into The Woods include: Michael Salsbury (Narrator/Mysterious Man), Jacob Cummings (Baker), Karrah Fleshman (Baker’s Wife), Brielle Mae (Cinderella), Traven A. Harrington (Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf), Ryan Hippe (Jack), Mariah Garrett (Jack’s Mother), Cassandra Cummings (Little Red), Kristen Ables (Witch), Tiffany Bear (Rapunzel), Tobi Nordlund (Rapunzel’s Prince), Bethany Hansen (Stepmother), Audrey Roberts (Lucinda), Charis Boulden (Forinda), Jenny Day (Cinderella’s Mother/Granny), and Brian Huff (Steward).

The production team for Into The Woods include: Tina Cool-Anderson (Producer), Justin Ables (Director), Nate Frank (Musical Director), Delyla Uebel (Accompanist), Mary Huff (Assistant Director), Cori Biggs (Choreographer), Brian Huff (Fight Choreographer), Jonathan Crum and Laura Cook (Costumes), Pamela Meadows (Lighting Design).