Cast and crew of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” continue rehearsals


Meghan Kerr, Staff Writer

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the John Carroll theatre department has been on pause. The department has not put out a full musical since last fall.

However, as guidelines are being lifted, JC has been able to plan a performance to be shown in late May.
Coordinators Julie Parrish and Larry Hensley have worked extremely hard in order to allow students to get back to what they love the most: performing.
The theatre department has been preparing the show since early March, and, according to Mrs. Parrish, it is coming along quite nicely. She said, “The show is progressing well. The music is taught and sounding great; blocking/choreography rehearsals are still underway, and we are really starting to see some really nice (and funny!) characters in this show. It’s one people will want to see for sure.”
While the show seems to be coming along well and the department seems to be on track for great performances in May, there are still some challenges that have arisen due to the pandemic.
For example, Mrs. Parrish said, “Our spring musical is usually in March, so obviously, we are putting up the show much later in the school year this year, so we’ve had to be very careful about logistics with scheduling. There is a lot more going on in the school in May than in March, so that’s been a little bit of a challenge.”
Also, the show will not be able to seat as many people as usual due to social distancing measures.
“Seating is limited to 100-person capacity in our 600-seat auditorium. Seating is ticketed/assigned and is socially-distanced so that seating is only available in every-other row and three to four seats apart. And obviously, we are requiring patrons to be masked as well,” Mrs. Parrish revealed.
Despite the challenges, however, Mrs. Parrish and the students in the theatre department are thrilled to be back to performing.
Senior Ryan Vest has participated in many musicals over his high school career. Ryan is a lead in this musical, playing the character “William Barfee” for his final role before graduation from the John Carroll School.
Regarding his feelings on the musical and on being back to performing, he said, “As a senior, I am excited beyond words that we are able to perform a show this year. The theatre experience last year, unfortunately, was cut short so soon and abruptly, so it is very heartwarming to be back on the stage. I was afraid that coming back to a busy schedule full of rehearsals would be difficult and overwhelming, but the cast and I quickly realized that it was just like old times. . .The show is hilarious and uplifting, and I hope that everyone who is able comes to enjoy ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.’”
Sophomore Chloe Davies is also a lead in the play. Being a sophomore, Chloe was only able to participate in one show last year before her theatrical season was cut short.
Chloe revealed, “Being in the show this year has been such a great experience. We were all hopeful that we would eventually be able to put on a production this year. So many things have been scrapped this year, but it is so wonderful to be performing again. There are a lot of restrictions that we have to follow; however, I don’t mind, because following them allows us to have a show.”
The show is set to have four different performances. Friday May 21, at 7:00 pm, Saturday May 22, at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and Sunday May 23, at 2:00 pm.
Students can begin to order tickets via an email sent out by Mrs. Parrish. Be sure to purchase tickets before they sell out in order to support those participating in the musical, and the JC theatre department.