July 2, 2022

UMW’s ‘Bee’ Leaves Audiences Spellbound – Closes This Weekend!

William G. Pineda Jr. ’22 appears as William Barfée in UMW Theatre’s production of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.’ The play runs in duPont Hall’s Klein Theatre through April 16. Photo by Geoff Greene.

William G. Pineda Jr. ’22 appears as William Barfée in UMW Theatre’s production of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.’ The play runs in duPont Hall’s Klein Theatre through April 16. Photo by Geoff Greene.

U-n-e-x-p-e-c-t-e-d. Unexpected.

Definition: unforeseen; surprising. Used in a sentence: University of Mary Washington Theatre’s season-closer, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, is filled with UNEXPECTED and fun twists.

In a battle of spelling prowess, this musical spells out what it’s like to be kids uncomfortable in their own skin and conveys the challenges of growing up.

Be p-r-e-p-a-r-e-d! Audience volunteers are called onstage to participate. At the opening night performance yesterday, several parents of the actors became part of the show, along with Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker.

The non-actors make for some hilarious moments, as does a slow-motion scene and other surprises. In another twist, two staff members – and UMW alums – in the Department of Theatre and Dance played key (adult) roles as “guest artists”: Jon Reynolds ’07, marketing director; and Taryn Snyder ’15, assistant to the department chair, Gregg Stull. Read more.

About Anna Billingsley

Anna B. Billingsley, associate vice president for university relations, has worked at UMW since 2004.