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Raleigh Little Theatre's THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE Opens Next Week

The show runs from August 11-20 in the Louise “Scottie” Stephenson Amphitheatre at Raleigh Little Theatre.

Raleigh Little Theatre's THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE Opens Next Week

Raleigh Little Theatre presents the Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning musical "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" outside in the Stephenson Amphitheatre August 11-20. The comedy was conceived by Rebecca Feldman and features music and lyrics by William Finn and a book by Rachel Sheinkin, with additional material by Jay Reiss. Originally directed on Broadway by James Lapine, RLT's production will be directed by Nancy Rich.

"What a wonderful treat to move this awesome little musical from its traditional 'gymnatorium' setting to outside in our beautiful amphitheatre - it's spelling under the stars!" said Rich. "Audiences should expect laughter and joy, as the play will take them back to those funny, sweet, and awkward moments of being a tween. Like the original Broadway production, we'll invite some audience members to come onstage and spell along with the cast. Having new spellers each night means moments of spontaneous humor and improvisation, and it makes each performance unique."

In RLT's "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," an eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.

The show runs approximately 100 minutes with no intermission and is recommended for ages 13 and up due to adult language and situations. Patrons are invited to bring outside food and beverages into the amphitheatre, but please do not bring alcohol or glass containers. Additionally, frozen desserts from local vendors will be available for purchase at select performances.

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is sponsored by North State Bank and presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. (www.mtishows.com) This program is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission. The production is supported by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, as well as the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Additional support comes from The News and Observer.

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" runs from August 11-20 in the Louise "Scottie" Stephenson Amphitheatre at Raleigh Little Theatre, 301 Pogue St., Raleigh, NC 27607. The Saturday, August 20, performance at 8 p.m. will feature audio description for those with visual disabilities. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 919-821-3111, Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., or by visiting the theatre's website at www.RaleighLittleTheatre.org.

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