BELFAST — Six awkward spelling champions learn that winning (and losing) isn’t everything in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Midcoast Theater Company’s 2021 summer musical.

“Spelling Bee” is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin, and conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss. The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups. The 2005 Broadway production won the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book. “Spelling Bee” has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor.

An unusual aspect of the show is that four real audience members are invited on stage to compete in the spelling bee alongside the six young characters.

The cast includes returning MTC alums Tyler Johnstone, Dakota Wing, Nathan Roach, Sarah Joy and Jason Bannister, as well as newcomers Jessica Smith, Autumn Stupca, Mark Durbin and Melissa Samuels. Sarah Joy and Dominic Williams direct the acting and music. Haley Black stage manages. Iris Berry runs the lights.

Performances are Aug. 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m., and Aug. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m. at Belfast Area High School, 25 Lions Way. Tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for students. The musical is appropriate for high school age and older.

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