The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
|Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine|
Originally Produced on Broadway by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company, Second Stage Theatre
|DECEMBER 2-11, 2022 @ the BLACK BOX THEATRE|
|Performance Length: 90 minutes plus one 15-minute intermission|
|ABYEE HEMSWORTH||BRIANNA BROCK||DOMINIC KAI PALMER|
|ESTEBAN MOCTEZUMA||JIANNA EUGENIO||JOUELLE KIMURA|
|KYLIE LANG||LAURA CROSIER||MAU SOTELLO|
|ROMAN STEWART||SARAH REEDS||TEJON RAIFORD-HAYGOOD|
|Scenic Design||Costume Design||Lighting, Sound & Projection Design|
|SCOTT GILBERT||AUDREY WALKER||CARY BABKA|
|Production Stage Manager||Choreography by||Musical Direction by|
|ASHLEY PENNEY||JOAN TIERNEY||KAY HIGHT|
|RYAN PEREZ ADAME|
THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
Standardizing spellings and pronounciations for American English was the impetus for Noah Webster’s 1806 work A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, which would become the basis for the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The first spelling competitions (“Spelling Matches”) were used as opportunities to sell dictionaries. Trying to standardize the English language was, to people like Webster, an important step in creating a cohesive national identity to the geographically massive United States; later in the 19th century, the same would be done to standardize time keeping, in part for the sake of the new continental railroad system to run predictably on time. These efforts bled into other places too, including in actor training with the invented “Mid-Atlantic” dialect (Katherine Hepburn being a prime example) that sought to delineate “good speech” for the stage.
Standardization for the sake of collective identity often belies something darker: oppression and erasure. Control of language has long been a tool of oppression used against specific communities. Often in service of the forced assimilation of immigrants, control of language was weaponized by colonial powers all over the world, and one need not look further than our own California missions wherein Native Americans were generally prohibited from speaking their native languages while being forcibly converted to Christianity and often enslaved.
Language reflects and gives voice to culture. There are terms and expressions in other languages that have no translation, or which are more succinct than our English language counterparts. Look up the Yiddish word “mensch” for an example. Limiting language limits expression and creativity. It limits understanding. And because language itself is a qualification for the majestic and the sublime alike, limiting our limitations isn’t just an academic matter: it places unnecessary boundaries on our spiritual beings. We have collectively lost stories and lessons from cultures with predominantly oral histories whose languages have been decimated. Do we believe that we could not benefit today from those stories of survival, of life, of creation, of what it means to be human? Of how to live together peaceably?
I love THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE because it celebrates language, it celebrates the moment of ideation, of thought, of creation. Whether the words are our spellers’ friends or nemeses, their salvation or betrayers, we can understand that those words stand in for so much more: their loves, hopes, insecurities, delights, and fears. At a time in our culture in which language is not only being weaponized through anonymity, but employed to belittle, and proffer thoughtless opinions, unmoored from reality, perhaps we need this reminder: all language is a qualification, an attempt to describe the indescribable mysteries that transcend the smallness of the world we pen ourselves into.
-RYAN PEREZ ADAME
"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"
"Rona's Favorite Moment #1"
"My Friend The Dictionary"
"I'm Not That Smart"
"Rona's Favorite Moment #2"
"The Prayer Of The Comfort Counselor"
"Woe Is Me"
"I'm Not That Smart (Reprise)"
"I Speak Six Languages"
"The 'I Love You' Song"
"Woe Is Me (Reprise)"
"Rona's Favorite Moment #3"
Ryan Perez Adame
Meet the Company
Dominic Kai Palmer
Ryan Perez Adame
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING:
Cosumnes Oak High School
Eduardo Maximo, Cosumnes River College
Paulette Sand Gilbert
Spring 2023 Department of Theatre & Dance Course Offerings
Check out the CRC Department of Theatre & Dance's Spring 2023 class offerings or click here for the full CRC Spring schedule.
TA 300 Introduction to the Theatre (Online, Asynchronous)
TA 302 History and Theory of Theatre I (Online, Asynchronous)
TA 306 Diversity in American Drama (1960 to present) (Online, Asynchronous)
TA 305 Script Analysis (MW 10:00-11:20 am, CRC Main Campus)
TA 340 Beginning Acting (Tu/Th 10:00-11:20 am, CRC Main Campus)
TA 344 Improvisation and Theatre Games (F 10:00 am-12:05 pm, CRC Elk Grove Campus)
TA 351 Theory and Techniques of Acting II (Tu/Th 1:30-2:50 pm, CRC Main Campus)
Design & Production
TA 401 Children's Literature and Creative Drama (Tu/Th 11:00 am-12:20 pm, CRC Main Campus)
TA 420 Stagecraft (MW 12:00-12:50 pm (LEC), MW 1:00-2:50 pm (LAB), CRC Main Campus)
TA 424 Advanced Technical Theatre (MW 12:00-12:50 pm (LEC), MW 1:00-2:50 pm (LAB), CRC Main Campus)
TA 430 Costume Construction (Tu/Th 10:30-11:20 am (LEC), 11:30 am-12:50 pm (LAB), CRC Main Campus)