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Empress Theatre musical comedy to open this week

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The cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Front row: Lacy Poytress, Chelsey Campbell, Len Bloomberg and River Sillito. Back row: Gaven Moore, Rebecca Runions, Dona Guyette, Peter Morton and Chelsie Harris.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee starts its two-week run at the Empress Theatre on Thursday, May 31.
The Tony Award-winning musical comedy focuses on six nerdy teens competing for a spot in the national spelling bee.
Performances are at 7 p.m. May 31, June 1, June 2, June 6, June 7, June 8 and June 9, with a 1p.m. matinee on June 2.
The eight performances of the musical comedy are the culmination of months of planning and rehearsals for the community theatre.
Laura Glover is production director for Spelling Bee, and Michael Ayotte is musical director.
Lacey Poytress returns to the Empress stage as Michelle Mahoney. She previously had roles in Anne of Green Gables, Nunsense and Annie.
Len Bloomberg is cast as Douglas Panch.
Bloomberg had his first role with the Empress Theatre in the 2016 production of The Wizard of Oz, and returned last year in Annie.
Chelsie Harris, a veteran of five community theatre productions, joins the Spelling Bee cast as Olive Ostrowsky.
Another familiar Fort Macleod face belongs to Dona Guyette, who will star as Chip Tolentino. Last year Guyette was the director of Annie.
Rebecca Runions, a Grade 12 student at F.P. Walshe school, is in her third Empress production, cast as Marcy Park. She also had roles in The Wizard of Oz and Annie.
Peter Morton of Stavely, who was part of the Annie cast last year, is back at the Empress, this time as William Barfee.
Gaven Moore of Claresholm is familiar to Empress audiences, having starred as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz and Rooster in the 2017 production of Annie.
Starring as Rona Lisa Perretti is Chelsey Campbell, who has a degree n theatre education and toured for three years with the Missoula Children’s Theatre.
River Sillito is Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre. She is a veteran of musical theatre with credits in Pinocchio, The King and I, Les Miserables and The Wizard of Oz.
Three or four audience members will participate as spelling bee contestants.
The crew of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee includes Dianna Wakelin, stage manager; Isabella DeDominicis, lights; Patrick harris, sound; Phil Wakelin, sets; Kate Glover and Marlene Trotter, props; Chelsie Harris, make-up; John Wort Hannam, poster and program; Margaret Ann Bianco, theatre director; Kimberly Berreth, marketing and communications; and Kris Goodfellow, technical director.

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