THE SEMINOLE NEWSPAPER

TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE

The+main+characters+of+the+25th+Annual+Putnam+County+Spelling+Bee+line+up+on+the+stage.
The main characters of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee line up on the stage.

The main characters of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee line up on the stage.

Contributed

Contributed

The main characters of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee line up on the stage.

Kierstin Phillips, Photographer

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Silky red curtains revealed the scene in the KWC this Sunday when the Seminole High School Theatre Company (SHSTC) performed their last show of the year.

The play, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” was a musical comedy about a group of tweens who participate in the famous Putnam County Spelling Bee. The cast brought the play alive using constant interaction with the audience. For example, a humorous moment occurred when gay fathers Dan and Carl ran through the aisles supporting their daughter. At intermission, Chip Tolentino, the character of a boy scout  going through puberty, threw free candy into the crowd.

Indeed, humor characterized the play, which featured many unique and silly characters. An audience favorite was Leaf Coneybear, played by Luke Salamone: a homeschooler whose family believes he’s not that smart, before realizing that he actually is. Coneybear dazzled the audience in a homemade cape, wheelies, and a colorful helmet. The audience even showed disappointment when he was eliminated.

Despite the silliness, there was a serious undertone in the play. One of the characters, Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre, is politically aware. This young speller had a moment during which she pointed out that most eligible voters don’t vote. She concluded her small speech with “I vote next,” earning great applause. This line certainly resonated among the students of SHS, who recently used that slogan during their gun control walkout.

The play was also an emotional time for cast members as they said goodbye to their seniors. It was a relatively small cast this year with only eight seniors. One of these was student director Shannon O’Donnell, who also featured in the cameo role of a speller’s mother. O’Donnell made her a grand appearance as a woman who was on a mission trip in India, singing a beautiful song about her love for her daughter.

Along with the politics, this coming-of-age story about young people reflected the journey of the actual cast, including all of its seniors. It focused on how they dealt with their personal problems through the bee, building new relationships along the way.

 

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