The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

“Spelling Bee” will let audience get into the act

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is a drama department theatre production which is bound to be more fun than a traditional musical- it’s interactive.

Nancy Gill, the musical director of the show said if an audience member would like to relive their teenage days and go on stage to spell alongside the actors, that there will be a form they may fill out at the beginning of the show.

Lisa Drummond, the director of “Spelling Bee” said, “there isn’t a fourth wall, the audience is the actual audience for the spelling bee…the actors sing to you.”

Countless hours of dedicated work are behind each theatre production at DVC and “Spelling Bee” is no exception. Four hour rehearsals sessions are scheduled every Tuesday through Saturday. Many of the students involved in the musical are also working along with taking other classes which displays the passion of these performers.

Drummond said, “95 percent of my actors are drama students- this is what they want to do. It gives them practical experience from the audition process to the callback process, casting, rehearsals and then the final show.”

DVC’s production of “Spelling Bee” includes a main cast as well as an understudy for every character that will be seen on the stage. An understudy is an actor which learns every part of the script who is there to fill in for a main actor in the case of an emergency which prevents them from performing.

Having understudies ensures the continuous flow of the production which guarantees a smooth, well-executed musical. Drummond said, “If we do our job right, it looks like magic and people don’t even know.”

Gill said that in order for an individual to be successful in theatre, “no matter what age, [they need] to be a triple threat.” Students need to be able to “sing, move well, be teachable and in the middle of all that be an actor,” said Gill and according to her all the students involved in the production of “Spelling Bee” soundly meet that criterion.

“Spelling Bee” is a musical which means rehearsals are not just for memorizing lines. Actors and actresses address choreography and singing in addition to traditional acting during rehearsals.

Actress Emily Hills said, “it’s hard being a student who is working for a living at the same time…[but] at 11 [years old] I swore that theatre was what I would do for the rest of my life.”

Gill said, “I’ve worked on this show before- it’s hysterical.” Every show is unique and takes even more talent from the actors because having a different person on your show every night presents the need for improvisation. Hills said “Knowing that [every night will be different] is thrilling and scary at the same time. Such is the nature of live theatre…”

“Spelling Bee” will be running Jan. 25 to Feb. 10. Tickets can be bought at

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“Spelling Bee” will let audience get into the act