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University Players Present Musical Comedy

Rehearsing for The University of Scranton Players’ production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” which will run April 20-22 and 27-29 are, front row, from left: Nicolas Gangone, Reilly Charles, Colleen Boyle (black shirt) and Ali Basalyga. Second Row: Zachary Richard, Victoria Pennington, Jacob Feeney, Emily DeMouth, and Conor Hurley.
April 13, 2018

The University of Scranton Players will present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” directed by Michael O’Steen, with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss. The show will run Friday through Sunday, April 20-22 and 27-29, in the Royal Theatre of the Joseph M. McDade Center for Literary and Performing Arts. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m., and Sunday shows begin at 2 p.m.

 “Putnam” is a musical comedy that tells the story of six middle school students competing in their county spelling bee while navigating the hardships of complicated family dynamics and puberty. It won two Tony Awards including Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical, as well as three Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Book of a Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical, and Outstanding Ensemble Performance.

The University Players production features Nicolas Gangone of Howard Beach, New York, as William Barfee; Emily DeMouth of Hillsborough, New Jersey, as Olive Ostrovsky; Jacob Feeney of Chatham, New Jersey, as Trip Barrington; Ali Basalyga of Scranton as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre; Reilly Charles of Rockaway Park, New York, as Leaf Coneybear; Colleen Boyle of Bryn Mawr as Marcy Park; Victoria Pennington of West Wyoming as Rona Lisa Peretti; Conor Hurley of Woodside, New York, as Vice Principal Douglas Panch; and Zachary Richard of Flanders, New Jersey, as Mitch Mahoney. Basalyga is a graduate of West Scranton High School and Pennington is a graduate of Wyoming Area Secondary Center.

Tickets may be purchased or reserved by calling the box office inside the McDade Center, 570-941-4318, or online at thescrantonplayers.com. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens, students, and University of Scranton faculty and staff.

This production corresponds with the 25th anniversary of the McDade Center for the Literary and Performing Arts on the University’s campus. Prior to the performance on April 28, the Players will host a reception for alumni to celebrate 25 years in the Royal Theatre. The reception will begin at 7 p.m. For information about the reception, contact Robert Hank Willenbrink, Ph.D., theatre program director, at players@scranton.edu or 570-941-4353.

For more information about the performance, contact players@scranton.edu or follow the University Players on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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The University of Scranton Players is an academic theatre program that brings exceptional theatre to Northeastern Pennsylvania every season. The Players’ productions feature University of Scranton students in a mix of classical and contemporary works under the direction and mentorship of award-winning faculty and guest artists. The Players are celebrating 25 years in the Joseph M. McDade Center for Literary and Performing Arts this season.At 7 p.m. on April 28, the Players will host a reception for alumni to celebrate 25 years in the Royal Theatre. For information about the reception, contact Robert Hank Willenbrink, Ph.D., theatre program director, players@scranton.edu or 570-941-4353.

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