The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a show that I’ve wanted to put on at Durham ever since I was Chip Tolentino in my school’s production in 2017. What sounded like a corny American musical that truthfully, I was unsure I even wanted to be involved with, I soon realised to be a joyous and unique blend of hilarity and poignancy. 

I can’t thank my fellow Tone Deaf Theatre Company executive committee members enough for supporting this project and for entrusting me with the role of director. After many productions of being a wide-eyed cast member watching the work of many accomplished directors, my first foray into directing has been such an honour. TDTC is truly a one-of-a-kind theatre company, that I have been involved with since I very first stepped into the student theatre scene 4 years ago. After countless productions, and positions on the executive committee as vice-president and publicity officer, the one thing that keeps you coming back to TDTC is the small-cast setting. The rehearsal period with a close-knit, small group of talented people is such a delight, and I will miss this cast and company very much once this is all over. 

Turning this production around in such a short period of time professionally and with such ease can only be attributed to the fantastic team I have surrounding me. The prospect of this wonderful cast (and perhaps even you?) stepping onto the Assembly Rooms Theatre stage, supported by a superb team of creatives, technicians and musicians brings me such excitement. 

So, please sit back and enjoy the uproarious world of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

By Archie Collins

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will show in the Sir Thomas Allen Assembly Rooms Theatre at 19:30 from Thursday the 22nd of February to Saturday the 24th February, with an additional 14:30 matinee on the Saturday

Photo Credits: Tone Deaf Theatre Company