The “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” is the musical that a group of Henryetta high school students will be producing.
That was announced Monday night to the school board by Felicia McGowan and Christile Wells.
The play centers around a group of sixth graders at a spelling bee. Several musical numbers along with individual performances tell the story of each contestant. It originally was performed in 2004 and has received a number of awards including a Tony.
McGowan said the entire project is student-led including setting up their own organization, the HHS Performing Arts Students Association. That group has been actively raising money through bake sales, yard sales and a Christmas Cabaret. To date, over $4,000 has been raised including a $2,000 donation by the Henryetta McDonald’s. The group has a Facebook page that has been promoting the effort. More about the group can be found on their Facebook Page.
Former HHS graduate Liz Bealko will be directing the play. She lives in New York and is working in some off-Broadway productions. Bealko, the daughter of Liz and Andy Bealko, said she will spend March helping with auditions and on the play.
Plans call for two public performances on a Saturday including a matinee and a Sunday afternoon performance.
“We are trying to get our feet wet,” said Wells. The last time we had a drama was about 10 years ago.”
McGowin told the board about 30 students have already expressed an interest in being a part of the production including backstage workers.
School board members approved the performance.