The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Returns to Sugar Land Jan. 25 – 27

SUGAR LAND, Texas (Jan 4, 2018) – Sugar Land’s national award-winning community theatre, Inspiration Stage, is bringing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee back to the historic Sugar Land Auditorium, 226 Lakeview Dr.

Originally produced and performed at Inspiration Stage in May 2015, this adult production show will feature many of its original cast members for this greatly anticipated encore. Not a junior/youth production, this cast features adults.

Pecan Grove’s Annelea Bootle is excited to be reprising her role as Rona Lisa Peretti, the former Spelling Bee champion and current-day Spelling bee moderator.

“I am beyond thrilled to bring Spelling Bee back for this encore run. This show has been such a fantastic experience for me and my fellow cast mates,” Bootle says. “This show is such an amazing culmination of wit, humor and full character expression! Before performing Spelling Bee for the first time back in 2015, it was just something I’d heard about but never had much interest in. It now sits very high on my list of favorite musicals and has the most special place in my heart. It’s a must see show with audience interaction, countless moments of laughter and fun creative storytelling!”

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie 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, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.

Other returning cast members include Steve Kobrin as Vice Principal Douglas Panch, Logan Vaden as Chip Tolentino, Daniel Edwards as Leaf Coneybear, Andrea Richards as Olive Ostrovsky, and Renee Hinojosa as Trish Mahoney.

Vaden, a Morton Ranch resident in Katy, was thrilled to be cast in 2015, and can’t wait to do it again.

“Spelling Bee and Chip were a dream show and role from the time it opened on Broadway when I was in high school. To get to be in it not once, but twice, with such a brilliant and talented group of people is beyond my wildest dreams!” Vaden says. “The show has a huge improv component to it. Because of that, everyone in the cast has to be in perfect synch with each other and really be on our toes. This caused our cast to get incredibly close to each other.”

“I would say it’s the closest cast I’ve ever worked with in my 20 years of theatre,” he continues. “We have remained close friends throughout the last few years and there’s something so exciting about returning to the exact situation that brought so many wonderful people into my life.”

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee runs Jan. 25 – 27, with two evening shows and two matinees.

  • Friday, Jan 25 at 8PM
  • Saturday, Jan 26 at 3PM and 8PM
  • Sunday, Jan 27 at 3PM

For tickets and more information, visit

Inspiration Stage is a national award-winning performance arts studio located in the historic Sugar Land Auditorium at 226 Lakeview Dr. The 2018/2019 season includes youth and adult productions, as well as acting and production classes. Tuition assistance is available to qualifying participants. For tickets and information, visit

Photo credit: Mandy Seymore-Sensat


Photo captions:

  • iStage Spelling Bee Barfee — Aldrich Chica as Barfee. Annelea Bootle as Rona Peretti. Steve Kobrin as Vice Principal Panch
  • iStage Spelling Bee Cast — Full cast from original 2015 production
  • iStage Spelling Bee Coneybear — Far Right: Daniel Edwards as Leaf Coneybear. Renee Hinojosa as Trish Mahoney.