The Bee is back! Spelling Bee opens tonight in Sydney

Stage Artz Theatre Company – Spelling Bee

After a successful season in 2009, Stage Artz Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Speling Bee is returning to the stage for four days only at Glen Street Theatre.

Starring Linda Hale, Scott Clare, Jay James-Moody, Luke Davis, Max Newstead, Cara Suleiman, Liz Webby, Josephine Ison and John Paul Van Schie, this one act musical by William Finn is a comical parody set during a fictional spelling bee at Putnam Valley Middle School.

“We did it at 2009 at the Zenith Theatre in Chatswood and we were still getting requests to bring it back after all this time”, Director Samantha Neaves told AussieTheatre.

“It really wasn’t something I was considering but it’s such a fun show to do. It’s got audience participation involved in the show and every performance is different, it’s the sort of show that people will want to come back and see again.”

Most of the original cast members have returned for the 2013 season, and Neaves believes this gives the production greater depth second time around.

“We knew we had the formula right with this one – it was such a popular show last time and we were really proud of how it went. This time we were able to keep most of it but make a few little tweaks to keep it fresh. That said, I really believe the cast are doing a better job than they did the first time round because they have all the knowledge of what they did, and they are able to add to that and improve on it.”

With the benefit of hindsight, both cast and creatives were able to come back to the production with fresh eyes, breathing new life into the work.

“While most of the show is very much the same, some parts have been rejigged”, said Neaves. 

This season will feature an adults-only show, where the words spelled in the Bee are not suitable for C-H-I-L-D-R-E-N (Friday 22 March) and a kid friendly performance on Saturday 23 March at 2pm.

For more information, and bookings, visit

Spelling Bee is playing at the Glen Street Theatre, Belrose from March 20 – 23.


Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *