TCT to host encore 'Spelling Bee'

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo Community Theatre will present an encore performance of its award-winning production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” this week.
TCT scored nine awards at the Mississippi Theatre Association’s Community Theatre Festival in January, including best production, best ensemble, best director for Tom Booth and best supporting actor and actress, Mark Maharrey and Danielle Frerer, respectively.
That means the production will now travel on to compete at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Louisville, Ky., next week. If it wins there, it’ll go on to national competition in Indiana this summer.
“We’re very excited,” said “Spelling Bee” director and TCT executive director Tom Booth.
The musical comedy tells the story of a few awkwardly funny middle schoolers trying to win a county spelling bee competition.
The encore performance at the Link Centre on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. will include a full run of the show, instead of the edited-for-time version that TCT performs at festivals, as well as food, drinks and a special after-show performance.
“The actors and crew will keep the entertainment going with an hour of additional music, cabaret style. It’ll be everything from The Beatles to show tunes,” Booth said.
The encore is also a fundraiser.
Taking the production to the state competition in Columbus cost about $3,000, when totaling up travel expenses, truck rental to haul the set, registration fees and more. Taking the show to Kentucky will cost about $7,000, he said. He hopes fans will come out to enjoy the production and contribute to their fundraising effort to attend competition.
“Our patrons have always supported us,” Booth said.
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com