The Columbia Entertainment Company is an all-volunteer community theater for Columbia, Mo. “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is CEC’s sixth and final show of its 32nd season. This musical has been in production since April and will open to the public Thursday, June 9, 2011.
I have been covering this production of “Spelling Bee” for my first multimedia project. The first assignment was three photos: a detail shot, a portrait and a “scene-setter.” The detail shot is meant to bring the viewer’s attention to something most people would overlook. For this, I chose a popcorn bucket the cast uses as a prop near the end of the show. During the show, the bucket is set just off-stage, within easy grasp, but out of the audience’s view.For the portrait, I chose a photo of actress Jordan Isgriggs singing during rehearsal. The point of the portrait is to try and show the subject for what he/she is. In this picture, I loved how the light shone through her hair and really made her expression and enthusiasm “pop.”For the scene-setter, it is exactly what it sounds like: it sets the scene for where the action takes place. Because I’m covering a musical, I chose the stage. I love that I have most of the cast and even some audience participants in the shot, generally showing the space they have in which to move.Confused about the audience participants? I was, too, at first. Monica Senecal, the production’s director, explains this show as “breaking the fourth wall,” a performance term meaning involving the audience by acknowledging them. “Spelling Bee” goes even further by inviting the audience members to actually perform in the show!
This audio slideshow is composed of several pictures accompanied by interviews with director Monica Senecal, actor Cole Headrick and actress Jordan Isgriggs. The audio also includes clips of the show’s music, but to hear the complete songs, you can still see the show playing at the CEC theater.