SCCC puts on musical for the first time in two years


Photo Courtesy of Seward County Community College

These talented actors stood in formation as they sang a variety of songs. From singing about the exciting bee to having one actor singing about knowing six languages, there were a variety of great performances given.

From hearing the crowd buzz with laughter, gasp in shock, and cheer with exuberance; it is no big surprise to announce that this year’s play at Seward County Community College was a huge hit.

April 21 was SCCC’s first performance of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. As the lights dimmed precisely at 7 p.m., it was easy to note how anxiously anticipated this musical was after the long wait due to the global pandemic that caused many exciting events such as this one to temporarily stop. 

Nonetheless, the first show back was nothing less than fantastic. Previously mentioned, director Magda Silva had advised that the show was primarily set for audiences 13 and older, and I do agree. This is a musical that [although is extremely hilarious] follows middle schoolers and their lives as they have new experiences thrown at them; meaning that it does contain some jokes and remarks that are aimed at older audiences. 

Audiences cheered as the musical brought along a variety of different special guests to act along with other students. Bringing additional spellers in the bee, made the musical more comical than it already was. (Brianna Rich)

Besides a few remarks that made the audience gasp it was quite noticeable that it was overlooked as the laughter completely overshadowed it. This musical was easy to follow and the additional special guest characters made for a great time. One of the most enjoyable parts of the entire show was getting to see the additional characters. From teachers, community members, and volunteers, it was exciting to see how these special guest actors rolled with the punches and played their part. At the beginning of the musical, each character had their own backstories and special characteristics presented that made them unique. Although all of the actors were great, there were three characters that definitely stood out among the rest. 

Sarah Estes played Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, and she portrayed the character as a well-educated student. Estes’s character had a trick on how to spell words which was writing on her arm to get it right. (Brianna Rich)

Sarah Estes, who plays the role of “Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre,” gave a tremendous performance. Making the character her own, Estes added small yet intricate parts to her character Logainne. Qualities such as being “over-the-top excited,” to show just how excited the character was to take part in the bee.

Timothy Smith who played the role of “William Barfee,” had to be one of the funniest characters throughout the entire show. In the beginning, the character Barfee’s “stuck-up,” personality stood out while the audience managed to discover many new things about him. From learning about his one-nostril breathing technique, the use of a special foot talent, and the progressing mood change towards another character named Olive [played by Faith Clifton], it was overall a great time watching Smith’s interpretation of the character. 

Kenneth Fosdick, a high school student from Rolla, portrayed the role of the quite presumptuous Chip Tolentino. Fosdick’s character was left baffled when he was eliminated from the bee due to his emotions and distractions getting the best of him. (Brianna Rich)

Although one of the youngest talents, Kenneth Fosdick was considerably one of the most fun to watch as he portrayed the character of previous spelling bee winner Chip Tolentino. Fosdick brought talent to the stage as he made the audience laugh uncontrollably for an array of different reasons. From having the theater in shock from the mishap that caused Tolentino’s elimination from the bee, singing about that apparent mishap and tossing fun treats into the audience, to eventually taking part in playing an additional yet very unexpected character: Jesus, Fosdick got the crowd feeling involved in the storyline. 

Overall, actors such as William “Josh” Swanson [who played the assistant principal, Douglas Panch], Matt Teel, [who played the paroled comfort counselor, Mitch Mahoney], and Tirzah Howery [who played Leaf Coneybear] were just some of the others who gave exceptional performances. I commend all the actors, directors, and extra help that was given to make this show a real big buzz.