Mattituck Musical Theater Company presents ’25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ this weekend

This weekend, Mattituck Musical Theater Company will present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Mattituck High School Auditorium.

The musical comedy featuring six quirky adolescent spelling bee contestants and three eccentric adults who run the competition promises to be a fun and engaging show with the audience’s participation.

Mattituck High School english teacher Anne Gilvarry co-directs the show withJake Fowle, the 12th musical they have directed together, Ms. Gilvarry said. The ensemble cast of 23 students from seventh to 12th grade are joined by 30 additional students involved behind the scenes with the orchestra, stage direction, costumes, set design and lighting. 


One of the reasons the directors chose this show was to give a large number of students the opportunity to showcase their talents.

“What’s great about this show is allowing us to have a lot of feature performers,” Ms. Gilvarry said. “This is an ensemble show, so many kids have many moments to shine.” Ms. Gilvarry said.

Audience members can also look forward to improvisation.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, it’s a musical comedy so while we’ve done comedy before, this one’s a little bit more modern,” Ms. Gilvarry said. “It definitely has more of an element of improvisation. We take audience volunteers from the real audience and put them in the bee for a while.They have to agree to it, we don’t force them, so the actors have to play off of that and be spontaneous and improvise.”

Senior Camryn Trant plays Mitch Mahoney, a character doing community service at the spelling bee by comforting eliminated spellers. She also plays the mother of one of the lead characters, Olive Ostrovsky. 

“It’s a very big contrast between getting to belt all these great songs and then getting to do a soprano-esque song,” she said. “It’s a great range and I really do love the characters a lot.”

Connor Liddell, also a senior, plays the role of quirky William Barfée whose spelling bee strategy is writing the word he’s assigned out on the floor with his foot and then he reads the word off the floor.

“This character has truly been — just the singing, the acting — it’s been easily one of the best characters I’ve gotten to portray, one of the most fun characters I’ve gotten to portray,” he said.

Whether audience members decide to volunteer to be in the bee or not, the show will have something for everyone to enjoy, Mr. Fowle said. 

“The audience can look forward to a fun show, an engaging show, a show that involves the audience, a show that has a nice arc and range for a lot of the characters on stage and a show that’s just fun and funny,” Mr. Fowle said. “ … and this show hits all the marks.”

Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 5. Tickets will be available at the door; $10 for adults and $5 for students.

See more photos from a recent dress rehearsal by Melissa Azofeifa below: