MIAMI COUNTY — This weekend both Troy and Tippecanoe High Schools’ theater programs are presenting two unusual shows.
One is a fast-paced musical comedy centered around audience participation and the other is an exploration of love and loss with a quirky twist, both shows open Friday night.
Troy High School students will present a raucous musical comedy, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
This show tells the story of a group of tween spellers participating in a regional spelling bee. Six very quirky students compete in a contest run by a group of equally odd adults.
“Each of the cast members is really spotlighted either in a song or in improvisation. All of the cast really get to shine,” director Irene Imboden said.
Each night, four audience members will be selected to come on stage and participate in the bee with the actors, Imboden said, which adds another element of improvisation to the show.
“Our set was completely created by students and our crew is all student run,” she said. “They have worked incredibly hard since September to prepare for this show.”
The performances will be held on Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Tickets for the show will be $10 at the door.
Jim Sagona, director of the Tippecanoe High School theater program, describes “Almost, Maine” as a series of heartwarming but unusual vignettes about falling in and out of love.
Each of these vignettes explores love and loss in the small town of Almost, Maine, against the backdrop of the Northern Lights. And each of the stories has an unusual twist ending — some, but not all, happy.
“These are magical love stories with a quirky twist,” director Jim Sagona said.
This production is something different for the theater group, Sagona said, which usually favors a more slapstick style of comedy than this humorous but romantic show. He compared “Almost, Maine” to popular Christmas movie Love Actually, because it weaves together stories about different people that happen at the same time in the same place.
The show will be performed at the Tippecanoe Center for Performing Arts on Friday and Saturday at 7:30, and on Sunday at 2:30. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at the door or online at www.tippcityschools.com/theatre.