The Empire Theatre Co.'s Sixth Season to open with Tony Award Winning Musical

The Empire Theatre Company will present the riotous Tony Award-winning musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, opening June 29th. Sponsored in part by the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau, “Putnam County is that rarity of rarities, a super smart show that is also a bona fide crowd-pleaser,” says the The Wall Street Journal.

In this musical, an eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves!

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee stars the following regional actors: Walter Criswell, Darin Kerr, Alex Kleven, Leo Lakpa, Daniella Lima, Evan Montgomery, Maxwell Pickett, Bethany Springs, Mackenzie Teepen, and Gina Uhlir. This production is directed by Chris Berg, with music direction by Keith Teepen and stage management by Maddie Sharpe.

When: June 29 – July 1, July 6-8, July 13-15 at 7:30pm
Where: Empire Arts Center, 415 DeMers Ave Grand Forks, ND 58201
Tickets: $17 for students/military, $22 for adults
Purchase tickets weekdays at 701-746-5500 or anytime at

The Empire Theatre Company is a program of the Empire Arts Center. The Empire Theatre Company’s mission is to produce contemporary plays and musicals that are well-crafted and bold. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee open’s the Empire Theatre Company’s sixth season, which also includes the following productions: Heathers: The Musical, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Passion Play, Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence.