SPA produces first student-directed musical: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Posted 09/13/2017 04:54PM

Join us this weekend for St. Paul Academy and Summit School's first ever student-directed musical: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee!

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is directed by Jonah Harrison '18 who proposed the idea for a student-directed production last school year. To help him realize his dream of directing a musical, Jonah pulled together a creative team of fellow students and drafted a proposal that was submitted and approved by the administration allowing him the time and space to direct Spelling Bee at SPA. He and his artistic staff auditioned and cast the show last spring and have been busy rehearsing since early August. 

The musical is made up of 25 students, 12 cast member and 13 crew members. Additionally, Jonah is joined on the Creative Team by JJ Gisselquist '18 who is the Music Director/Orchestra Conductor, Maya Shrestha '18 who is the Assistant Director/Stage Manager, and Tucker Waltenbaugh '18 and Sabrina Rucker '18 who are the Lighting and Sound Designers.

The only members of the cast and crew who are not students are the Spelling Bee's faculty advisors Eric Severson (US English/Theater) and Anne Klus (US Choirs). The pair shares that they have enjoyed taking a step back and watching Jonah and his peers embrace their passion from the other side of the stage: "We could not be more proud of the vision, passion, talent and commitment of every student involved in this production. Not only did Jonah find a way to make his dream a reality but, in so doing, he has created phenomenal opportunities for student actors, technicians, musicians, and designers to hone their crafts."

Please join us for this exciting moment in SPA history on Friday, September 15 or Saturday, September 16. Both shows are in the Huss Center for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public!

Creative Team

Jonah Harrison - Director
JJ Gisselquist - Music Director/Orchestra Conductor
Maya Shrestha - Assistant Director/Stage Manager
Tucker Waltenbaugh & Sabrina Rucker - Lighting and Sound Designers


Henry Vlietstra
Dorienne Hoven
Gracie Tilney-Kaemer
Ethan Asis
Drew Fawcett
Ananya Narayan
Quinn Christensen
Rahul Dev
Max Moen
Grace Krasny
Sydney Therien
Anja Trierweiler

Tech Crew

Noa Carlson
Gabriel Konar-Steenberg
Zoe Hermer-Cisek
Rafael Barocas
Evan Barnes
Lyle Menard
Sylvie Schifsky


Julia Wang
Julia Scott

1150 Goodrich Avenue, St. Paul MN 55105
Main school line: 651-698-2451
Goodrich front desk: 651-696-1560 
Goodrich attendance line: 651-696-1414
1712 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul MN 55105
Main school line: 651-698-2451
Randolph attendance line: 651-696-1410
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