UPlayers present spring musical


Courtesy: Jimmy Hayden

The cast of the UPlayer’s production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” strike a pose in rehearsal at the end of the opening number. There will be two matinees of the show at 2 p.m. April 14 and 15, with one evening performance at 7 p.m. April 14.

Eleanor Webster, Staff Writer

College students will throw it back to their middle-school days when they don thick-framed glasses, parachute pants and sweater vests for a musical coming to town this week.

Don’t miss your chance to travel back to that middle school moment at “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” the University Players’ second student-produced show of the year.

The UPlayers are the student-run theater club at UVM. They host two main-stage productions each year and host staged readings and one-act plays. They also host “Name Pending,” an improv troupe.

Directed by senior Ian Kimmel, this improv-based show, “Spelling Bee,” will return viewers to their tweenage years.

With a cast of nine, the musical follows the interconnected lives of six quirky adolescents and their roles in a middle school spelling bee.

“I see ‘Spelling Bee’ as a show about adolescence. It’s the story of six kids competing in the spelling bee. They’re all so unique, and they’re dealing with their own shit,” said junior Jimmy Hayden, the assistant stage manager.

First-year actor Jack Mercik said some of the characters come from broken families, have parents that are not around, don’t have friends, or are overworked.

“It’s just a very real portrayal of what kids in this situation are going through,” he said.

The audience will be interested to know who wins, Hayden said. Audience volunteers will also be able to participate in the bee.

Rehearsals began in January, so the cast and crew have been working for months to bring this musical to life.

“It’s been a satisfyingly difficult musical,” sophomore actor Daisy Navin said, referring to the complicated musical numbers. “But we all vibe really well together, and you can definitely see that in the show. It makes all the relationships seem much more real.”

Mercik said audiences can expect to laugh a lot.

“They’ll be right up onstage with the actors. They’ll get their own laughs; they’ll get to dance,” Navin said.

There will be two matinees of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at 2 p.m. April 14 and 15, and one evening show at 7 p.m. April 14.

The shows will take place at Main Street Landing. Tickets are $10 for UVM students and $15 for the public. Tickets are available online, at the box office in the Royal Tyler Theater or at the door before the performances.