Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Director's Note: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Any of my former students will tell you “Mr. Delamar loves words.”  Vocabulary games, meanings, sentences, writing, correct spelling.  Before retiring, this “old school” educator even held out for quality legible penmanship!  What better play for me to direct than this one, right?

Having worked as a NC public school teacher in elementary and middle grades for 30 years, I have a longtime respect, love and appreciation for young people working through the challenges of those ages. Children are searching for acceptance among their peers.  They want to be heard when they speak, to feel smart, to be taken seriously, especially by the adults in their lives.  Making their loved ones proud is a driving motivation.

With these themes explored so beautifully in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” I encouraged the actors playing the young spellers to “find the adult in the child” they are playing, not to be afraid to let the adult show through as they transform themselves to a much younger self.  As funny and quirky as they are—Chip, Schwarzy, Leaf, Marcy, Barfee, and Olive deserve respect and credence, just like all our children do.  These characters represent so much about growing up, a sweet innocence but also a realistic awareness of so much.

Thank you for going back to school with us at Theatre Charlotte.  Welcome to our “feel good” musical where the misfits are the stars and the winners are you.  Special gold stars for our four guest spellers for being such a good sport and playing with us on stage.

Dennis Delamar
Director, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Theatre Charlotte

Theatre Charlotte's production of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTAM COUNTY SPELLING BE runs through May 27 Tickets are available through CarolinaTix at 704-372-1000 or