This Dec. 1-11, Niagara University Theatre will present The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the award-winning musical by William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin and Rebecca Feldman.

It is the hilarious tale of six prepubescent, misfit contestants, vying for the championship of a lifetime, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves. Featuring an appealing cast of lovable characters, a comedic yet touching book and a truly bright and lively score, the play captures the anguish, elation and heartache that make growing up so excruciatingly wonderful.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be on stage in the Leary Theatre within the Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, Clet Hall, at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 8. The musical will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Dec 2, 3, 9 and 10. In addition, 2 p.m. matinees will be held Dec 3, 4 (with post-show discussion), 10 and 11.

The production will be directed Steven Braddock, director of NU Theatre, with music direction by Marnie Aldrow and choreography by associate professor of dance Terri Filips Vaughan. Set design is by associate professor David Dwyer, and hair and costume design is by associate professor Maureen T. Stevens. Makeup design is by theatre design/production student Gabrielle Lopez. Light design is by Patty Rihn and sound coordination is by adjunct faculty member Glenn Bernardis. The stage manager is theatre design/production major Andrew Hayes, of Tonawanda, N.Y., and the assistant stage manager is theatre design/production major Kimberly Pukay, of East Concord, N.Y.

Niagara University theatre performance majors who are in the cast include David Wysocki (Chip Tolentino, Jesus) of Hamburg, N.Y.; Sabrina Kahwaty (Loganinne Schwartzandgrubenniere) of East Amherst, N.Y.; Dylan Zalikowski (Leaf Coneybear, Carl Dad) of Springville, N.Y.; Ronnie Stewart (William Barfee) of Buffalo, N.Y.; Carly L. Weldy (Marcy Park) of Orchard Park, N.Y.; Shelby Ehrenreich (Olive Ostrovsky) of North Tonawanda, N.Y.; Kayla Storto (Rona Lisa Perretti, Olive’s Mom) of Orchard Park, N.Y.; Charles McGregor (Mitch Mahoney, Dan Dad, Olive’s Dad) of Buffalo, N.Y.; and theatre performance minor Brandon A. Czerwinski (Vice Principal Douglas Panch) of North Tonawanda, N.Y.

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