The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
With music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin
Directed by Ann Woldt with musical director Anna Lackaff
Pote Theatre
March 16-17 at 7:30 p.m. and March 18 at 1:00 p.m.
In conjunction with the 21st annual High School Theatre Festival


Theatre Simpson is proud to present our upcoming musical production: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, directed by Ann Woldt. Spelling Bee is a humorous tale of overachievers’ angst chronicling the experience of six outsiders. This eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime while candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives. The tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves!

Theatre Simpson welcomes guest artist Anna Lackaff as the musical director for this production. Lackaff is a keyboardist for the neoclassical new-age group Mannheim Steamroller. She tours with the group for two months a year, then works as a music director, conductor, voice instructor, coach and composer. She has recently worked with different companies in Des Moines, including Des Moines Onstage, Des Moines Social Club, the Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines Young Artists Theatre, NOCE and DSM Folk Collective.

Performances are in Pote Theatre in the Blank Performing Arts Center at Simpson College in Indianola, IA on Friday and Saturday, Mar. 16 – 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Mar. 18 at 1:00 p.m. There will be a performance for high school students on Mar. 19 in conjunction with the 21st Annual High School Theatre Festival. To reserve tickets, go online to or call the box office at 515-961-1601. Box office opens Feb. 26.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Spelling Bee was conceived by Rebecca Feldman, additional materials by Jay Reiss. This production was originally directed on Broadway by James Lapine, originally produced on Broadway by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, at the Barrington Stage Company, Second Stage Theatre.