Spelling Bee Cast
Jake Bassinger (he/him) (Chip) is thrilled to be back for his 8th production at Stage 284! Some past credits include Ms. Trunchbull (Matilda), Ren McCormack (Footloose), Evan Goldman (13), Aaron (Terezin), and Crutchie (Newsies). Jake also enjoys writing new material, and a concert of his original musical “Too Fast” will be performed at his high school next year. Jake has loved working on this show for the past couple of months, as well as experiencing this amazing opportunity. He would like to thank the creative team, his brilliantly talented cast members, and his family for being so supportive through this process. Enjoy the Bee!
Brian Doser (he/him) (Vice Principal Panch) I can’t believe I am in the Bee! I was an audience participant years ago and never dreamed I’d be playing VP Panch”! Locally known as “The Music Man” Brian performs for the younger audience daily, and the older audiences on occasion as well. Back to the stage after a 40 year hiatus (prompted by daughter Hannah while auditioning for Annie), Brian has performed the role of Rev. Shaw in Footloose, Simon Stinson in Our Town, Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Noah in Children of Eden, Wilson in Annie Get Your Gun, Bunson in Newsies and supporting roles in Stiltskin, Annie, The Drowsy Chaperone, Nottingham, and Mary Poppins. A huge thank you to my family and friends for their support!
Krista Flanagan (she/her/hers) (Logainne) is so excited to be back again for her second production at Stage 284 in Spelling Bee. She is thrilled to be playing Logainne SchwarzandGrubenierre aka “Schwarzy” for her second time! After having just wrapped up Our Town and working with Cassie and Cole she knew she had to come back for more! She thanks the dream duo for encouraging her to audition and believing in her again. Past credits include “Emily” in Our Town, “Milky White” and “Florida” in Into the Woods, and a variety of characters in Shrek the Musical. In her minimal free time you can find her making puzzles or reading books from an endless list of “must reads” she finds on social media. She’d like to thank Stage 284 for having her up on stage as well as her family for always supporting her in all her endeavors, thanks everyone!
Abby Frost (she/her) (Rona Lisa Peretti) makes her return to the stage after many years of music directing community and schools musicals and choral ensembles. Abby serves as Director of Choirs at Ipswich High School and First Church in Wenham. Most recently, she music directed Beauty and the Beast at IHS and Newsies at Stage 284. Her own ancient stage credits include music theater, opera, and straight plays. Abby thanks Katie, Cassie, and Cole for the opportunity. She lives in Ipswich with her 6 year old aspiring performer.
Samantha Leone (she/her) (Olive) is ecstatic to be performing as Olive at stage 284! Sam graduated from Plymouth State University in 2019 with a Theatre Arts degree with a focus in Musical Theater. Some of her previous roles include Simon in Jesus Christ Superstar, Mrs.Webb in Our Town, Grettel Suss in an original improv murder mystery dinner show, Frenchy in Sweet Charity, Rona Lisa in 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, and Olive in 25th Annual…Spelling Bee.
Annie Lovelace (she/they) (Barfée) is so excited to be a part of her first stage 284 production as William Barfee! Annie started acting in 2016, but this will be her first musical since the pandemic started. She is so excited to be doing what she loves again! Past performances include “Rosalind” Shakespeares As You Like it, “Pumba” Lion King, “Menenius” Shakespeares Coriolanus,“Medda Larkin” Newsies, and “Scarecrow” in The Wizard Of Oz! Annie wants to thank her family, friends, and girlfriend for supporting her and encouraging her to continue with theater and put herself out there. Annie also wants to thank everyone for coming, and hopes they enjoy the ‘pandemonium’ that will ensue onstage!
Steven Monroe (he/him) (Leaf) is happy to return to Stage 284 for their production of Spelling Bee playing the role of Leaf Coneybear. Past credits with Stage 284 include: “The Wolf/Prince Charming” in Into the Woods, “Sky” in Mama Mia, and “Phil Davis” in White Christmas. Steven would like his amazing wife Sabrina and his two cats, Ruby and Salem, for their continued support.
Emilia Tagliani (she/her/hers) (Marcy) is thrilled to be performing at Stage 284, as Marcy Park in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee! Some of her favorite credits include; North Shore Music Theatre’s: A Christmas Carol (Martha Cratchit), Wheelock Family Theatre’s: Little Women (Amy March), Greater Boston Stage’s: Beauty and the Beast (Belle) and Acting Out Productions’: 13 (Patrice). Along with theatre, Emilia also enjoys playing guitar, writing, skateboarding and dancing. She would like to thank her family for their constant support, and the cast and crew of Spelling Bee, for making this show such a fantastic experience!
James Turner (Mitch)
Malia Andrews (she/her) (Logainne) Hi! My name is Malia Andrews and I play Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre in the youth cast. This is my second show at 284, my first being Newsies where I played a newsie and a Bowery Beauty. I’m going to be a junior at Gloucester High School where I have participated in the chorus and theatre program for the past two years. Once Newsies closed, the music director, Cole Lundquist (who is also my chorus teacher) asked me if I’d be doing Spelling Bee and I pretended to know the show. I went home, listened to the soundtrack, and gave him a solid “absolutely”. This show is hilarious, witty and so much fun, I can’t wait for everyone to come and see it.
Penelope Bellucci (she/her/hers), (U/S Leaf Coneybear), is 14 years old and entering ninth grade at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School. In her free time, she likes reading, singing, and hanging out with friends. Previous roles for Penelope include “Ensemble” in Aladdin Jr., “Who Ensemble” in Seussical the Musical, and “Snyder/Newsie” in Newsies. She would like to thank her parents, her friends, her brothers Eli and Sam, and her dog Charity for supporting her and running lines, and the production team and cast at Stage 284 for being so amazing, helpful, and kind!
Lucia Carleo (they/them/she/her) (U/S Mitch) is so excited to be in another show at stage 284! Lucia is playing Mitch Mahoney’s understudy! Lucia started acting in third grade and has enjoyed it since. Some past credits include Newsie in Newsies, The Wolf, Cinderellas Father, and the Giant in into the woods, Duffy in Annie, and Bonzai and Timon in Lion King. On top of acting, Lucia enjoys playing softball. Lucia would like to thank her mother for always supporting her throughout her acting career and helping pushing them to be their best. They hope this show brings lots of joy to you all!
Hannah Donnellan-Doser (U/S Olive)
Riley Freedman (he/him) (William Barfée) is excited to be performing at Stage 284 in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Barfee (accent aigu). Riley will be a a senior at Covenant Christian Academy and has been acting since the third grade. This is Riley’s 4th show at Stage 284, previously playing Dewey Finn in School of Rock, Spot Conlon in Newsies and Howie Newsome in Our Town. Outside of Stage 284, Riley has played roles in numerous shows at Neverland Theatre, such as Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, and Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Riley would like to thank his family for always supporting him, as well as Neverland Theatre director Andy Diskes, music directors Lynne Jackson and Michael Palter, and the entire Stage 284 team for making him the performer he is today.
Abby Lyman (she/her) (U/S Logainne) This is Abby’s 10th show at Stage 284, but her first one in over 3 years, her last one being Mamma Mia in 2019. She is so thrilled to be playing Logainne, because her character is so different from her real-life personality, and that’s always fun. Some of her favorite roles include Belle in Beauty and the Beast (2018), Teen Ensemble in Addams Family (2017), Teen Ensemble in Mamma Mia (2019), and Tweedle Dum in Wonderland (2015). This is one of the most unique and fun shows she has done, and she’s so grateful to be a part of it! The cast of this show is so incredibly supportive of each other and passionate about what they’re doing. Congrats to the rest of the team for putting together such an amazing production, and see you opening night!
Isabella Morales (she/her/hers) (Marcy) is so excited to make her Stage 284 debut in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee! Isabella is playing the role of “Marcy Park”. Isabella first started doing musical theatre when she was 8 years old and it has been a huge part of her life since. Most recently, Isabella played the role of “Snoopy” in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She would like to thank everyone involved for keeping the art alive, and her family & friends for their unwavering support. She hopes you enjoy the utter pandemonium and beauty of this show!
Owen O’Leary (Chip)
Inez Ricciuti (U/S Marcy)
Olivia Stanley (she/her)(Olive) is so excited to be a part of this show! Olivia is playing Olive Ostrovsky and has had so much fun working with her adult cast and understudy counterparts. To Olivia, Olive is a very shy character at the beginning, who is just looking to make friends. Her favorite part of playing the character however is slowly bringing Olive out of her shell and into the spotlight (literally). Olive Ostrovsky has been one of her favorite roles to have the privilege of playing, along with Mushu in Mulan Jr, Ms Scarlet in Clue, Countess Ipolitov in Anastasia, and Martha Cox in High School Musical Jr. Olivia hopes you enjoy the show and wishes you a “good bee!”
Dylan Stein (she/her/hers) (Vice Principal Panch) is an upcoming freshman and so excited to be in this cast! Some of her favorite past shows have been “Pirelli” in Sweeney Todd, “Crutchie” in Newsies, “Alan/Alana” in This is a Test. In her free time she enjoys playing bass guitar, and all different kinds of art. Dylan would like to thank her family and friends for always supporting her, and also the cast and crew of the show for making the process really enjoyable. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Mara Stein (she/her/hers) (U/S Rona) is delighted to be in her 6th show at Stage 284 as Rona Lisa Peretti. Mara has been performing around the North Shore since she was 5 years old and hasn’t stopped since. A few of her past favorite roles have been Annie in Annie (Marblehead Little Theater) Patrice in 13! The Musical (Stage 284) Jojo in Seussical The Musical (North Shore Music Theatre) and her most recent performance in the Earth Choir alongside Idina Menzel in WILD: A Musical Becoming (American Repertory Theater). In addition, Mara has been a repeat and requested National Anthem singer in Washington D.C for the Washington Nationals and Harvard University Athletics. She has also performed the Canadian and American National Anthem at Gillette Stadium for the New England Revolution. Mara enjoys being a part of the touring Premier Choir in Boston Children’s Choir. Mara attends Essex Tech and majors in Carpentry in hope to study Musical Theatre in college and minor in set design when she graduates high school. Finally, Mara would like to thank her Mom, Dad, the cast & crew, and her amazingly talented sister Dylan for their support and pushing her to reach for the stars!
Colby Taormina (he/him/his) (Swing, Barfée, Panch) is thrilled to be making his debut at Stage 284 with Spelling Bee! Colby has been acting since the 4th grade and hasn’t stopped since! Past credits include “Bill” in Mamma Mia, “Sky” in Mamma Mia and “Chicklet Forrest” in Psycho Beach Party! On top of acting, Colby has directed & assist directed a few shows such as ‘Grease’, The Wizard of Oz’ ‘Annie JR’ and an abundance of others! Colby would like to thank his family, especially his mom for always supporting him. And to the cast and production team, thank you all so much for welcoming me with open arms and making me feel wholesome again! He hopes you enjoy the Bee!
Cece Turcotte (she/her) (Leaf) is so excited to be spelling for all of you! Cece has been with Stage 284 since 2018, and this is her 4th full scale production with them! Past notable rules include “Madge” in Alice in Wonderland: Down the Rabbit Hole (METG’s One Act Drama Festival Preliminary Round Winner) “Mush” in Newsies, “Michael” in Matilda, and “June” in Chicago. Cece hopes that you find our wide range of characters hilarious, and that you overall enjoy this production!
Gabby Wheeler (she/they) (Rona Lisa Peretti) is so excited to be in Stage 284’s production of 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling bee as Rona. Some past credits include Katharine U/S in Newsies and Cinderella in Into the Woods. She is so thankful for the production team for making this such a fun rehearsal process and is thankful for her friends and family’s support along the way. They hope you enjoy the bee!
Braden Willenbrock (he/him/his) (Mitch) is thrilled to be back at Stage 284 for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee playing “Mitch Mahoney”! Past credits include “Troy Bolton” in High School Musical, “Jack Kelly” in Newsies, and “Dmitry” in Anastasia. Braden’s favorite part of his day is going to rehearsals and being able to spend time with his castmates. He’d like to shout out his family for always supporting him through all of his endeavors. He’d also like to thank Jimmy Turner, Braden’s voice coach and Mitch in the adult cast, for being such a positive role model and being super supportive throughout the rehearsal process. He hopes that you’ll bee very happy with the show and you enjoy!
Katie Clarke (she/her) (Co-Director) is excited to be co-directing this hysterical musical with such a fantastic cast and crew! Katie believes that theater is a place for everyone to shine and uses creative arts to empower, encourage, and foster confidence in her cast and crew members. She is very thankful to her Stage 284 family for helping to create a space that welcomes all! Some of Katie’s past Stage 284 directing credits include, “Newsies,” “Into the Woods,” “The Jungle Book Jr.,” “School of Rock: The Youth Version,” and “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” She has also directed, “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Noises Off,” “Polaroid Stories,” “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and “Shrek the Musical” at Endicott College where she serves as the Coordinator of Theater. She hopes you enjoy the Bee!
Cassie Foote (she/her) (Director) is excited to be back at Stage284! Previous directing credits include Our Town (Director), Matilda Jr. (Asst. Director), and Newsies (Asst. Director) with Stage284, The Rocky Horror Show (Intimacy Director), and the Comedy Showcase (Director) with Endicott College, and Macbeth (Asst. Director) with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC2 Ensemble). Boston acting credits include: Macbeth (Macbeth) with the Underlings Theatre Co., Julius Caesar (Cassius) and Romeo & Juliet (Ensemble/u/s Lady Capulet) with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon) with Apollinaire Theatre Co., and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania) with Arts After Hours. Other credits include: The Changeling (West End Theater), Othello, Love’s Labour’s Lost, (Easy Leap Theatre Company) Whaddabloodclot! (Williamstown Theater Festival), Sky Pony: Raptured (The Play Company), The Fourth Grader’s Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide (Dreamstem Productions).
Nicole Lerner (she/her) (Assistant Stage Manager) is a Registered Nurse from Winthrop, MA. She has previously been a Stage Manager for many shows at Endicott College such as The Importance of Being Earnest, Legally Blonde, and Polaroid Stories, Shrek, Into the Woods, and West Side Story, etc. Before her time at Endicott College, she had stage-managed a total of 16 shows for Winthrop High School. She has previously been a lighting designer and been a part of the technical crew for many shows. During her senior year of high school, she stage-managed the production of Antigone, which won the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG) Drama Festival State Finals. At this METG Drama Festival, she won an award for her excellence in Stage Management. She is very excited to be back for her second show at Stage 284!
Erica Lundin (she/her/hers) (Choreographer) is so excited to be working at Stage 284 for the first time on Spelling Bee! Some of Erica’s previous choreographer credits include; Rocky Horror (Endicott College), Pippin (Chelmsford High School), Orlando (Lyric Stage Company), Margo Veil: An Entertainment (Suffolk University). When not choreographing, Erica can be seen on stage performing herself, or dancing with the Refine Dance Company based in Danvers, MA. Erica would like to thank Katie, Cassie and Craig for inviting her to be part of this production, and Dan for always supporting her! Enjoy the show!
Craig Robertson (he/him) (Technical Director, Lighting Designer, Set Design Lead, Master Carpenter) is happy to be working with Stage 284 again with this production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He has worked with Stage 284 before and favorite productions include Mamma Mia, Into the Woods, Legally Blonde, Secret Garden, Newsies, Our Town and Matilda Jr. He has also worked with Actors Incorporated as the Technical Director for Mary Poppins (April 2017), Beauty and the Beast (April 2018), 42nd Street (April 2019) and, most recently, Godspell (April 2022). He also serves as a Theatrical Contractor and helped with Endicott College’s Shrek, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Rocky Horror Show as well as John Lane’s Oqunquit Playhouse’s Cabaret. When not working in Community Theatre, he has also served as the Technical Director for the past 12 years at Chelmsford High School and consults for the two middle school tech theatre programs as well. He hopes you enjoy this production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Eden Tomaszewski (she/her) (Production Team) Eden Tomaszewski is excited for her to take part in her first performance at Stage284. She was last seen co-directing The Trail to Oregon with Acting Out! Theater Company. Other Acting Out! credits include One-Act Play Series (Director/Writer). Firehose Centre for the Arts production credits include New Works Play Festival (Director), Little Shop of Horror (Stage Manager), Noises Off! (Asst. Stage Manager), and Importance of Being Earnest (Asst. Stage Manager). She has worked on a wide variety of shows at Endicott College including First Date the Musical (Director), Once Upon a Mattress (Asst. Stage Manager), One-Act Play Series (Director/Writer), and Lights of Broadway (Director), Wonderful Town (Shore-Patrol Man/Tourist) and many more. Off-stage credits include Lil’ Iguana & Friends TV Short (Writer/Producer).