Home > Arts & Entertainment > The OnStangers Present: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Nov 17-19

The OnStangers Present: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Nov 17-19

Em Wood

Merrimack’s longest running student organization, The OnStagers, has been together since the the college first opened. This week they will be putting on their fall show, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical comedy directed by Jessica Pearson-Bleyer, and assistant director Em Wood, who is a senior Comm and Theatre double major at Merrimack and the OnStagers Vice President.

The E-board’s President, senior Theatre major Joshua Heath, will be acting in the production—his first time performing since high school! OnStagers’ Secretary Jessica Davis, a junior Psych major, is enjoying her first time as stage manager at Merrimack, having assistant stage managed many times prior. The rest of the OnStagers E-board, senior Allyson Buckley, junior Julia McGinn and sophomore Blake Cavallaro have all been hard at work on Spelling Bee for the past several months, and are very excited for its release. 

Spelling Bee first debuted on Broadway in 2005, where it won Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Performance by a Featured actor. Written by Rachel Sheinkin and composed by William Finn, it tells the story of six middle schoolers competing at their county’s annual spelling bee. Each speller has their own unique method of spelling, and all deal with their respective problems, whether it be family troubles, schoolyard drama or a lactose intolerance!

Fun fact: OnStagers VP Em Wood and general members Hannah Delaney, Izzy Fox and Isaac Mezher met Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who originated the role of Spelling Bee character Leaf Coneybear on Broadway. Others may know him as Mitch from Modern Family. They ran into Jesse at The Club in Provincetown, where they bought him a green tea shot!


The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee plays at the Roger’s Center for the Arts this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday. If interested, sign up to be an audience speller at the will-call desk before the show! The house opens at 7 o’clock, and the first 100 students get in free with their Mack Card. Come find out who will take it all in the Putnam Bee!

Purchase tickets here: https://merrimackathletics.universitytickets.com/w/?cid=194&day=thismonth

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