Jericho Thomas, a third-year drama teacher at Red Oak High School, is the technical and acting director of the Broadway musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” which will be performed in high school on May 21-22. .
This 2005 Tony-winning production will have Thomas’s theater students as the cast in this production, which features the hilarious and heartwarming musical over awkward school-age spellings vying for the ultimate prize: a place in the National Spelling Bee. A proven crowd pleaser, “Putnam” also invites the volunteer audience at each show to take the stage to compete in the bee (with predictable entertaining results).
In addition to Thomas who will lead the way will be Keith Lathrom, who will help with the musical direction; Arikka Harakal and Ashleigh Pope (lifting handles and additional choreography); Donae Swanson, who assists the production; David Tucker on the lights; Luis Reyes on the sound; Nicholas Todd in the spotlight; and Colton Perdue backstage.
The members of the Red Oak student cast are:
Ella Simpson, Jr., plays Olive Ostrovsky
Landon Blanton, Sr., plays William Barfeé
Jayden Douglas, Jr., plays host to bees Rona Lisa Peretti
Nathan Wilson, Sr., plays Vice Principal Douglas Panch
Avery Culpepper, Sr., plays Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre
Brooklynn Sherman, Sr., plays Marcy Park
José Moreno, Jr., plays Chip Tolentino
Omar Chavez, Fr., plays Leaf Coneybear
and Davion Mouton, Sr., plays Mitch Mahoney
Thomas says, “We will be using pre-recorded music for our musical productions this spring, but we hope for live accompaniment from our Mighty Hawk Band in the future! It has been amazing coming back to do live theater after the pandemic shutdowns. We hope our show brings audiences a hopeful and laughing end to another crazy year of being bullied by COVID-19. “
FYI, Thomas says “Putnam” is rated PG-13 for minor language and puberty jokes.
He continues: “This year, with COVID still a danger, we chose to play a musical with a smaller cast and crew. Students are given a mark for rehearsal work during the school day, but freely volunteer their time after school to make the performance the best it can be. Approximately 220 students are currently enrolled in the Hawk Theater program.
The production on Fridays and Saturdays (May 21 and 22) is open to the public. The performing arts center will be at 25% of its capacity – 300 social distancing spaces per performance are available.
Audiences must be masked; the artists will perform on stage without a mask.
Admission is $ 10 for adults or $ 8 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at: www.seatyourself.biz/redoakhs