The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - September 15 - September 30, 2023

Facetime Theatre



We all remember that one question we were asked repeatedly when we were younger: What do you want to be when you grow up?" Back then, the world stretched before us like an uncharted adventure, full of possibilities. 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is not just a delightful comedy; it's a story about that exciting journey, and the triumphs and tribulations that come with it.


Spelling Bee introduces us to an eclectic group of six spellers, all chasing one shared dream: to be a winner, and perhaps for once in their lives, not be the "weird" kid.  It's a story of the relentless pursuit of perfection, the determination to prove doubters wrong, and the weight of towering expectations. But what unfolds when we fall short of these expectations, or when we dare to exceed them? 


There’s one word in the show that sticks out to me; chimerical.


“Unreal. Magical. Visionary. Wildly fanciful. Highly unrealistic.” .


Our mission was to unveil how these pressures and expectations manifest in the lives of our spellers, inviting you to step into their shoes and perceive the world through their youthful, hopeful eyes.


We playfully dubbed it the "chimerical stage," a portal into their inner thoughts, where the curtains part to reveal their reminiscences and aspirations. Our aim is to immerse you in their wide-eyed wonder and limitless imagination. This journey transcends the boundaries of a mere spelling bee, taking us to a realm where the human spirit soars. It's a journey marked by exhilarating highs when dreams of grandeur take flight and humbling lows when reality, at times harsh, calls them back.


I'm deeply honored to be making my musical theater directing debut with this extraordinary cast and an exceptional production team. And what makes it all the more special is that we're coming together in a theater that has come to feel like a second home during my journey through life. The Bee, for these spellers, is an escape, a community they find solace in where they can disappear for a few hours and do what they love. In many ways, it mirrors what Facetime has been for me and countless others.


We have a bit of an inside joke in our cast: "lower your expectations." It’s a playful nod to the unpredictability of life, just like the whimsical nature of our spellers' aspirations. So, I invite you to join us in “lowering your expectations” and prepare to be transported into an unpredictable world much like ours, where expectations can take flight into the realm of the chimerical.



-Michael Ronca




Page 18 of 19