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The Cast

Jason Lewis (William Barfee) – William Barfee is in an intellectual class by himself. Since it's very lonely at the top, he was elected President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Introverts Club. Following last years' peanut allergy sabotage, William sought out a protection spell from Putnam County's #2 psychic Madame Mysteriosa, who blessed him with his now infamous 'magic foot.’ His alter ego, Jason Lewis, won “Best Writing in a Comedy Series” at the Indie Series Awards for his web series Trailer Made.  He has previously been seen on the Circle stage in Assassins, Dracula, Oliver! and Much Ado About Nothing. As a child, Jason won every school spelling bee (which his parents could never attend) and choked on the first word of every regional spelling bee (which his parents WERE able to attend).  Thanks to this show, his parents may finally see him win!  Jason dedicates his Spelling Bee performance to the late Sue Stinemetz and Maggie Bowden.

Austin Olive (Leaf Coneybear) – Leaf is a recent Nashville theatre transfer. He likes to spell. A lot. He is just happy to have gotten to go to the Bee as a second runner-up in his district. He has spent much of his time since he transferred chain-smoking shows such as Ragtime, Fifth of July, and Picnic. At his former school, he performed in Big River, Leaving Iowa, Into the Woods, and lots of other stuff. Sometimes he gets distracted b-.... He would like to thank his families, both theatrical and biological, for always supporting him; his friends for their suppor;, and the Spelling Bee cast for letting him compete even though he didn't win his district. Many thanks to the winner and runner-up for not being able to go. He would also like to thank his mom (Josh Waldrep) for his super-duper cool helmet, as well as his siblings, Marigold, Brook, Pinecone, Raisin, Landscape and Paul. Contrary to popular belief, his family does not think he is dumb (he thinks), and he is not a fan of South American rodents... or cats. In his defense, Chinchil(l)a is a really hard word to spell. “Apple juice, please!”

Wesley King (Chip Tolentino) – Chip is super excited to participate in this year’s bee! He has a rigorous schedule with spelling, Boy Scouts and school but he also likes to have fun. He loves little league, riding his bike, and chasing girls…but not touching them. “Cooties, hello?!” Chip is president-elect of his elementary school’s chapter of Tea Party Republicans. He would like to thank God, Jesus and his Scout Master, Rick, for all of the affection they show him on a daily basis. He dedicates this anticipated win to his parents and his pet snake, W. 

Brett Myers (VP Douglas Panch) – VP Panch warmly welcomes you to another illustrious Bee. He cannot think of anything he would rather be doing-- except the poker night that he is missing to be here. You may remember Mr. Panch from Bees past, before his brief five-year sabbatical, which he took on a personal quest for wholeness in the Canadian Rockies. He returns to be seated next to the beautiful and brilliant Ms. Peretti, which he anticipates will be more worthwhile than many of his dates. He sends a shout out to all the folks at AA, especially his sponsor, Phil. “Now ladies and gentlemen, sit back, relax and we'll wake you at the end!”

Donald Carter (Mitch Mahoney) – Mitch is happy to be given a third chance to complete his community service. After transferring from Penn State to the State Penn, Mitch was no longer known on the field as a tight end but as a loose cannon.  Pained from the things behind him, he is now working on his temper and attitude which got him into trouble in the first place. He publicly would like to thank and credit Jesus, who has been such a good friend, counselor and role model. Although Jesus has moved back to Mexico, the two of them keep in touch regularly due to Cricket’s cheap and affordable International Wireless Plan. Mitch wants to help those who struggle with their emotions and hopes that the spelling bee will allow him to do that. His mixtape can also be found at your local gas station (only those with a Redbox outside) next to “Ike and Tina’s Greatest Hits” album. #Winning #JailBird  #ThugLife  #CirlceOfPlayersWithinCirlcePlayers 

Amie Lara (Rona Lisa Peretti) – Ms. Peretti is exhilarated (transitive verb: to make cheerful and excited), about portraying Rona Lisa Peretti in her pioneer (verb: to originate or take part in the development of), performance with Circle Players. She has been impersonating different characters through song and dance in theatrical venues since she was a child. When not portraying an overzealous moderator who relives her glory days of winning the spelling bee, Ms. Peretti is a much better parent to her children than the parents of the mishandled and confused lovelies that are contestants in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Ms. Peretti has been an ensemble singer with the Nashville Opera since 2007. She has performed in theatrical productions in Austin, TX, Atlanta, GA, Seattle, WA, and Nashville. She would like to thank Josh, Kim, Rollie and her cast mates for being so unbelievably prodigious (adj: extraordinary, fabulous, amazing or wonderful; very fabulous) throughout this entire process. 

Nicole Giapoutzis (Marcy Park) - Nikki is thrilled to be reprising her role as Marcy Park in Circle Player's production of The Bee! Much like her character, Marcy, Nikki is a major overachiever. Highlight credits include Woman II (My Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra), Marcy (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Aida (Aida), Magenta (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Mimi (RENT: In Concert), Dorothy (Wizard of Oz), among many others.  Along with being a professional theatrical performer, Nikki also moonlights as a high school English teacher in the Nashville-Davidson County area. She enjoys spending her free-time with her husband-to-be and their puppy, Logan... along with hula-hooping, baton twirling, caricature drawing, practicing her splits, and having lively chit-chats with her pal, Jesus. 

Nikki Berra (Olive Ostrovsky) - Namaste! (Language of origin: Namah, meaning "I bow respectfully to you" and Aste meaning "let there be"). “I am beyond ecstatic for my acceptance into the Bee! I excogitate this query, ‘Is it nurture or nature that causes us to bee or not to bee who we are?’ Did nature pick my favorite color, pink,? The color associated with love, tenderness, and childhood? Or did nurture choose my love of words - or "Do Elf Or Vows." Let me know what you surmise. I'd love to auscultate your thoughts! Om Namah Shivaya, Om Shanti Shanti Om ."

Christen Heilman Runyon (Logainne Schwarztandgrubenierre)-

Christen loves words and is proud to be joining the cast of Spelling Bee as her debut performance with Circle players. Both of her mothers (and father) are proud that her theater degree did not turn out to be floccinaucinihilipilification. As a lifelong sesquipedalian, she's glad to finally have some practical use for her versatile vocabulary, even if just to pun her way through rehearsals! Despite her atychiphobia, you may have seen her in local productions of Equus; Promises, Promises; or dancing down the aisles of local grocery stores. Christen hopes this performance is amazing (and doesn't end woefully!) and is simply thrilled to be a part of such an incredible group of spellers!


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