By Amber Nore
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, TADA Theatre, October 10, 2023, Dress Rehearsal
I was invited to be a “Guest Speller” for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee dress rehearsal at TADA Theatre. Of course, I said yes! Upon arriving to the theatre, I was promptly taken past a shiny Spelling Bee trophy check in at a booth. There, I was put through a quick spell test and asked to spell several words, including “BEACH” and “ELEPHANT. It was here I learned that I should always 1) ask for a definition and 2) ask for the word to be used in a sentence. I passed with flying colors and was told that I could proceed to “be in the Bee” and even potentially WIN the trophy! How exciting!
I took my seat in the audience of the 55 seat theatre and waited for the show to begin. While waiting, I got to marvel at how the little stage had been transformed into a huge high school gymnasium. Magic! One by one, characters entered “The Bee.” How exciting was it to then hear MY name being called to come on stage?! It was great fun to be included….to go from “in the audience” to “in the show.”
The cast was expertly costumed and completely adorable. I took my seat on the gymnasium bleachers and began to prepare to S-P-E-L-L. I had so much fun being on stage with everyone! I was asked to spell a variety of words such as “Apoop” and “Sermunkle.” Not only did I get to spell, but I was included in choreography and ad libbing. It was like being invited to a party! A party with a LOT of singing and laughter. Everyone was terrific.
Sadly, my spelling streak came to an end and I was sent back to the audience with a participatory box of apple juice.
I loved how this ensemble cast really shone together….no one character stood out more than the others, and they were all terrific. It was truly a delight to see and hear each person share their songs and stories. Bob Rook and team have truly delivered a happy show with a lot of heart. This was one of the best shows that I have seen at TADA and I hope that you will get your ticket before the show sells out. Who knows? You might get to “BE in the BEE” like me!
If You Go: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee runs October 12-29th, 2023. See https://www.tadatheatre.info/ for curtain times and ticket information!
Amber C. Nore is a singer/actress/writer who has performed locally with Angels Theatre Company, Pinewood Bowl and Lincoln Community Playhouse and nationally with Spokane Repertory Theatre and Rogue Players. She sings in the band Andy Pappas & Jukebox Gyro, the debut album “Inside Voices” is available on iTunes and Spotify. Her favorite role has been Stage Mom to her daughter, Chloe. Amber is the Community Relations Manager for Mosaic in Southeast Nebraska, a nonprofit healthcare agency that helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their hopes and dreams.