On the same stage where this year's Franklin High 'Princess' was named, there was a musical play staged recently

DAVID F. ASHTON - When the play's character Barfée is called upon to spell a word, other contestants join in a song-and-dance number about his prized memory-enhancing technique - in this tune called 'Magic Foot'. Delighting audiences on the first two weekends in March, the Franklin High School (FHS) Performing Arts Department presented a musical play entitled "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee".

"Due to lingering COVID-19 coronavirus concerns, we didn't widely publicize this production – it was the first musical that we've been able to present since 2019," Franklin High Theater Arts Instructor Josh Forsythe told THE BEE. "We chose this musical because it was a production that I thought would work even if we needed to wear masks!"

A Tony Award winning play, first staged in 2004, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is a musical comedy about a fictional spelling bee set in a small town at "Putnam Valley Middle School". The show's story, told in words and song, concerns six idiosyncratic kids competing in a spelling be – run by three equally odd grownups.

"We had so many great students audition for the roles, we created two casts of 20 actors each, who appeared in alternating shows," remarked Forsythe.

Sets, sound design, and technical direction for the show were ably handled by 50 FHS Stagecraft students. And the live music was played by the school orchestra.

"The show received a positive reception. Everyone who saw it has been telling us how much they enjoyed it," Forsythe said.

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