With a 25-year legacy beginning with the Plano Children’s Theatre (PCT), North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) had long wanted an organization to showcase the talents of local adult thespians. NTPA leadership also recognized a need to support their young adult actors after they aged out of the NTPA programming.
Adult actors can now find a permanent home with the new NTPA Repertory Theatre program, and their upcoming adults-only production, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
Before the Repertory Theatre, NTPA had already ventured slightly into the world of adult theatre, by bringing adult actors and PCT parents into an annual wintertime production of “Scrooge – The Musical.” After reorganizing management, NTPA was finally able to support this new expansion into the realm of adult theatre. Four more shows are planned for the NTPA Repertory Theatre’s inaugural season.
“I think the City of Plano has certainly said that they want a professional theatre series here in town,” NTPA Executive Director and Founder Sara Akers said. “This is our first baby step towards that. Eventually, we want to be hiring equity actors to make it happen, so this is where we’re starting.”
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” follows a group of quirky kids and grown-ups involved in its namesake, a spelling competition. PCT alumnus and current NTPA teacher Marcus Miller is one of the adult actors in the production and plays the role of kid speller William Barfee.
After finding a home in PCT in 2008, Marcus still participates in NTPA to both give back to PCT and explore a passion for theatre. “I hope the audience experiences something they’ve never experienced before, feel something they’ve never felt before. I just enjoy making people laugh, and so I really enjoy doing comedies,” Marcus said.
Heed his words and get ready to laugh. Sara describes the production as “naughty” and “very, very clever.”
“There’s a lot of audience interaction, and it’s a challenging musical score,” said Amy Poe, director of this production. “It’s the perfect balance of an entertaining show, but also one to showcase talent, which is really important.”
Catch “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” on August 11-14 at the Cox Building Playhouse in downtown Plano. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.Buy Tickets >