Press Release

PlayMakers’ Award-Winning Summer Youth Conservatory Returns to the Stage with “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

How do you spell fun? S-Y-C

Who: PlayMakers Repertory Company’s Summer Youth Conservatory

What: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Book by Rachel Sheinkin, Music & Lyrics by William Finn, Conceived by Rebecca Feldman. Directed by Tracy Bersley.

When: July 27-31, 2022. Opening Night Wednesday, July 27.

Where: PlayMakers Repertory Company, 120 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill, NC

Tickets: $20; Student & Youth tickets $10.

(Chapel Hill, NC, July 13, 2022) PlayMakers Repertory Company is proud to announce the return of its flagship Summer Youth Conservatory stage production. After two years of virtual training for high school student actors and technicians, the program is presenting a live, in-person performance of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” from July 27-31, 2022.  The musical production, directed by PlayMakers Company member, Tracey Bersley, will feature sets, costumes, and props all built by students and an all-student cast.

This heartfelt musical comedy follows an eclectic group of six elementary students who compete for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.

“The Summer Youth Conservatory has become a cornerstone of PlayMakers programming offering unparalleled training for young people interested in theatre,” said Jeffrey Meanza, PlayMakers Associate Artistic Director. “There is nothing more thrilling than watching the program’s participants gain confidence and shine on stage and behind the scenes. I am so excited to be back with the program and to share the work of these amazingly talented young people with our community.”

The Summer Youth Conservatory is an award-winning program that trains the next generation of theatre artists and artisans, giving students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to work side-by-side with professional directors, choreographers, and musicians, as well as scenic, costume, and lighting professionals. The program has been honored by the North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) with the Constance Welsh Youth Theatre Award for excellence in performance, service of mission and community outreach. NCTC recognized it as “a model program for youth theatre in North Carolina,” and for making professional theatre training more accessible to the youth of the Triangle.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is on stage in the Paul Green Theatre from July 27-31, 2022. For ticket information or for more information about the Summer Youth Conservatory programs for students in grades 6-12, visit

About PlayMakers Repertory Company:

PlayMakers Repertory Company is North Carolina’s premier professional theatre company. For more than 45 years, we have produced relevant and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives and creates transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities. We are proud to be part of a 100-year tradition of playmaking at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America.”

PlayMakers Contacts:

  • For photos or poster art and other PlayMakers Summer Youth Conservatory questions, please contact Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing, or 919.962.6997
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