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Spelling Bee, The (Sheiness) - Full Length Play, Dark Comedy

Spelling Bee, The (Sheiness)

Marsha Sheiness

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Full Length Play, Dark Comedy

4m, 4f

ISBN: 9780573616082

A pleasure.... Discipline, tightly written.... Scores those who will use any means to achieve a success of the moment." - New York Daily News
"Fresh and eminently playable ... funny in a grotesque vein." - Village Voice

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Rental Materials | Author | Reviews
$8.95
: Acting Edition
$9.99
ePlay

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Description

Full Length Play

Dark Comedy

Mystery/Thriller

120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - Contemporary, Present Day

Settings Of Play - A televison studio. The set for the National Spelling Bee contest.

FEATURES / CONTAINS

Scene work, Competition or audition material

Interior Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

CAUTIONS

No Special Cautions

TARGET AUDIENCE

Appropriate for all audiences

PERFORMANCE GROUP

High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre

RECOGNITION / AWARDS

From Off-Broadway

A taut, suspenseful comedy that builds to a shocking climax as four children (written to be played by adults) compete in the televised National Championship runoffs for the best speller in the country. Each mother is determined that her child will win, while the Quizzer intends the show to be a springboard into the "big time."

REVIEWS

"A pleasure.... Discipline, tightly written.... Scores those who will use any means to achieve a success of the moment."" - New York Daily News

"Fresh and eminently playable ... funny in a grotesque vein." - Village Voice

The Spelling Bee was first presented at the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Connecticut. The play subsequently premiered off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. It was directed by Harold Scott.

Characters

CASTING

4m, 4f

CASTING ATTRIBUTES

Ensemble cast, Non-Traditional casting, Features Children, Roles for Children, Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

CHORUS SIZE

N/A (Not a musical)

FREDDIE STANS (38-50) - The Quizzer  Charming, likes children, has sense of humor and is driven by ambition.
STEVE ROBERTS (11-14) - From the East. Precocious, quickwitted, likable, self-assured and extremely pleased with who is is.
MAGGIE ROBERTS (35-40) - Steve's mother. Dotes on her son. Always feels she has his best interest at heart.
NINA GOLD (11-14) - From the North. Independent, honest, likable, strong convictions. straight-forwad, and sensitive to the world around her. Outspoken like a child, not as an adult.
BART POWELL (11-14) - From the South. Sweet, even-tempered, popular.
THELMA POWELL (35-40) - Barts mother. A Southern Belle, delicate, strong.
RALPH PIKES (11-14) - From the West. Sensitive, a poet, strong sense of humor, positive, strong will to succeed.
ARLENE PIKES (35-40) Ralph's mother. Gentle, easily swayed, not very bright, good-natured, extremely proud of Ralph.

Rental Materials

MUSICAL STYLE

N/A (Not a musical)

VOCAL DEMANDS

N/A (Not a musical)

Author
Marsha Sheiness

Marsha Sheiness

Marsha Lee Sheiness is a playwright, director, actor and teacher whose work has been produced Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, on television, and in regional, community, university, and high school theatres across the US. She has also been produced in Japan, Canada and England. The 2011 Midtown International Theatre Festival presented her one-act comedy-drama, Lost and Found (nominated for ... view full profile

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Reviews
stephen duennebier 9/13/2015 4:13 PM
Nicely dark theme, extremely appropriate currently.  Not sure it delivers the punch at the end that the story warrants, at least in terms of dialog

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