Are You Smarter Than A 7th Grader?

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Are You Smarter Than A 7th Grader? Test Your Skills At Lewis University’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

Published: March 30, 2012.

Top Row (left to right): Nick Martinez, Carli
Wheeler, Matt Carlson; Middle Row (left to right):
Erika Young, Christopher Selefski, Jackie
Staszak, Mike Sansone; Bottom Row (left to right):
Stephanie Lipinski and Adam Smetana

Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre (PLT) presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” with music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin and conceived by Rebecca Feldman. Spelling Bee is a hysterical musical comedy that is guaranteed to release one’s inner child. Audiences will plunge head first into the minds of the incredibly unusual characters and their “unfortunate” problems that could keep them from “bee-coming” this year’s spelling champion. Each character brings their own adolescent baggage and will keep the audience on the edge of their seat wondering what humorous and outrageous moment could possibly occur next. The show opens Friday, April 20 and runs until Sunday, April 29.

Keith White of Joliet, Chair/Director of the Theatre department, directs the cast of 9 Lewis University students. Members of the ensemble cast include: Carli Wheeler and Mike Sansone of Joliet, Stephanie Lipinski of Oak Forest, Erika Young and Matthew Carlson of Lockport, Christopher Selefski of Plainfield, Adam Smetana of Racine, WI, Jackie Staszak of Braidwood, and Nick Martinez of Crystal Lake.

Lewis second year student Stephanie Daley of Lockport is the stage manager. Becky Hicks of Joliet (vocal director), Harold McCay of Joliet (set design), Lewis alumnus Kevin Kaucher of Chicago (lighting design), Celeste Mackey of Joliet (costume design) and Dave Pomatto of Naperville (assistant technical director) provide artistic collaboration. Other Lewis student production staff members include: Jenni Beck of Rock Falls (assistant stage manager), Michael Wall of Wauconda (light board operator), Sabra Thomas of Bolingbrook (properties), Caitlin Higgins of Homer Glen and Jessie Richey of McHenry (sound and microphones), Gaby Flores and Brittany Owen-Hogan of Chicago (follow spot operators), and Mary Bradley of Palos Heights (backstage crew).

This show is recommended for patrons 13 years old and up and will run April 20-22 and April 26-29. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m., while Sunday matinees begin at 2:30 p.m. A special benefit performance for Regional CARE, Will County’s not-for-profit agency that provides comprehensive medical and mental health care for persons living with HIV/AIDS, will be performed at 4 P.M. on Saturday, April 28. A silent auction, exciting raffles, and a free dessert bar are included in the $35 admission price. Please call Regional CARE at (815) 722-7000 to purchase tickets to the benefit performance. Advanced ticket purchases are strongly encouraged. Tickets are $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and students and $2 for Lewis students with their student IDs. Tickets are $10 for groups of fifteen or more, a savings of more than 10 percent off the original ticket price. Tickets are non-refundable. For more information, call the PLT box office at (815) 836-5500, Monday thru Friday from 1-4:30 p.m., or by emailing at Renovations for the Oremus Fine Arts building has begun, for additional information patrons can check out the PLT Website,, for updates and parking suggestions. The Philip Lynch Theatre is located on the main campus of Lewis University, Oremus Fine Arts Building on Route 53 in Romeoville.

Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally aware, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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