First ever fall musical brings surprises and success


photo courtesy of Rick Schwartz

Senior Hannah Allen sings goodbye to the last audience volunteer speller.

Bennett Lane, Writer

This past weekend the Carlsbad High School theater performed their rendition of the play, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Seling Bee”. As one of the many things that made this show unique, near the beginning of the performance non-actor audience members were called up from their seats to join the production on stage as “spellers” in the spelling bee.

“The people called up weren’t actors, and that was cool,” senior Sean Maple said, “The interaction helped you put yourself in the shoes of the actors.”

Before the performance every night, the assistant directors would choose four people to be called up. They selected these people based on the diversity they would add and who they thought would earnestly want to spell.

“Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t,” senior Megan Ohlin said. “They were either really funny in how they reacted to the actors, or would flop when they tried to get laughs for themselves. It could go either way.”

Every night a new set of audience members would join the actors on the stage. Every night there were new jokes and new interactions.

“It was essentially a new show each performance,” junior Ryan VanDerLinden said. “We as the actors would have to improvise according to how the volunteers would act.”

When they practiced the show they had no audience members on stage.

“Sometimes it could be hard because you have to put aside your relationship with the audience volunteers in order to let the show work,” senior Karinya Ghiara said.

One actor who may have had the most intimate relationship with audience volunteers, according to the cast, is senior Hannah Allen. When a speller would spell a word wrong, she was the one that escorted them off the stage, in song.

“I had to spin them around and guide their entire bodies sometimes, it was hard not to break character,” Allen said. “They were complete strangers and I had to sing to them.”

For audience members and performers alike, the play was a success.

“I’m usually off on the side of comedy,” senior Dallin Haslam said. “So having that connection with the actors and the volunteers was a really cool thing to experience.”