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MTSU trio ready for F-U-N in Center for the Arts’ ...

MTSU trio ready for F-U-N in Center for the Arts’ ‘Putnam County Spelling Bee’

The cast of the Center for the Arts' April 26-May 5 production of

Three MTSU Theatre students are taking their talents to downtown Murfreesboro beginning this weekend, and their A-D-V-E-N-T-U-R-E will be plenty of F-U-N for audiences, too!

MTSU Theatre and Dance logoTori Peterson, Josh Smith and Virginia Tipps are cast members in the Center for the Arts’ production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” set for two weekend runs beginning this Friday, April 26, through Sunday, May 5.

Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. April 26 and 27 and May 3-4 and 2 p.m. matinees on Sunday, April 28, and May 5 at the center, located at 110 W. College St. just north of Murfreesboro’s Public Square.

MTSU student Tori Peterson portrays Marcy Park, a brilliant overachiever who’s tired of being good at everything, in the Center for the Arts’ production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” April 26-May 5.

Tori Peterson

MTSU student Josh Smith portrays William Barfée, a wildly confident speller who succeeds at bees thanks to his unusual technique, in the Center for the Arts’ production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” April 26-May 5.

Josh Smith

Tickets are $18 per adult, $16 for seniors 65 and older, students and military members, and $14 for children, and are available online at www.boroarts.org.

MTSU students can get $10 tickets online by using the code “mtsustudent” at checkout, but they’ll need to show their student IDs at the box office.

The Tony Award-winning musical focuses on six youngsters, portrayed by adults, as they compete for a first-place trophy and a $200 cash prize while struggling with life outside the spelling bee.

For example, Peterson’s character, Marcy Park, is a brilliant overachiever who’s tired of being good at everything. Smith’s William Barfée, a wildly confident orthographer, succeeds thanks to his unusual spelling technique. Tipps’ character, Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, is stressing completely out thanks to her helicopter dads.

MTSU student Virginia Tipps portrays Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, a smart youngster who's stressing out thanks to her helicopter dads, in the Center for the Arts’ production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” April 26-May 5.

Virginia Tipps

Professor Jeff Gibson, chair of MTSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance

Jeff Gibson

“The MTSU Theatre program is fortunate to have a vibrant community partner in the CFTA as an additional outlet for our students to hone their artistic skills. They’re truly an asset to MTSU and our community,” says Jeff Gibson, chair of MTSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

“I’m excited to see our students work in this show, and I’m confident our local audiences will appreciate the immense talent they’ll see on the stage.”

Center for the Arts logoMTSU is sponsoring the center’s performances of “Putnam County Spelling Bee” as part of its arts community outreach, officials said. The nine-member cast also includes three Belmont University students, Brooks Bennett, Riley Henderson and Melissa Tormene, as spellers.

The six spellers work their way through a series of words, disclose hilarious and touching stories from their home lives and do everything they can to avoid hearing that dreaded bell, signaling a spelling mistake and an end to their time in the bee.

The musical, directed by Rachel Jones, also involves audience members, who’ll be chosen to participate in the spelling bee as the chaos ensues. The production is rated PG-13 because of some sexual references and profanity.

For more information, visit the center’s website at www.boroarts.org or call 615-904-2787.

MTSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance is part of the university’s College of Liberal Arts. For more information about the programs, visit www.mtsu.edu/theatreanddance.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

The cast of the Center for the Arts' April 26-May 5 production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University, pose for a group photo during rehearsals. MTSU students performing in the Tony Award-winning musical, all wearing ties, are from center, Virginia Tipps, Josh Smith and Tori Peterson. Belmont University students cast in the play are, from left, Brooks Bennett, Melissa Tormene and Dylan Webster. (Photo courtesy of the Center for the Arts)

The cast of the Center for the Arts’ April 26-May 5 production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University, pose for a group photo during rehearsals. MTSU students performing in the Tony Award-winning musical, all wearing ties, are from center, Virginia Tipps, Josh Smith and Tori Peterson. Belmont University students cast in the play are, from left, Brooks Bennett, Melissa Tormene and Dylan Webster. (Photo courtesy of the Center for the Arts)


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