The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Cast & Crew Bios
Cole Blubaum (Chip/Carl Dad) (13) in 7th grade and is so excited to be performing with the wonderful cast of Spelling Bee. He hopes you enjoy the show! Previous credits: Melman (Madagascar), Lucas (The Addams Family), Ryan Evans (High School Musical), Wickersham Bro (Seussical), Grandmaster Chad/Nikos U/S (Legally Blonde: The Musical), Specs (Newsies), The Wolf (Into the Woods-NYA Award), and many more. He would like to thank everyone for the amazing opportunity!
Liam Delgado (Coney/Dan Dad) is thrilled to make his Limelight debut! His past favorite roles include Rapunzel’s Prince & The Mysterious Man in Into The Woods (AYT), Lewis in Pippin (AYT), and Abner Dillon in 42nd Street (AYT), among so many others! Liam would like to express great thanks and appreciation for the support of his family and thanks to his cast mates, and to Emma, Carol, Drew, and Van for their faith and guidance!
Shayla Forero (Panch) is 12 years old and attends ASU Prep. She loves performing acting, singing, dancing and playing piano. She also enjoys English horseback riding. She would like to thank Limelight, Van, Emma & Carol for this opportunity. She also thanks her family, friends and teachers for all their support.
Sawyer Hauk (Marcy) is very excited to be playing Marcy Park, (even though she only speaks ONE language in real life). Sawyer is a straight A student at South Valley Junior High, where she participates in Advanced Drama and has recently been seen in Madagascar (Marty the Zebra), Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow) and Fairytale Courtroom (Dorothy Gale). Sawyer would like to thank her family for their support and her Director Van for thinking of her for this role. She hopes to make you laugh - L-A-U-G-H - laugh.
Hailey Laidig (Olive) is an 8th grader at Heritage Academy Mesa, who's grateful to be in her 17th Limelight production. Hailey’s been involved in many East Valley shows, with her past favorite roles being Junie B. in Junie B. Jones (NYA Award) and Little Red in Into the Woods (AriZoni Award), Jr. Hailey’s life is musical theater, but in her spare time, she writes stories, hangs with friends and plays with her cats, Mittens, Rumpleteaser, Rex and Violet. She has a pet mole-rat named Cecilia that she’s trying to teach to jump rope.
Isabella Lesinski (Mitch/US Chip & Panch) , also known as Peaches, is excited to be back with Limelight after performing in Pippin last year. She has also played Fizzy in Bugsy Malone Jr., was a part of Thoroughly Modern Millie, All Shook Up, A Christmas Story, Anything Goes, Legally Blonde and multiple other musicals and plays. Before theater, Peaches spent her time dancing. She performed at Walt Disney World, Knott's Berry Farm, and multiple dance competitions, parades and professional sporting events throughout Arizona. Thank you Emma and Limelight for giving Isabella another opportunity to pursue her passion in theater.
Kennady MacDonald (Schwartzy) is a junior at Arcadia High. This is her second show with LimeLight. She previously played Paulette in Legally Blonde where she earned award nominations from both NYA and the Zonies. Outside of theater, she writes and performs with her best friend in their band Kraft. You can find them on Instagram @music.by.Kraft Spelling Bee is a favorite of hers and she’s thrilled to be in the cast.
James McGuire (Barfee/US Coney, Dan Dad) is so excited to be a part of this cast! He is currently in 8th grade and has had the privilege of being involved in music and theater since he was young. Some highlights include Childsplay Conservatory as well as Show Choir, Honors Choir, and I hate Shakespeare through school. He also played Leroy in Limelight’s version of Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Most recently, he’s been taking part in classes at Studio3. He is so thankful to Limelight, family and cast mates for making this show happen.
Ashlynn Taylor (Swing (Rona, Olive & Barfee)/Olive's Mom) is in 8th grade at American Leadership Academy Queen Creek. She is excited to be in her 2nd Limelight show. Past roles include the Cowardly Lion in Limelight's production of The Wizard of Oz, Molly in Annie and Genie in Aladdin Kids. She would like to thank the directors and cast for such an amazing experience.
Riley Wiggins (Swing/Ariana Grande (Marcy, Schwartzy & Mitch)/ Olive's Dad) is delighted to share the stage with so many talented people. Recent/Favorite credits include Best Christmas Pageant at Limelight Performing Arts, Godspell at AYT, and Annie at Queen Creek Performing Arts. She would like to thank her family and friends for supporting her the whole way. Also, for Emma, Rea, and Carol for giving her the opportunity to play such a fun role!
Meredith Woodward (Rona/US Olive's Mom) (16) is a junior at Gilbert Christian. Some of her past roles include Wizard of Oz (Glinda), Madagascar Jr (King Julian), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Mrs.Meers-NYA award), Seussical Jr (Sour Kangaroo), The Little Mermaid Jr (Andrina), and Junie B. Jones Jr (Mother). Meredith enjoys playing her cello in the school orchestra. She would like to thank her friends and family for all of their support.
Van Rockwell (Director) is not only delighted to be returning to Limelight Performing Arts once again, but to be back in the director chair after having a whole year off. He was last seen directing Miss Nelson is Missing for Limelight in February of 2020 in which he earned an AriZoni Award for Best Director of a Youth Play. Being a fan of whimsical comedies and prohibition gangster history – Van is ecstatic to be directing both The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Bonnie & Clyde. Previous (pandemic) credits include premiering an original play he wrote, Love Quotations, for Virtual Theatre Lab; and co-directing The Laramie Project with Mesa Encore Theatre and Virtual Theatre Lab. Previous directing credits include She Kills Monsters, Boy Gets Girl, and Jesus Hopped The A-Train for Mesa Encore Theatre; Four Weddings and an Elvis, A Murder is Announced, and You Can’t Take It With You with Starlight Community Theatre; and Blacklisters for Brelby Theatre. If he’s not directing, Van likes to dabble on stage as an actor, sound designer, and producer. “Thank you, Emma and Carol, for allowing me to return, the casts and crew and parents who helped bring the shows to their glories, Drew, Michael, my pets Murphy, Darcy, and Carmen Sandiego, and of course; mom and pop, for raising me to enjoy and participate in all genres of the theatre and stage.” Cheers, Van Rockwell
Drew MacCallum is a youth theatre veteran whose prior credits include Newsies (Katherine Plumber), Jekyll and Hyde (Lucy Harris), and She Kills Monsters (Lilith/Lily). This is her first show since the pandemic and first time on the creative side, and she couldn’t be prouder of the cast and crew. Many thanks to Emma and Carol, and especially to Van for giving her his trust and guidance to make this show a memorable experience for everyone involved!
The Farm was founded in 2000 by Rebecca Feldman, Artistic Director. It is a collective of writers and performers, including Jay Reiss, Dan Fogler, and Sarah Saltzberg. The Farm’s interest is in the role of improvisation in creating new work for the theatre. The Farm initially designates a two-week intensive period in which to discover, develop, and rehearse a play from the impulses borne mainly out of the pressure of a deadline. Previous projects include “Super” (at Atlantic Theatre Studios), “Why I Hate Florida” (workshop at White Wave in DUMBO) and “C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E” (at the Present Company Theatorium in October 2002), on which “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is based. The character and original dialogue of “Beth Marguiles,” “Vice President Douglas Panch,” “Mr. Barfee,” and “Logan Schwarzengrubenierre” were created by Rebecca Feldman, Jay Reiss, Dan Fogler, and Sarah Saltzberg, respectively.