The 2023 Misericordia Spring Musical Preview

Misericordia Players rehearse for the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Brenna Smith, Reporter

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” has been chosen by students as the 2023 spring musical at Misericordia because it represents diversity and brings light to issues often experienced throughout secondary education.

Dates for the show are April 20-23 with Thursday through Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday show at 2:30 p.m. 

Scott Woolnough, Misericordia’s Alternative Learning Program Coordinator, will direct the show. Working alongside him are choreographer Brandon Hanks, musical director Kim Johnson and technical director Bernard Mulcahy.

 “The [Misericordia] Players chose it,” Woolnough said of the production. “It is a middle school spelling bee. It has all the stresses and tribulations of a middle school spelling bee. Even on Broadway, these kids are being played by adults. They are dealing with very adult issues, such as gender identity, struggles with themselves and their family and stresses. They are eighth graders. They are all gifted kids, so they deal with bullying in school because of that. The show is all done with a very light heart. It is light and funny.” 

Woolnough is excited for the musical and hopes it will be an enjoyable, unique experience for students.

“It’s a fun musical, and I am excited to see the Misericordia community come out to support the students,” he said. “The music is so fun, and we are staying true to the script with adult themes and language. We have bleachers, and we are doing fun things with lighting. We also have unconventional places for actors.” 

 “I am really excited to see the audience’s reactions to some of the ridiculous words in the show,” said Logan Padden, a junior Early Childhood Education major and president of the Misericordia Players. “We have a really funny show ahead of us. We will have people come up and spell words they have never heard before. It is an excellent show that is really entertaining to watch. Our music director, Kim, is excellent, as well. Our choreographer, Brandon, is great, too. At rehearsal number three, I think we have something really good.” 

Musicals also bring along dancing and other musical numbers and first-year students are excited to take part in this production.

“I am really excited for the dancing and choreography,” said first-year Diagnostic Medical Sonography major Alana Hadden.

The cast of the show consists of Gabriel Gillespie as William Barfee, Megan Guziewicz as Olive Ostrovsky, Jacob Thomas as Chip Tolentino, Isaac Darby as Leaf Coneybear, Veronica Shults as Logainne Scwartzandgrubienierre, Morgan Gayton as Marcy Park, Cody Palubinsky as Mitch Mahoney, Riley Danieliewicz as Rona Lisa Peretti and Padden as Vice Principal Douglas Panch. 

Members of the ensemble are Maggie Dishong, Olivia Fiocco, Brennen Harris, and Jacob Scherr and Hadden.