North Theatre Presents “Spelling Bee”

Speller #10, William Barfee (senior Nicholas Foster) and Speller #1 Logainne Schwartzandgrubeniere (junior Colleen Healey) watch carefully as Speller #7 Marcy Park (senior Faith Bean) attempts to spell “camouflage”.

November 15, 2021
by Heath Scofield,
Pickerington Online Intern
& Sophomore at Pickerington Central

Pickerington High School North’s (PHSN) production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee follows a group of adolescent overachievers as they compete in the Spelling Bee of a lifetime. Running November 18-21, Putnam County features a unique cast of outsiders who find the Spelling Bee to be a place where they can not only stand out but also fit in.

Following its debut in 2005, the Broadway production won nine different awards, including two Tonys for Best Book of a Musical and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical.

“People should come to see this show because it offers them a night of normalcy and entertainment where they don’t have to think too much,” said director Allen DeCarlo. “It is a wonderful show with a lot of laughs. The cast is young and many of them have never been on stage before. After missing two years of theatre, the excitement is unreal!”

Olive Ostrovsky (senior Kaylee Campbell) looks for her dad in the audience.

The cast says that the show is “hilarious”, including ensemble member junior Kyla Welling.

“As much as it seems like just a little kid show, it also includes some adult jokes that will make it fun for everyone,” Welling said. “The thing that I like most about this show is the new friendships I have made throughout the process and the opportunity to work with everyone including my director Allen DeCarlo, music director Emily Kirtland and set director Scott Skiles.”

Leaf Coneybear (junior Bennett Ladowitz) is so happy just to be invited.

Most of the cast and crew have expressed to DeCarlo how lovely it is to be back and working on theatrical performances.

This is PHSN Theatre Department’s first live performance since the COVID-19 shutdown started in March of 2020. Last year, when live performances were not possible, PHSN’s Theatre Department still won three awards in the CAPA (Columbus Area Performing Arts) Marquee Awards for its production of The Marvelous Wonderettes, including Best Production, Best Actress (Dallys Edwards for her role as Betty Jean), and Best Direction (Allen DeCarlo). The musical was streamed online in April.

“It’s time to get our school back to normal and (Putnam County) has been a saving grace,” DeCarlo said.

Chip Tolentino (senior Raydn Allbaugh)
& Marcy Park.

Putnam County is rated PG-13 and will be performed at PHSN’s Performing Arts Center (7800 Refugee Rd, Pickerington). Showtimes are 7:00 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with a 2 pm Sunday matinee. Tickets may be purchased for $12.00 each by visiting the PHSN Ticket Office website.

“We will have a few surprise cast members who are chosen as they enter the theatre each night,” DeCarlo said.

The PHSN Theatre Department, which raises all production costs, is gratefully accepting contributions.

“Patrons of the performing arts are needed to produce a first-class production. Our professionally produced program will proudly display your family or business name as a supporter of the arts. You can mail your donation to ‘Pickerington High School North Theatre’, 7800 Refugee Rd. Pickerington, Oh 43147,” DeCarlo said.

Upcoming North productions include the Candy Cane Lane Showcase (December 9-11), Rent (April 7-10) and Schools Out for Summer Showcase (April 28-30).

Logainne Schwartzandgrubeniere with her parents: Carl Dad (junior Bennett Ladowitz) and Dan Dad (sophomore Christian Strong)