Spelling Bee Poster

Autumn 2015

Performances:  October 13-17 - 2015

Performed at the Leeds Carriageworks Theatre - The Studio.

About The Show

We invited audiences to take part in a very American phenomenon; the spelling bee.   It’s not something we particularly experience in the UK, but on the other side of the Atlantic spelling bees are HUGE.  Every county and state has its own annual bee and the winners go through to the massively popular NBC televised national final in Washington DC, a fascinating journey covered by the 2002 documentary Spellbound.  The young competitors train for months, resulting in extreme pressures…many of which are played out by our characters.

The highs and lows of their bee experience is captured with sympathetic wit by Rachel Sheinkin and Rebecca Feldman and underscored with ingenious musical numbers by William Finn to bring you a show that will hopefully make you laugh, cry – and never look at your dictionary in the same way again.

This show is funny, but we found also incredibly heartfelt as you learnt more about the lives of the young competitors.  It also brought the new challenge of bringing a few members of the audience into the show (don’t worry, they had volunteered).  Now we really knew anything could happen.


  • Rona Lisa Perretti  - Katie Lister
  • Chip Tolentino  - Scott Penn
  • Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere  - Rebecca Barwick
  • Leaf Coneybear  - Phil Case
  • William Barfee - Matt Stirk
  • Marcy Park  - Emily Futers
  • Olive Ostrovsky  - Emma Smith
  • Vice Principal Panch - Richard Pascoe
  • Mitch Mahoney  - Jason Weightman
  • Carl Grubenierre  - Phil Case
  • Dan Schwarz  - Jason Weightman
  • Jesus Christ  - Scott Penn
  • Olive’s Mom - Katie Lister
  • Olive’s Dad  - Jason Weightman


  • Director = Sarah Case;  Musical Director = Jonathan Drummond

Critical Response

Coming soon.