Lancaster Players to present ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’

Randal Tyler portrays Leaf Coneybear in the upcoming production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

The Lancaster Players’ upcoming production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” could bring respite to those suffering pre-holiday stress.

“With the often stressful holiday season bearing down, some days you just need a good laugh,” said director Robin Blake. “There is currently no better antidote for your seasonal anxiety than the Lancaster Players’ presentation of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’.”

The set-up is simple. A motley group of middle school stereotypes stand before the microphone as they attempt to spell words like chimerical, phylactery, capybara and omphaloskepsis, said Blake.

In Rachel Sheinkin’s already funny script, those words become some of the biggest laugh-out-loud moments as the kids ask for them to be used in a sentence, she continued. For example, strabismus means “the inability to obtain binocular vision with the other eye because of an imbalance of the muscles of the eyeball.” Pretty straight for a musical comedy, but when used in a sentence it becomes comedy gold: “In the schoolyard Billy protested that he wasn’t cockeyed. ‘I suffer from strabismus’ he said, whereupon the bullies beat him harder.”

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