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Black Cat Theater

South Hadley, Massachusetts


Mailing Address: c/o 60 Pembroke Pl, Chicopee, MA 01020



Black Cat Theater is preparing for their Spring production of 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE with Joey Grabowski, artistic director, and Greg Williams, music director. Auditions for this show will be held on Monday, January 9th and Thursday, January 12th at 6:00 in the Auditorium at South Hadley High School. This show is rated PG-13 so parental discretion for auditionees is advised.


Spelling Bee rehearsals will begin on Thursday, January 19th and will continue on Monday and Thursday evenings. The show is scheduled to be produced at South Hadley High School March 30th – April 2nd


Interested candidates should bring with them a short biographical sketch (headshot optional) and be prepared to perform a short musical piece. We will have a CD player and accapella is also an option. There will also be readings from the script.


If unavailable to be seen in person please email blackcattheater@gmail.com or leave a message at 413-563-6023.




CHIP TOLENTINO [actor also plays JESUS]

The reigning spelling champion of Putnam County, relatively athletic and social, he expects things to come easily to him. Lately though, he's been going through some weird changes, and things are slipping out of his control. (His solo requires him to sing a lot of high notes a lot of times.)



Younger than most bee participants, she is driven by internal and external pressure -but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers (from whom she takes her combined last name) proud. She lisps, is a little uncomfortable in her body, has some tics, but still manages to strike a strong presence with her political awareness and keen sense of justice. Having drilled words for hours a day, she is aware of everything that passes in the room.


LEAF CONEYBEAR [actor also plays CARL DAD]

A second alternate, he never expected to compete here today. Home-schooled with his many siblings, everything about this public bee is an adventure for him, from meeting the other kids to showing off his homemade clothing, to each moment of unexpected attention. He may have severe Attention Deficit Disorder but delights in his own wandering focus. Leaf doesn't expect to win-or even to spell one word correctly but he finds absolutely everything incredibly amusing.



Has a host of health problems and a lot to prove. Loud and combative as a defensive posture, he is the fat kid who becomes a bully to avoid being picked on (though he often gets picked on anyway so gets into a lot of fights). His parents are divorced, his father remarried to a much younger woman; and William does not expect kindness from anyone but his mother. So friendship takes him by surprise. Still, he's noticed on the spelling circuit for his remarkable technique - spelling words out on the floor with his foot. Taken out of competition last year because of an ill-timed allergic reaction, he's here for vindication. The journey he doesn't expect is one of coming to care about someone else-when he sees outside his own needs for perhaps the first time, it shakes him fundamentally.



The ultimate over-achiever, Marcy has never been given another option. She comes from a family where excellence is expected and so simply produced. A parochial school student, she assumes God, too, expects perfection. She sees herself as a mass of problems but she keeps them to herself. Having moved often because of her parents' work, she knows she can beat the local competition. Her many talents include piano, dance, martial arts, baton twirling, and/ or whatever special gifts you can find in your casting pool.



A word lover, Olive has a fairly quiet life. An only child with often-absent parents, Olive spends a lot of her time alone. She fills some of that time reading the dictionary- the words bring her comfort, as does the idea of the vastness of the world the book contains. During the first half of the bee, she often peers into the audience to see if her father, who is delayed at work, has made it yet. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms.


THE ADULTS (in order of appearance)


RONA LISA PERRETTI [Actor also plays OLIVE's MOM in fantasy] Putnam's long-time spelling bee hostess, a local realtor, and 3rd annual Putnam County spelling champion. This is the Rona's day to be queen. From her perspective she keeps the bee running smoothly, upholds protocol, and conveys crucial information to the audience. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward. She thinks of this as a complex cerebral sporting event, and she wants the audience to understand every twist and turn. If anything, in her life in general, she has to minimize the importance of this event to her, embarrassed that her own championship moment remains such a highlight. A little concerned when the substitute word pronouncer arrives, she knows she has to step up her game to make the day a success.


VICE PRINCIPAL DOUGLAS PANCH of Lake Hemingway Dos Passos Junior High is frustrated with his life. He fell into education, less out of love than a general ability uncoupled to a particular passion. The drive of the young spellers is alien to him. He never found anything that important. Stuck in his current job, endlessly awaiting a promotion that isn't coming, he was not happy to get the call this morning that he was needed to substitute; but he starts the bee eager to do well, to redeem himself for past mistakes, and to impress the local hostess, Rona Lisa, who impressed him long ago.




November 2016


June 2016

Moon Over Buffalo

April 2016

Disco Inferno


November 2015

Hello Dolly!


June 2015

A Little Quickie



November 2014

Bye Bye Birdie



June 2014

Don't Drink the Water


April 2014

Grease (School Edition) 


December 2013

Selling Christmas


Fall 2013

Meredith Wilson's The Music Man 


Spring 2013

Love, Sex, & the I.R.S.


Spring 2012

Playing Doctor


Fall 2011

Cast Party!


Spring 2011

Murder Can Be Habit Forming


Fall 2010

Lucky Stiff


Spring 2010

Sex Please, We' Sixty


 July 2009  the return of

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


Spring 2009

Lend Me A Tenor

Fall 2008 

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

How to Succeed - Cast & Crew Photo 

For further information please contact:

Dawn Larder




Donald Beach



Mailing Address:

c/o 60 Pembroke Pl, Chicopee, MA 01020





Gilana Chelimsky


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