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Catawba students prepare for new production

By Shannon Harris

Catawba News Service

SALISBURY — The Catawba College theater arts department will present “the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in the Florence Busby Corriher Theatre at 7:30 p.m. March 29 through April 1.

Set in the fictional Putnam Valley Middle School, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” follows six eccentric spelling bee contestants as they compete against one another. The middle-schoolers are accompanied by adults who are just as unique. Throughout the course of the show, the preteens share information about their lives at home. Some of these revelations are endearing, while others are amusing.

When asked about why she decided to direct this show, student director Peyton Glendinning says she felt it was “the right step for me as a young director, mostly because the show is a linear plot line that all takes place in one location. Knowing I would be in the FBC, I was attracted to the minimal technical demands of the show. This way, I am able to focus on staging, character work and overall storytelling.”

Glendinning said she was drawn to the show because of  “the lively nature that the show entails. The show is ridiculously entertaining and just plain fun to work on and watch. The characters are dynamic and while they seem larger than life at times, it is easy to relate to what they’re going through in the world of the play.”

The cast includes Maddy Auchter of Houston; Bradley Stephenson of Raleigh; Reshaud Brown of Greenwood, South Carolina; Brant Fife of  Waynesboro, Virginia; Jacob Hammill of Gold Hill; Daniel Morrison of Greensboro; Prentice Clark of Charleston, South Carolina; Amery Barton of Charlotte; and Taylor Kroop of Boynton Beach, Florida.

The student production staff includes director Glendinning of Panama City Beach, Florida; Chaz Cable of Weaverville, stage manager; Nicky Vassello of Hillsborough, assistant stage manager; and Dalton Fulmer of Arcadia, assistant stage manager.

“The show speaks to an awkward stage in life that everyone went through,” Glendinning said. “We get to see the young spellers navigating the leap from childhood to their teenage years. In the end, it reminds us about times in our lives where we’ve had great successes and disappointments and how those experiences have come to shape who we are now.”

Tickets for the show are $10 for adults and $7 for students. To purchase tickets, visit www.catawba.edu/theatretix, call the box office at 704-637-4481 between 2 and 5 p.m. weekdays, or email boxoffice@catawba.edu.

Shannon Harris is a student at Catawba College.

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