A Peek Inside the Audition Process - Jasper Mott '20

This Fall, Community School Players will bring The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee to our school’s podium. The production, written and composed by Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn, has struck various stages around the world since 2005. The very interactive musical comedy takes place at a much anticipated Spelling Bee, in which six quirky and pubescent teens compete for the winning title. Following characters such as Olive Ostrovsky, Chip Tolentino, and Logainne Schwartz, the catchy tunes outline the witless drama and competitiveness of the entire Spelling Bee itself.

Priya Merchant, current freshman, explains, “What I love most about the show is that people don’t really know what to expect considering it’s about a Spelling Bee. Still, the characters are very funny, and the storyline is engaging.”

A couple of weeks ago, around 30 students from our Upper School community displayed their talents in order see where they fit into the upcoming show. Everybody who tried out has already been successfully cast in the spectacle, and it is bound to be very amusing for audiences. Although, other Community School students and faculty often ask: What is it like to audition for one of these shows in the first place?

More often than not, the process is as simple as singing a few bars of your favorite song or show-tune. For the sake of recognizing your vocal range, you may even be asked to match a few tunes or notes from the piano. That’s it! Kevin Wade (director) and John Mauldin (music director) make the activity very simple and trouble-free to ensure your comfortability.

Christine DuFur, seasoned veteran and current senior, says “Going into the audition was very nerve-racking. It was my one shot to showcase what I can do, therefore I didn’t want to make any mistakes. Both Kevin and John were very inviting though, which made the audition a lot more relaxed.”

Sophie Harder, another long time performer, similarly reflects “Auditions have always been tough for me, as the idea of standing in front of two people who decide your role in a show is very stressful. Although the moments leading up to the audition are the scariest, I feel instant relief when I see the smiling faces waiting for me in the theater.”

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will have performances on November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd only. So be sure to grab tickets! Sophie adds, “I am so excited to participate in the show, and share this hilarious story with our community. The characters are people that the audience will be able to relate to, feel for, and laugh along with.”