A H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S Musical

Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Additional Material by Jay Reiss

January 28 – February 28, 2016

Six awkward tweens vie for the coveted spelling championship in this fast-paced, Tony Award-winning comedy. As they fight to stay in the contest, the students – each with their own quirky and engaging personality – share hilarious and touching tales from their home lives, ultimately learning that winning isn’t everything. Featuring an addictive original score and riotous competition, Spelling Bee is an instant musical theatre favorite.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is performed without an intermission. Run time is approximately 1 hour, 40 minutes.

Performances held at the Broadway Rose New Stage, 12850 SW Grant Ave., Tigard.

Title Sponsor

Show Sponsor

Print Media Sponsor
The Oregonian



LYLE BJORN ARNASON (V.P. Douglas Panch) is ecstatic and thankful to be back at Broadway Rose making his mainstage debut in a show that he loves. In addition to Broadway Rose children’s shows, he has previously been seen on Portland stages in productions for Lakewood Theatre and Pixie Dust Productions. Some previous favorite roles include Barfee (Spelling Bee), Marcus Lycus (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Nicely Nicely Johnson (Guys and Dolls), and Harold Gorringe (Black Comedy). Lyle is currently the Executive Director for Well Arts Institute, a nonprofit that produces new, original works of theatre written by local writers. Find out more at wellarts.org. He would like to thank his mother and his partner for their ongoing encouragement and support.


Amy Jo Halliday as Rona Lisa Peretti

AMY JO HALLIDAY (Rona Lisa Peretti) National Tour: Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera. Recent credits: Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes with Lakewood Theatre Company, Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Paulette in Legally Blonde (Drammy Award) with Pixie Dust Productions, Ms. Dixon in Band Geeks!, Grizabella in Cats, Rita in Lucky Stiff, and Woman in A Christmas Survival Guide with Broadway Rose; Maria Callas in Ari-Maria and Ethel Merman in Book of Merman with triangle productions!, and Judy in 9 to 5 the Musical with Stumptown Stages. Amy Jo has been a guest soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Music and the Spoken Word), Phoenix Symphony, and Oregon Symphony (Pops & Classical series). She has been heard on national television as the singing voice for a Mountain Dew commercial. Amy Jo has a Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a Masters Degree from Portland State University. She lives in Keizer with her darling husband and their four beautiful children.


BRIAN DEMAR JONES (Mitch Mahoney) is grateful for the opportunity to be working with Broadway Rose for the second time, first appearing in Little Shop of Horrors as the Dentist. He was most recently seen as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes at Lakewood Theatre Company. His other Portland credits include: Ernie Lijoi’s Under The Influence at Funhouse Lounge, Winter’s Tale, The Ministry of Special Cases, Batboy: The Musical, Feral, Brother/Sister Plays, and the Drammy-winning best production Snowstorm at CoHo Theater. Favorite regional credits include: Oberon/Theseus in A Midsummer Nights Dream (Interplayers), Henry IV, Part 2; and Loves Labor’s Lost (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Les Misérables with Douglas Webster and Kirk Mouser (Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre), and Hello, Dolly! (5th Avenue Theatre). Brian also works as a teaching artist, private acting coach, and director. www.bdemarjones.com


CATHERINE OLSON (Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre) is downright jovial about making her Broadway Rose debut in a role she’s long loved. After a rather circuitous route of studies and performances that took her from Portland to Eastern Oregon to Italy to Eugene, Catherine earned her Master of Music degree from the University of Oregon and is now happy to be back in the top left corner of the state. Catherine’s stage work ranges from 17th century concert arias to contemporary art music, recently performing with Third Angle New Music (works by Luigi Nono & Luciano Berio at the Portland Art Museum in conjunction with the Made in Italy exhibit), Mock’s Crest Light Opera (Adele in Die Fledermaus), and Lakewood Theatre Company (Sally Cato in Mame). This spring, come see her perform at the Keller Auditorium with Portland Opera in a new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. TinySoprano.com


TROY PENNINGTON (William Morris Barfée) is overjoyed to be working with such an amazing cast and creative team while making his Portland-area theatre debut with Broadway Rose. Some favorite previous stage credits include Tobias (Sweeney Todd), Lucky (Waiting for Godot), Jack (Into the Woods), Norman (The Boys Next Door), Jesus (Godspell), Mushnik (Little Shop of Horrors), Actor 1 (The Dining Room), John (John and Jen), and Man 1 (Songs for a New World). Troy is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts – West in Los Angeles and has also directed productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, and Kiss Me Kate. He would like to thank his family and friends for alternately supporting/putting up with him while he continues to pursue his love of live theatre.



DANIELLE PURDY (Olive Ostrovsky) is thrilled to be returning to the Broadway Rose stage after previously portraying Laura in Band Geeks! Danielle’s local credits include Susan in tick, tick…BOOM! (triangle productions!), Lauren in Circle Mirror Transformation and Evie/Pixie the Cat in Ithaka (Artists Repertory Theatre), Sophie in Mai Dang Lao (Portland Center Stage), and A Christmas Carol and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Portland Playhouse). This summer Danielle studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City where she had the opportunity to work with current Broadway professionals Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), and Rob McClure (Avenue Q, Chaplin). Danielle is currently reliving her own 12th year of life when she was runner-up in her regional spelling bee and one spot away from nationals.


ALEXANDER SALAZAR (Chip Tolentino) is pleased to be returning to Broadway Rose Theatre. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at Portland State University and with a degree in musical theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. Musical productions include Lakewood Theatre’s Anything Goes, Rodney Hatch in One Touch of Venus with the Lost Treasure series, Young Frankenstein, The Pirate Thief as the Hero in 4×4=Musicals, and recently The Peppermint Bear Show: the Taming of the Shoe as Percy Ulysses Featherby.


David Swadis as Leaf Coneybear

DAVID SWADIS (Leaf Coneybear) originally from Philadelphia, holds an A.F.A. in Acting. This is David’s fourth show here at the Broadway Rose, having played Captain Hook in Peter Pan in Neverland, Teen Boy in The Music Man, and Alvin Freeman in Band Geeks!. Other credits include: Ric Young in Storefront Actor’s Revue!! (triangle productions!), Rhetta the Transylvanian in The Rocky Horror Show (Live On Stage), Zach in #BadDecisions (Elaborate Alibi, FG15), Chip Tolentino in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Emcee in Cabaret, and The Grinch in Seussical. David’s favorite word is nonsensical, his favorite word to say is gubernatorial, and his favorite word to spell is onomatopoeia. David is currently accepting job offers for roles half his age and in shows that have exclamation points in their titles. (If anyone you know wants to throw Grease 2 together, shoot me an email. DavidSwadis.com.) David lives in St. Johns with his husband Brian and their cat Frank.


AUDREY VOON (Marcy Park) is a professional arts educator, specializing in music education and choral conducting. Audrey is pleased to be back on stage after a brief hiatus for graduate studies at the University of Portland (M.A.T. ’13) and her debut teaching endeavors. Now the artistic director and co-founder of local nonprofit Cathedral Park Performing Arts Collective, Audrey delights in the joys of both teaching and performing. Audrey was last seen on the Broadway Rose stage as Mary in the world premiere of Ripper, and, prior to, as Tuptim in The King and I. During her downtime, Audrey enjoys singing and playing keys with local bands The Knotty Pines and Hey, Handsome and spending time with her sweetheart and their pup, Clifford, “The Big Red Dog.”

Show Dates

Thursday, January 28, 7:30 PM PREVIEWLimited Availability
Friday, January 29, 7:30 PM OPENING NIGHT
Saturday, January 30, 7:30 PMLimited Availability
Sunday, January 31, 2:00 PM—SOLD OUT

Thursday, February 4, 7:30 PM Limited Availability
Friday, February 5, 7:30 PMLimited Availability
Saturday, February 6, 2:00 PM—Post-show talk back*
Saturday, February 6, 7:30 PMLimited Availability
Sunday, February 7, 2:00 PMSOLD OUT

Thursday, February 11, 7:30 PMLimited Availability

Friday, February 12, 7:30 PMSOLD OUT
Saturday, February 13, 2:00 PMLimited Availability
Saturday, February 13, 7:30 PMLimited Availability
Sunday, February 14, 2:00 PMSOLD OUT

Thursday, February 18, 7:30 PMLimited Availability
Friday, February 19, 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 20, 2:00 PMLimited Availability
Saturday, February 20, 7:30 PMLimited Availability
Sunday, February 21, 2:00 PMSOLD OUT

Thursday, February 25, 7:30 PM
Friday, February 26, 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 27, 7:30 PM
Sunday, February 28, 2:00 PMLimited Availability

*Talk-backs are free and open to the public. They begin immediately following the first Saturday matinee performance of the mainstage production, and are held in the theater. You do not have to attend the Broadway Rose production in order to attend the talk-back.

Creative Team

Directed by Annie Kaiser
Music Direction by Jeffrey Childs
Choreography by Dan Murphy
Set Design by Sandy Skodrus
Costume Design by Brynne Oster-Bainnson
Light Design by Peter West
Prop Design by Jeff Duncan
Sound Design by Brian Moen
Stage Manager Jessica Junor


Jeffrey Childs, Keyboard
Mieke Bruggeman-Smith, Reeds
Mitch Wilson, Percussion
Dale Tolliver, Cello

News & Reviews

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee—Broadway Rose—Tigard, OR
by Dennis Sparks
Feb. 8, 2016
Kaiser has done well, balancing the show with quieter times and then letting other moments explode.  The costumes (designer, Brynne Oster-Bainnson) help immeasurably in defining the characters…The acting by all is very specific and you feel for them, their characters…. Read more.

’25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ blends adolescent pathos with hilarious fun
by Holly Johnson
Oregon Music News, Feb. 6, 2016
The fine production at Broadway Rose in Tigard, directed by Annie Kaiser, pulls out all the stops…the off-stage band directed by Jeffrey Childs rocks the house. Dan Murphy’s choreography is funny and inventive…
Read more.

I put a beeline spell on you (REVIEW)
by Christa Morletti McIntyre
Oregon ArtsWatch, Feb. 2, 2016
Get ready for a warm, witty serenade to logophiles everywhere, and to the outcasts of Putnam County… Who wins? Who loses? We’re not gong to spell that out. But you will end your night with a song – and a lexicon – in your heart. Read more.

25th Annual Spelling Bee Kicks Off Broadway Rose’S 25th (REVIEW)
by Tina Arth
Westside Theatre Reviews, Feb. 2, 2016
Everything about this show just sparkles – it is young, witty, current, moving, and fundamentally honest – an energetic synthesis of low comedy and high drama woven into a whole that should appeal to, well, pretty much everybody. Read more.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” @ Broadway Rose (REVIEW)
By Kristopher Haines
The Crippled Critic, Feb. 1 2016
“Spelling Bee” is the kind of show that may reward repeat viewings. Read more.

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE Celebrates Misfits, Words, and Finding Your Way, at Broadway Rose (REVIEW)
By Krista Garver
BroadwayWorld.com, Feb. 1, 2016
Dear 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE. I know we just met last night, but I think I love you. Call me, k?Read more.

Directing is just one of her many talents
by Barbara Sherman
Regal Courier, Jan. 28, 2016
Annie Kaiser couldn’t settle on one career when she grew up, so she now works as a singer, actress, director, performing arts center coordinator, and high school teacher and advisor… Read More.

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