PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
July 11 - 22, 2017
Music & Lyrics by William Finn, Book by Rachel Sheinkin
In THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, an eclectic group of six adolescents, all played by adults, vie 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 one of the funniest musicals ever written.
Cape Playhouse Premiere
FARAH ALVIN (Rona) Cape Playhouse: Pump Boys and Dinettes. Broadway: It Shoulda Been You, Nine, The Look of Love, Saturday Night Fever, Grease! and A Christmas Carol. Off-Broadway: The Last Smoker In America (Original Cast Recording), The Marvelous Wonderettes (Drama Desk Nomination and Original Cast Recording), I Love You Because (Original Cast Recording) and many others. Regional: Goodspeed Opera House, Papermill Playhouse, Signature DC, Theater Works Silicon Valley, Alabama Shakespeare. Lots more. Please visit Farah on social media @FarahAlvin and on her website, www.farahalvin.com
TOM BECKETT (Panch) This is Mr. Beckett’s fourth production with the wonderful Marcia Milgrom Dodge. Mr. Beckett has appeared on Broadway in Bobby Boland, Epic Proportions and The Father, and Off-Broadway in The Great Divorce, Treasure Island, The Temperamentals, Communicating Doors, and Travels With My Aunt (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards). Other theatre work includes Hartford Stage, City Theatre, Pittsburgh Public, The Shakespeare Theatre in DC, Arena Stage, Yale Rep, Long Wharf, South Coast Rep (a Robby Award for Triumph of Love), and multiple productions at Westport Country Playhouse. On television Mr. Beckett appeared as Elbridge Gerry in HBO’s John Adams, played Mr. Foley in AMC’s Remember Wenn for four years (SAG Award nomination), and George Gershwin in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
CHAD BURRIS (Barfee) Chad is excited to make his debut at the Cape Playhouse. He just recently finished three years on the national tour of The Book of Mormon, standing by for the role of Elder Cunningham. Other credits include roles in Avenue Q, Complete Works of William Shakespeare, and Guys and Dolls. Many thanks to the Mine. Love to Mom and Dad.
ALEC MATHIESON (Leaf Coneybear) is a graduate of NYU Tisch’s New Studio on Broadway. Most recently, he was seen in the ensemble of the national tour of Ragtime. Other roles include Neville in The Secret Garden, a member of the ensemble in Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford’s Macbeth at the Park Avenue Armory, Danny Zuko in Grease, Costard in Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Hank in Heidi Rodewald and Donna Di Novelli’s workshop of The Good Swimmer. Surprisingly, this is the first time that Alec has ever had the opportunity to play a leaf, and he could not be more pleased. alecmathieson.com
RASHAD NAYLOR (Mitch) is thrilled to be working at the Cape Playhouse this summer. Bway: Motown( Jackie Wilson, Rick James); Jersey Boys (Berry Belson); Hairspray (Thad u/s Seaweed)Off Bway: Rent (Benny)Tours: Rock of Ages(Mayor); Book of Mormon (Middala). All my love to my Ma and family that keep me strong. And hands up to Rikky at The Hybrid Agency. Check out RashadNaylor.com.
KELAND ALAKA’L SARNO (Chip) is thrilled to be making his Cape Playhouse debut! When not playing a 14 year old on stage, Keland can be found watching cartoons, much like a 14 year old would. Some of his favorite credits include Aldolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, and Carlos in Legally Blonde the Musical. He is a recent graduate of Theatre and Speech from Wagner College. He loves the ocean, outer space and his dog, Dexter (not necessarily in that order). For KJS
BROOKE SHAPIRO (Schwartzy) Brooke is thrilled to be doing Spelling Bee for the first time! Off-Broadway: My Big Gay Italian Midlife Crisis, The Calico Buffalo. Regional Credits include: Goodspeed Musicals, North Shore Music Theater, Florida Studio Theater, Gateway Playhouse, ZACH Theater. Check out Brooke’s comedic sketch series “Shorts Time With Shapiro” on FB, IG: @shorts.time or www.shortstimewithshapiro.com. Special thank you to Michael Rader, Marcia Milgrom Dodge and Myers casting. Love to my family and friends for their endless support. www.brooke-shapiro.com @brookierookie3 …”You are enough.” -KG
KAY TRINIDAD (Marcy Parks) Broadway: The Little Mermaid (Aquata/Original Broadway Cast). Off-Broadway: bare: A Pop Opera (Diane/Original NY Cast), Roar of the Greasepaint (York Theatre). Regional: Little Shop Of Horrors (Ronette/Berkshire Theatre Group), Beauty and the Beast (Silly Girl/The MUNY), Waterfall (The 5th Avenue Theatre/Pasadena Playhouse), Allegiance (Wendy/The Old Globe), Bye Bye Birdie (Alice/Casa Mañana) ,“The Children of Eden Concert” (Aysha/The Kennedy Center), The King And I (Tuptim/Maltz Jupiter/MT Wichita), Seussical (Bird Girl/Tour), The Addams Family (Ancestor/The MUNY). Endless love and thanks to my family, friends, DGRW, MMD, and my amazing husband Mike Karns for all the unending support and love. www.kaytrinidad.com
REMY ZAKEN (Olive Ostrovsky) was last seen in How I Learned To Drive at Cleveland Play House and Syracuse Stage. Remy made her Broadway debut as Thea in the original cast of Spring Awakening. She has performed Off-Broadway in One Flea Spare, Dear Evan Hansen, Brooklynite, The Anthem, Freckleface Strawberry (as the title role), Spring Awakening, and Radiant Baby. Regional credits include playing Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank at the Pittsburgh Public; A Tree Grows In Brooklyn at the Goodspeed Opera House, for which she won the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Debut; and A Little Princess. Selected workshops include Bright Star, and Some Lovers, the Burt Bacharach musical. Film credits include Pitching Tents, Things I Wish I Had Told You Before (short), and Sing Along (short). Television credits include Bull, Gossip Girl, Law and Order, and It Could Be Worse. Remy has a BA in psychology from Columbia University. Remy would like to thank MDM and Max, her personal champions. Twitter: @remyzaken
RACHEL SHEINKIN (Book) Broadway: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Tony, Drama Desk awards); Off Broadway: Striking 12 (Lucille Lortel nomination), Off-Off: Serenade. Regional: Guthrie, Little House on the Prairie; Center Theater Group, Sleeping Beauty Wakes(Los Angeles Ovation Award); London: Blood Drive. Residencies, fellowships, commissions include: Eugene O’Neill National Theater Center, Baryshnikov Dance Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Manhattan Theatre Club, Deaf West, McCarter Theatre, Playwrights Horizons. Rachel is a volunteer mentor for TDF’s Open Doors program, a visiting instructor at Yale School of Drama, and adjunct faculty member of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.
WILLIAM FINN (Music and Lyrics) Mr. Finn is the writer and composer of Falsettos, for which he received two Tony Awards, Best Book of a Musical (with James Lapine) and Best Original Score. He has also written and composed In Trousers, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, two Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, the Lucille Lortel Award, and Guggenheim Fellowship in Musical Composition). Mr. Finn wrote the lyrics to Graciela Daniele’s Tango Apasionado (music by the great Astor Piazzolla) and, with Michael Starobin, the music to Lapine’s version of The Winter’s Tale. His musical, Romance in Hard Times, was presented at the Public Theater. Recently, he wrote Painting You for Love’s Fire, a piece commissioned and performed bye the Acting Company, based on Shakepeare’s sonnets. For television, Mr. Finn provided the music and lyrics for the Ace Award-winning HBO cartoon “Ira Sleeps Over,” “Tom Thumb and Thumbelina,” “Pokey Little Puppy’s First Christmas,” and, with Ellen Fitzhugh, two “Brave little Toaster” cartoons. Mr. Finn has written for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and The New Yorker. A graduate of Williams College where he was awarded the Hutchinson Fellowship for Musical Composition, Finn now teaches a weekly master class at the NYU Tisch Graduate Program in Musical Theatre Writing. His most recent projects include Elegies, A Song Cycle (Lincoln Center) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which ran on Broadway and has been produced nationally and internationally, as well.
REBECCA FELDMAN (Conceiver) is the conceiver of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for which she won a Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk and Tony Nomination for Best Musical. She directed its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company in the summer of 2004. Rebecca conceived, directed, and performed in C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, the play upon which Spelling Bee is based, with her company The Farm.
JEFFRY DENMAN (Director/Choreographer) Off Broadway: YANK! (Lortel nomination, SDC Callaway Finalist), Naked Boys Singing!, Assistance (Playwright’s Horizons), Bullet for Adolf. NY Workshops: The SpongeBob Squarepants Musical, YANK! (Roundabout Theatre Company), Diane and the One Hit Wonder (Second Stage), The Searchers (Atlantic Theatre), The Donner Party Project (Denman Theatre & Dance Co). NYMF: Pride & Prejudice, ValueVille. Regional: West Side Story – Moss Hart Award, Damn Yankees, The Music Man – Moss Hart Award at Ogunquit Playhouse; Newsies, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Disney’s When You Wish, Fairy Tale Christmas (Tuacahn New Works Festival) at Tuacahn Center for the Arts; West Side Story (broadwayworld.com Award) at the Engeman Theatre, Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice at La Mirada Center of the Arts, Dancing in the Dark -Artie Award winner at Musicalfare and Studio Arena Theatre; As a performer he has appeared in five Broadway shows: White Christmas (Astaire nom), The Producers, Cats, Dream, How To Succeed and has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle, a Helen Hayes, an LA Ovation and has won an IRNE Bistro and a Connecticut Critics Circle Award. He is the Founding Artistic Director of Denman Theatre & Dance Company, the Director of New Works at Tuacahn Center for the Arts, co-creator of the iPad casting app, CastPRO and author of the book, A Year with The Producers.
SARIVA GOETZ (Music Director) has been a music director, keyboardist, conductor, and orchestrator for over 30 years. She served as assistant conductor and keyboardist for the original Broadway production of Les Miserables. Other Broadway credits include Aladdin, Sister Act, Mamma Mia, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Miss Saigon, City of Angels, Secret Garden, Once on This Island, and Sweeney Todd. She has worked at major regional venues across the country and coached hundreds of performers for auditions, shows, and cabaret. Sariva recently music directed the pre-Broadway production of Empire the Musical at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and in September she joins the musical theatre faculty at Emerson College. She holds an MA from NYU and a BMusic from the University of Arizona.
GAIL BALDONI (Costume Designer) NYC credits include My Fair Lady starring Kelsey Grammar and Kelli O’Hara at The New York Philharmonic, Wonderful Town at New York City Opera and an Emmy nomination for NBC’s Another World. Film work: Mermaids, starring Cher and The Boy in the Bathtub. Numerous shows for Papermill Playhouse, The Goodspeed Opera, The Ahmanson Theater, North Shore Music Theatre, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, The Boston Ballet, The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Westchester Broadway Theatre and 13 Off-Broadway Shows. Tours: Taiwan, Singapore, Portugal, Columbia and Switzerland. Other favorite projects include the Rockette’s Christmas Show, Disney on Ice and The Ringling Bros. Circus. Cape Playhouse: Regrets Only, Noises Off, Don’t Dress For Dinner, Leader of the Pack, Boeing-Boeing, Hello Dolly, Sweet Charity, Legally Blonde, Moon Over Buffalo, Lend Me a Tenor, 1776, My Fair Lady, Murder By Misadventure, Music Man, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Talley’s Folly and Cabaret.
MICHAEL SCHWEIKARDT (Set Designer). For The Cape Playhouse: Footloose, Legally Blonde, Kiss Me Kate, Sweet Charity. Regional Theater (Selected): Portland Center Stage; Ford’s Theatre; The Old Globe; Cleveland Playhouse; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Asolo Repertory Theatre; The MUNY; Papermill Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theater and multiple productions for Goodspeed Musicals including Fiddler On The Roof, Carousel, and Showboat. Selected Off-Broadway: The Bus and the American Premier of Frank McGuinness’ Gates Of Gold (59 E 59); Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova); The Black Suits (The Public Theater); Things to Ruin (Second Stage, The Zipper Factory); The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (Theaterworks USA at The Lortel). Selected Tours: James Taylor’s One Man Band; ELLA. Michael recently designed productions of Marie Antoinette The Musical and Phantom for EMK International in Seoul, South, Korea.
MATTHEW RICHARDS (Lighting Designer) Broadway: Ann. Opera: Macbeth for L.A. Opera. Off-Broadway: Absolute Brightness… and The Curvy Widow at Westside Arts; Measure For Measure; The Killer; and Tamberlaine for Theatre For A New Audience; A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit… for MCC; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Lincoln Center; Playwrights Horizons; Rattlestick; Second Stage. Regional: Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, Ford’s Theatre, The Goodman, The Guthrie, Hartford Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf, New York Stage and Film, The Old Globe, Repertory Ensemble Players, Studio Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre, Westport Playhouse, Williamstown, Yale Repertory Theatre.
JEFF SHERWOOD (Sound Designer) is pleased to return to the Cape Playhouse family this season. Recent Sound Design credits at the Cape Playhouse include: The Mousetrap, Cabaret, The Music Man, Talley’s Folly, Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Other recent design credits include Williamstown Theatre Festival PTP (MA): Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline, Take the Car; Marymount Manhattan College (NY): Kiss Me Kate, The Light in the Piazza; Bucks County Playhouse (PA): Clue On Stage (Assistant); Totem Pole Playhouse (PA): The Nerd, A Christmas Carol, Godspell. Special recognition includes two-time award recipient of the Kennedy Center ACTF Region VI Sound Design Award and National Finalist; John and Helen Meyer Scholarship for Live Design Broadway Sound Master Classes (2012). BFA Theatre Design and Production, Oklahoma City University.
JOHN DIPINTO (Associate Musical Director) just completed a critically praised run at Seven Angels Theatre in Connecticut as musical director of Trav’lin’, a new musical featuring the songs of 1930’s jazz composer J.C. Johnson, for which John also did the orchestrations. Broadway credits include: Footloose, [title of show], Laughing Room Only, Victor/Victoria. Off-Broadway: Shoes And Baggage, Langston In Harlem, Altar Boyz, Water From The Moon, A Christmas Memory (Irish Rep), Disaster!, I’m Getting My Act Together And Taking It On The Road (York Theatre), Summer Of ’42, Nor’mal, Streakin’!, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin and A Man Of No Importance. Regional credits include Songs For A New World, The Honky Tonk Angels, The Blackamoor Angel, Smokey Joe’s Cafe and Make Me A Song. As an actor John has appeared in Oil City Symphony, Pump Boys And Dinettes, Smoke On The Mountain, King Mackerel And The Blues Are Running, and A Day In Hollywood/A Night In The Ukraine. He is an Adjunct Professor at New Jersey City University, and a musical director for NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program.
VERONICA AGLOW (Stage Manager) is excited to return to the Cape for her fourth season. Previous shows include: Cabaret, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, The Velocity of Autumn, and Pump Boys and Dinettes. Broadway: The Last Ship; It Shoulda Been You. Off-Broadway: The Public Theater, York Theatre, 59E59 Theaters, Women’s Project Theater. Regional credits include shows for Geva Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and Arden Theatre Company. A big thank you to Jen and Jeana. As always, this is dedicated to her super-supportive parents.