SOMERS, N.Y. - Somers High School students will be performing in the musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” on April 20 at 3 p.m. and April 21 at 2 p.m. in the Somers High School auditorium. Seniors Justin Tan, Max Cabrera, Rose Baranowski, and Keeley DeHart are leading the production as director, set designer and assistant choreographer, producer, and head choreographer respectively for their Wise Individual Senior Experience (WISE) Project.
The show follows six tweens competing for the title of spelling bee champion while sharing funny stories about why they deserve to win.
The show “lets us look back on middle school in an endearing, funny way,” DeHart said.
For the leadership team, the production is a culmination of years of shows with the Somers High School Musical Company and Drama Club. After seeing other WISE projects including “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” when they were underclassmen, they wanted to apply all they “have learned over the past four years into our own show,” said Cabrera.
Along the way, they have found new challenges and opportunities in performing and leading a student-run production.
“It’s been very fulfilling to make our own choices and watch them come to life on stage,” Baranowski said.
The team also spoke of the responsibilities they hadn’t considered before leading the production, including building the set and choreographing intricate numbers. DeHart emphasized how supportive their cast of twelve students has been, noting “we can talk as a team and make decisions for the show.”
“I have learned the importance of working as a team,” said Tan, who will be applying what he has learned from directing when he studies music education at the Crane Institute at SUNY Potsdam next fall. All of the team plans on continuing with music in college either formally like Tan or informally in clubs and smaller productions.
“This is one amazing experience I’ll remember,” Tan said. “I’m grateful for such an opportunity to explore my career interests and work with such amazing people both on the production team and cast.”
Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door. All proceeds will go to the Somers High School Musical Company.