The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Graduate alumni, touring musical theatre... what's not to like?
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was the first production under the banner of ‘Backlight Theatre Productions’. The mission statement of the company was to develop professional opportunities for local graduates in the surrounding areas by touring musical productions to various theatre venues across the country. When we applied for the professional rights to the musical, our application was sent to William Finn, the composer of the musical, for his approval. He liked what we stood for as a company and granted us the rights to tour his show under the licensing approval of a professional production company. This was incredibly exciting as it gave us, as a new company, validity and a sense of approval for what we were trying to achieve.
Our cast were made up of nine graduate alumni from the Bournemouth and Poole area who had all graduated at various times over the years. The rehearsal schedule was tight and included all the important and necessary elements that make a great musical; blocking, choreography, ensemble singing, lush harmonies, acting, solos, comedy, improvisation, acrobatics(!) and the unusual trope of audience participation! It really was a fantastic tour and our actors were outstanding in every way.
Below you will find a gallery of some of the rehearsal and performance shots to give you an idea of the fun we had as a company. As Artistic Director and founder of the company, I couldn’t have been prouder of what we achieved.