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owenburnett's avatar

How do I get picked as a speller for "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee?"?

Asked by owenburnett (162 points ) July 7th, 2011

I’m seeing “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” tonight in DC. I’ve seen it once before on Broadway, so I know what it’s going to be like. It would be really cool if I was a speller. Anyone know how they get chosen?

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11 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I was the spelling bee champ in my district when I was a kid.It was done through the school.If I remember right,I would have had to win another bee,then on to Washington.I still have the dictionary embossed with my name.
I spelled hobnob wrong.I should’ve asked for a definition…sigh..
Good luck! :))

owenburnett's avatar

haha- thanks lucille- i’m actually talking about the musical- they pick several from the audience before the show starts- that’s what i’m talking about :)

TheIntern55's avatar

Oh, thanks for the clarification. I was wondering why spelling bees were on Broadway.
I’ve never actually seen that play, though I have heard good things about it. How do they decide who comes up? Do you have to raise your hand or do they pick seat numbers? That could influence it, though overall, I believe it might just be luck. Your chances will also depend on the amount of people in the audience and how many people volunteer.
Sort of a scientific way to think about it, but that’s unfortunatly the way I think! Enjoy your show!
@lucillelucillelucille I was in a spelling bee in 5th grade and got out on the word “iron” Don’t feel bad! I don’t know if you could tell, but look at my answers and you’ll see spelling isn’t my strong point!

breedmitch's avatar

Call the box office and ask. Tell them it’s your birthday.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@owenburnett -LOL! That’s what I get for not paying enough attention!
Do they sing the letters?XD

sliceswiththings's avatar

Good call, @breedmitch, definitely tell them it’s your birthday! Or pretend you’re someone else and say, “It’s my friend Owenburnett’s birthday, who wants to be a speller!” When I saw it I didn’t get picked because I was friends with the cast :(

owenburnett's avatar

Thanks, @breedmitch- I will try that out- I actually just read up on it on Wikipedia and it said that they give out a questionnaire 30 min before the show and ask things like “name, occupation, hobbies, description of clothing, spelling ability, and age range”- I’ll work in that it’s my birthday today in there somehow :)

Cruiser's avatar

Wear a sign that says “Champ” around your neck and have a trophy in your hand when you go.

iphigeneia's avatar

I don’t know the process they go through in DC, but to be in the running you’ll need to get to the theatre early, and make sure you come across as ordinary (ie don’t show off) and easy-going. And mentioning that it’s your birthday wouldn’t hurt!

Cupcake's avatar

About half an hour before the show begins, audience members in the lobby are given the chance to sign up to participate in the show as “spellers.” The registration form asks for name, occupation, hobbies, description of clothing, spelling ability, and age range. Interviewers look for people with no acting experience, unique names, traits, and backgrounds. The audience participants are taken backstage prior to the show and are shown where to stand when called from the audience and given instruction about what to do when called upon to spell. They are asked to request a definition of each word and its usage in a sentence, and to attempt to spell each word rather than giving up. During the performance, the actors sitting next to the audience participants periodically whisper hints about when to stand, sit, move in “slow motion,” “freeze” or hang on because the seating platform unit is about to spin. link

renee's avatar

I’ve heard that, on Broadway at least, if you put on your questionnaire that you do crossword puzzles for a hobby or are an English teacher or journalist (or something similar), you will disqualify yourself from being one of the guest spellers. I guess they want true amateurs. I played in the orchestra for a local production of this show and it was a hoot. Local celebrities and elected officials got first dibs on being the guest spellers, and usually the vice principal (who reads the words) would ad-lib something about them during the show. As a musician, we had to be on our toes in case one of the guest spellers misspelled the word—had to have the exit music ready for all of them just in case! Have fun!

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