(Seguin) -- A live musical production, that opens this weekend at the Stephen and Mary Birch Texas Theatre, will not only tickle your funny bone and delight your ears, but might also put your spelling skills to the test. A local production of the popular play "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend and next weekend at the historic theater in downtown Seguin.
Patrick King is helping direct the show, and he's also part of the cast. King says many of his theater arts friends from this area have wanted for a long time to put on this fun show. He says they all happen to be here this summer, and things just kind of came together for the show.
"We have loved the show for years now. Its been since our oldest cast member was in high school back in like, I want to say in the early 2000's. All of us have gotten really close. We were like, 'guys we really want to do this show.' Every opportunity we've had to do it, it has always failed. We've never had the time to do it, someones been busy and we really just wanted to do it with our group of friends that we know could get it done. Then finally an opportunity came again this year and (former Seguin High School Theater Arts teacher) Sheila Lucas was like 'if y'all can do it in two weeks, we can do it.' So we were like, 'are we doing this?' and everybody was like 'yes, we're doing this.' So we were like alright, gather up who we can and lets get it done," said King.
Fellow cast member Logan Stroud says the music is great, and the story is a lot of fun for the audience.
"The way it opens up, of course, it is your spelling bee, but it's a bunch of little middle school age students, who are coming in and they're just soley focused on everything, but each of them has his own little personality, their own little quirk, which gets shown through their musical numbers and also through some of the words that they have to spell. Some of the dynamic between them is very interesting also. So it's not just spelling. There is a story underneath all of it, which is really good," said Stroud.
The crew and cast know each other well, because many of them came up through the Theater Arts program at Seguin High School. Amber Mawande-Spytek is still a student there at the high school, and she says she can't wait bring her character to life during this summer production.
"I play Marcy Park and she's one of the spellers. Marcy is -- she's one of those people who is very dedicated to what she does. She's very serious about the spelling bee. Throughout the show she kind of realizes that maybe she shouldn't be so focused on spelling, and she kind of realizes that she needs to let loose a little bit and she does that eventually," said Mawande-Spytek.
The rest of the cast includes Lauren Bouquet, Lauren Hunt, Kyle Krambeck, Justin Lopez, Brittani Miner and David Rudy Perez. Audience members will also have a chance to get into the act. Some audience spellers will be needed for each performance, which makes each show slightly unique.
"At the beginning of the show, we open (with) the opening number and then after that we ask the people who signed up to be spellers, depending on if they get picked or not, to come onto the stage and join us for the show. So they're a part of the show. We ask of them basically, don't act. Just act normal, let us do our jobs. You just have fun with us. You sit there, when we call you up, you spell a word, if you get it right you keep going, if you get it wrong you're out. It's kind of just like you're actually in a spelling bee," said King.
The show is not x-rated, but it does come with a parental warning -- mostly for language. King says that's parents need to keep in mind that this is a show about middle-school aged kids, and the language reflects some of the things that you might hear coming from the mouths of any middle-schooler.
"If your kids watch rated R (or PG-13) movies with you, I mean they're going to be totally fine. It's just there are some suggestive things that are in the show. Some language -- it's middle school kids going through puberty, growing up," said King.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (June 23-24), with a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday (June 25). Those scheduled times will also be repeated the following weekend (June 30-July 2).
Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased at Gift & Gourmet, Keepers or the Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are also available at the by calling the Texas Theatre box office at 830-372-6168, or online at www.thetexas.org. Tickets sold at the door will be $20.