The Arthur Laurents Theater
at The New Brunswick Performing Arts CenterDirections
William Finn is the writer and composer of Falsettos, for which he received two Tony Awards, Best Book of a Musical (with James Lapine) and Best Original Score. He has also written and composed In Trousers, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, two Los Angeles Drama Critic's Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, the Lucille Lortel Award, and Guggenheim Fellowship in Musical Composition). Mr. Finn wrote the lyrics to Graciela Daniele's Tango Apasionado (music by the great Astor Piazzolla) and, with Michael Starobin, the music to Lapine's version of The Winter's Tale. His musical, Romance in Hard Times, was presented at the Public Theater. Recently, he wrote Painting You for Love's Fire, a piece commissioned and performed bye the Acting Company, based on Shakepeare's sonnets. For television, Mr. Finn provided the music and lyrics for the Ace Award-winning HBO cartoon "Ira Sleeps Over," "Tom Thumb and Thumbelina," "Pokey Little Puppy's First Christmas," and, with Ellen Fitzhugh, two "Brave little Toaster" cartoons. Mr. Finn has written for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and The New Yorker. A graduate of Williams College where he was awarded the Hutchinson Fellowship for Musical Composition, Finn now teaches a weekly master class at the NYU Tisch Graduate Program in Musical Theatre Writing. His most recent projects include Elegies, A Song Cycle (Lincoln Center) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which ran on Broadway and has been produced nationally and internationally, as well.
Broadway: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Tony, Drama Desk awards); Off Broadway: Striking 12 (Lucille Lortel nomination), Off-Off: Serenade. Regional: Guthrie, Little House on the Prairie; Center Theater Group, Sleeping Beauty Wakes (Los Angeles Ovation Award); London: Blood Drive. Residencies, fellowships, commissions include: Eugene O'Neill National Theater Center, Baryshnikov Dance Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Manhattan Theatre Club, Deaf West, McCarter Theatre, Playwrights Horizons. Rachel is a volunteer mentor for TDF's Open Doors program, a visiting instructor at Yale School of Drama, and adjunct faculty member of NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.
Rebecca Feldman is the conceiver of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for which she won a Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk and Tony Nomination for Best Musical. She directed its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company in the summer of 2004. Rebecca is Associate Producer on TRANSPARENT, the MUSICAL FINALE and served as Staff Writer on the finale as well. She is currently developing an episodic drama with Big Kid Pictures, called LA COYOTE, which has been selected to the WeForShe’s 2019 Writeher List. She is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab as well as the AFI Directing Workshop for Women where she won the Jean Firstenburg Award for Best Short. Her short films include, MY FIRST TIME DRIVING (AFI Jean Firstenburg Award, Best Short at Lake Arrowhead Film Fest, Best of Shorts at Outfest), A/V CLUB (TV Pilot, NYTVF), UBER ALICE (Woodstock Film Fest),DEAD CAT(Producer, Tribeca Film Fest) and IRVING (Official Selection Rhode Island Film Fest, Official Selection USA Film Fest, Ft. Lauderdale Film Fest, Atlanta Jewish Film Fest).
Jay Reiss is playwright. He is a Julliard graduate and provided additional material to the book for THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE. Reiss appeared in the original workshops, Off-Broadway cast, and Broadway cast of the musical as Vice Principal Douglas Panch.
Nancy Renee Braun is a NY based choreographer, working on Broadway and in TV/film. She is the resident choreographer for Moulin Rouge The Musical on Broadway and the associate choreographer for Beetlejuice, re-opening at the Marquis Theater this spring. Other favorite theatre credits include The Robber Bridegroom (Roundabout Theatre), Beauty and the Beast, Tangled (Disney Cruise Lines), and Elf (Broadway National Tour). Nancy also works frequently in choreography for film/TV, favorites including “The Gilded Age”, “Succession”, “Westworld” (HBO) “Dead to Me”, “Maniac”, “The Week Of” (Netflix), “Blue Bloods”, “Limitless”, “Bull” (CBS), and “Rebel In The Rye” (IFC). Nancy attended Northwestern University, and upon graduation made her Broadway debut as an actor in Patti Lupone’s Gypsy on Broadway. Her favorite credits are her two amazing kiddos, Max (6 years old) and Shaina (3 years old) and she is proud to be a Broadway Baby Mama. IG @nancyreneebraun
Colin Hanlon (Director) is the Co-producer & star of Submissions Only. TV/Film: Modern Family, Difficult People, The Sinner, The Good Fight, and will be recurring on Uncoupled on Netflix this spring. Off Broadway: The New York premier of Dot by Colman Domingo (Vineyard Theater) dir. Susan Stroman and A.R. Gurney’s last play Final Follies (Cherry Lane) dir. David Saint. Original Off Bway cast of I Love You Because and Pirates of Penzance. Broadway: Falsettos, RENT, Wicked (tour) and In Transit. Four shows at George Street Playhouse, most recently The Nerd dir. Kevin Cahoon. Four seasons at NYS&F and The O’Neill. Next Fall (regional premier St. Louis Rep). @ColinHanlon
Ally Bonino (Rona Lisa Peretti) (she/her) Last spring, Ally originated the role of Lucy Burns in the world premiere production of Suffs at The Public Theater. Since then, she has appeared in the 50th-anniversary production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass at The Kennedy Center and spent two incredible weeks at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center workshopping The Jordan And Avery Show, where she played the role of Jordan. Past credits include Myths&Hymns, Dogfight, Merrily We Roll Along, and vocals for John Mulaney & The SackLunch Bunch on Netflix. Follow @allybo123 on Instagram and at allybonino.com. Much Love. Let’s have some fun.
Jordan Matthew Brown (William Barfée) (he/him) is overjoyed to be a part of the Bee with this remarkable company! Up until the pandemic, Jordan was starring as Elder Cunningham in the National Tour of The Book of Mormon. He has also appeared in The Book of Mormon on Broadway, and as Jack in Into the Woods alongside Betsy Wolfe and Tony Yazbeck. Other favorite credits include Parade (Leo Frank), Columbinus (AP), but most importantly playing Barfée in high school! Proud graduate of Boston University BFA Acting and the National Music Theatre Institute. Endless thanks to the remarkable team at George Street, DBA, and his unbelievable family and friends. For Grandma, who made everyone feel like a winner. @jordanmatthewbrown
Lila Coogan (Olive Ostrovsky) (she/her) Broadway: Mary Poppins (Jane Banks) National Tour: Anastasia (Anya) Regional: Hairspray (Penny Pingleton) Catch Me If You Can (Brenda). Other credits: Pamela’s First Musical (Pamela), Play It By Heart (young Jeanine). Love and thanks to the Spelling Bee team, The Collective, all my teachers, family, friends, and Rob. @lilcoogs on Instagram and TikTok.
Coleman Cummings (Chip Tolentino) (they/he) is overjoyed to be making their George Street Playhouse Debut in Spelling Bee! Coleman played this role in high school and is so excited to be revisiting Chip! Last seen as Taylor Trent in the NYC premiere of Shooting Star! Recent credits include Roger - Rent National Tour, Gabe - Next to Normal and Harry - Kinky Boots. They would love to thank their incredible family and friends for continuing to believe in their dreams! @colemanscummings
Izzy Figueroa (Standby Leaf, Chip, Barfée, Mitch) (he/him) GSP debut! Broadway: The Lightning Thief (OBC). Tours/Regional: The Lightning Thief (1st National tour), Guys & Dolls (ACT of CT), NJ Premiere of James...Peach, Peter and the Starcatcher (TGS), Carded (Feinstein’s/54 Below). Love to the cast, creatives, my teams at MSA, and LG Management! For my Bern.@izzyyfig
Gillian Hassert (Standby Rona, Marcy, Olive, Logainne) (she/her) is thrilled to make her GSP debut! She recently finished the national tour of the 2019 Broadway Revival of Oklahoma! (U/S Eller/Gertie). Regionally she has performed in Hunchback, Kinky Boots (Fulton Theatre); Grease (MSMT); Young Frankenstein (Wolfbane) among others. You may have seen her on TV in New Amsterdam and Younger. Last year, she won a Grammy with Women Warriors: The Voices of Change. In her off-time, she enjoys crafting while drinking craft beers. She received her BFA in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon. Big thanks to Brian and love to my little bears. Insta/tiktok: @gillynotjam | gillianhassert.com
Angel Lin (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre) (she/they) is an actor, musician, and anything synonymous to the word geek. Recently: Off-Broadway world premiere in Memorial as Maya Lin (A.R.T/NY, Pan Asian Rep). Select theatre: Once (Bway National Tour), Mr. Holland’s Opus (Ogunquit, World Premiere), Godspell (PCLO), Cinderella (Paper Mill Playhouse), workshops/concerts at The Public Theater, Atlantic Theater, Playwrights Realm, NAMT, 54 Below and more. Select VO: Nari in Guillermo Del Toro’s Wizards: TOA (Dreamworks/Netflix), Pinkalicious (PBS), Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon and more. Gratitude to DGRW, George Street, the Bee Team and the fam. @its_AngelLin //
Sammy Pignalosa (Leaf Coneybear) (he/him) is an NYC based actor and graduate of The Institute for American Musical Theatre. Recently he performed in Simon and His Shoes at The Tank, An Infinite Ache at the Little Red Light Theater, and The End of All Flesh by Tony award winning writer Greg Kotis. Film/TV: Law and Order (season 22), Like Sunday Like Rain (2014), The Great Gilly Hopkins (2015). Sammy is working tirelessly to learn how to crack an egg with one hand. He can almost kind of do it. Thank you to my parents for their constant encouragement and love!
Aaron Michael Ray (Mitch Mahoney) (he/him) GSP debut! Was recently seen on the 1st National Tour of Come From Away. Off-Broadway: The Low Road (The Public Theater), and Spamilton. Regional: Speakeasy Stage Company, Lyric Stage Company, Moonbox Productions, and more. BM in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music and MFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory. Host of Conversations From Away Podcast Season 1 on the Broadway Podcast Network. Thanks to HAA. IG: @aaronmichaelray All Black Lives Matter. www.aaronmichaelray.com
Kilty Reidy (Vice Principal Panch) (he/him) spent the past few years as a standby with Come From Away, splitting his time between the North American tour and the Australian Company. Broadway: The Drowsy Chaperone and In My Life. Tour and Regional credits: Mr. Braithwaite in Billy Elliot: The Musical (National Tour), Mike Nulty in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Original Cast/Tour), The Last Ship (Pioneer Theatre), Roger De Bris in The Producers (Kansas City Starlight), Crazy For You (PBS Great Performances), King of Hearts (Goodspeed Opera House), and Alfie Byrne in A Man of No Importance (B-Side). Uckle Duckle. www.kiltyreidy.com
Sumi Yu (Marcy Park, Dance Captain) (she/her) is excited to spell at the Bee for the 4th time! Off-Broadway: Greater Clements at Lincoln Center Theater, Call Me Madam at Encores! Regional: Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey) at Theatreworks Silicon Valley, The 25th...Spelling Bee (Marcy) at Bucks County Playhouse and ACT of CT, Freaky Friday (Hannah) at La Jolla Playhouse and Alley Theatre, Oklahoma! (Laurey) at Theatreworks Colorado Springs, House of Joy (Hamida) at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. TV: Heels (Recurring Guest) on STARZ, Rise (Recurring Co-Star) on NBC. Education: Elon University. Representation: SAKS& and The Mine. Sumi sends her love to her family, Gabe, and Kona!
This Spring’s musical event is the 2005 Broadway and Off-Broadway hit, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE! This charming musical comedy tells the tale of six middle school “misfits” in Putnam County, NY finding themselves through one of the most competitive and brave journeys adolescents can embark on – a Spelling Bee! With a book by Rachel Sheinkin, music & lyrics by William Finn, conceived by Rebecca Feldman, and helmed by returning director Colin Hanlon, this Tony Award-winning timeless and hilarious story about self-discovery proves that W-I-N-N-I-N-G (and losing) isn’t everything.
Photos by T. Charles Erickson
Runtime: About 2 hours, with one 15-minute intermission
Sponsored by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation
George Street Playhouse (GSP) has announced its spring musical comedy event-- the Broadway/Off-Broadway hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Performances of this fresh and newly conceived production begin March 14th and continue through April 9th at the Arthur Laurents Theater at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. Tickets are now on sale Learn More