After a highly successful Melbourne season, Vic Theatre Company in association with Hayes Theatre Co is thrilled to be bringing their production of the Tony Award-winning musical comedy THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE to Sydney’s Hayes Theatre Co for a strictly limited season from November 17.

An eclectic group of young people, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, arrives at THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, each eager to win for very different reasons. Sweet and shy Olive brings only her best friend (the dictionary) with her; bold and hyper-allergic speller William Barfee uses his ‘magic foot’ to propel him to greatness; former champion Chip is struggling with his burgeoning puberty; easily distracted Leaf is unconvinced that he’s smart enough to be a challenger; overachiever Marcy is disappointed by her consistent success; and politically aware Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre only wants to impress her gay dads. Even though only one can win, they all take home the important lesson that winning isn’t everything and losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.

In hilarious, touching, and catchy songs, each speller reveals his/her hopes, struggles, and passions as they make their way through the competition. With an engaging, tuneful score by William Finn and a sweet, funny book by Rachel Sheinkin, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE causes audiences to fall in love, both with the show itself and its quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time.

The talented ensemble cast includes Henry Brett (The Songs of Cy Coleman), James Coley (Dogfight), Sage Douglas (Heathers), Teresa Duddy (The King and I), Matt Heyward (Les Miserables), Andrew Hondromatidis (South Pacific), Caitlin Mathieson (High Fidelity), Rebecca Moore (Children of Eden), Riley Nottingham (His Ghostly Heart) and David Spencer (Mary Poppins).

Andrew Hondromatidas, Teresa Duddy, Sage Douglas and the cast in Spelling Bee. Image by James Terry.

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE originally opened off-Broadway in 2005 where it was an instant hit, prompting its move to Broadway where it ran for nearly three years clocking up 1.136 performances. It received six Tony Award nominations including Best Musical and won two Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical. The show also received six Drama Desk Award nominations including for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Musical and won for Outstanding Book of a Musical, Outstanding Ensemble Performance, and Outstanding Director of a Musical.


“A vibrant production with a heart of gold, striking the perfect balance of smart and silly. ★★★★★” – Limelight Magazine

“A force to be reckoned with… ★★★★” – Theatre People

“Lifts the spirits of anyone from 8 to 88… The perfect ‘Feel Good’ production” – Stage Whispers


Presented by Vic Theatre Company in association with Hayes Theatre Co

Music & Lyrics by William Finn, Book by Rachel Sheinkin

Conceived by Rebecca Feldman, Additional Material by Jay Reiss

Director – Benjamin Giraud

Musical Director – Trevor Jones

Choreographer – Bernie Bernard

Set Designer – William Bobbie Stewart

Costume Designer – Zoe Felice Harley-Green

Lighting Designer – Jason Bovaird

Sound Designer – Marcello Lo Ricco

Stage Manger – Vicki Heilbronn

Producer – Glenn Ferguson


With Henry Brett, James Coley, Sage Douglas, Teresa Duddy, Matt Heyward, Andrew Hondromatidis, Caitlin Mathieson, Rebecca Moore, Riley Nottingham and David Spencer.


Venue:  Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point

Season:                17 November – 18 December 2016

Times:                   Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 3pm.

Price:                    $60 Adult, $50 Concession & Groups 8+. Wed matinee only $50 Adult, $45 Concession.

Bookings:    | (02) 8065 7337

Patrons’ Advice:  Recommended for audiences 13 and over

Hayes Theatre Co is a dedicated music theatre and cabaret venue in Potts Point. Named for Australian musical theatre legend, Nancye Hayes AM, Hayes Theatre Co honours and builds on the vast history of Australian Musical Theatre and its practitioners. This not-for-profit venue is managed by Independent Music Theatre, a collaborative partnership focusing on providing a permanent home for small-scale musical theatre and cabaret. By providing venue space to newly mounted productions, Hayes Theatre Co, will be a presenting partner together with independent producers and artists. Hayes Theatre Co is made possible through the City of Sydney’s Accommodation Grant Program.