Papillion-LaVista Community Theatre is Back and Needs Some Spellers this Summer

Papillion-LaVista Community Theatre Announces Auditions For:

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Written By: Rachel Sheinkin

Music & Lyrics By: William Finn

Directed By: Suzanne Withem

Papillion La Vista Community Theatre’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be performed July 16-18 and 22-24, 2021 at the SumTur Amphitheater in Papillion. Auditions will be held at Trinity Village’s Trinity Family Life Center (522 West Lincoln Street, Papillion, NE 68046) on Sunday, May 16th at 1:00 pm and Monday, May 17th at 6:00 pm. Those auditioning need only attend one session. Some may be asked to attend a callback on the evening of Tuesday, May 18th.

We are actively seeking minority actors for lead roles. Actors of all types, ages 16+, will be considered for student roles. For a complete character list and details, please see Music Theatre International’s website,….

Please prepare 16 to 32 bars of music (or about 1 minute of singing) that showcases your vocal and storytelling abilities. Bring printed sheet music for the accompanist who will be provided. Auditioners should also be prepared for a light dance audition and cold readings. Auditioners are also encouraged to bring a headshot and resume (if you have them) and a list of conflicts between May 18 and July 25.

College students who would like to be considered, but who are not be able to attend the live auditions, may arrange to submit video.

About the Show

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! At least the losers get a juice box. For additional information about live or video auditions, schedules, character descriptions or the production, please contact Suzanne Withem at

Auditions for PLVCT’s ‘Guys and Dolls’

PLVCT’s production of Guys and Dolls will be performed July 14-16 and 20-22, 2017 at the SumTur Amphitheater in Papillion.

Auditions will be held at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church (7706 S. 96th St., La Vista) on Saturday, May 6th at 1:30 pm and Sunday, May 7th at 6:30 pm.  Those auditioning need only attend one session.

Auditioners should come prepared with 32 bars of music to sing.  An accompanist will be provided.  Please, no a cappella or recorded music.  Comfortable clothes and shoes are suggested for the dance audition.  Some auditioning may be asked for cold readings from the script or to sing from the score of Guys and Dolls.

Guys and Dolls offers perhaps three non-singing roles for men (Harry the Horse, Lt. Brannigan and Big Julie) and one for a woman (General Cartwright).

Rehearsals will begin after Memorial Day on May 30th.  Our regular rehearsals will be Sunday afternoons and Monday-Thursday evenings.  We plan to take a few days off around the Fourth of July.  The production moves into Sumtur on July 9th and opens July 13th with a preview/TAG night.  We ask everyone auditioning to please bring a list of any possible rehearsal conflicts to the auditions.  Not everyone will be needed at every rehearsal, but knowing conflicts aids in building an efficient rehearsal schedule.

Director: Jim McKain

Music Director: Peter Klemp

Choreographer: Michelle Garrity


Character Descriptions

Sky Masterson – Baritone, Lead

  • Handsome gambler
  • A charming, but self-assured gambler. Able to adapt to any situation but ready to reel off pre-prepared anecdotes regarding his view of the world. Despite his failings, Sky is immensely likeable and oozes style and charm.  Sings I’ll Know, My Time of Day, Luck Be A Lady, etc.

Nathan Detroit – Baritone, Lead

  • Feckless, adorable gambler
  • A facilitator of illegal gambling, Nathan maintains a distance by acting only as a broker; seldom a gambler. A consummate businessman with divided loyalties; he pacifies his fiancée Adelaide with vague promises of a marriage ‘some time’ in the future. Strong comedic chops required. Sings Oldest Established and Sue Me.

Nicely Nicely Johnson – Tenor, Supporting

  • Gambler
  • An eccentric gambler and one of Nathan’s closest associates. He sings some of the most well-known numbers of the show in Fugue for Tinhorns, Guys and Dolls and Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat.

Benny Southstreet – Baritone, Supporting

  • Also one of Nathan’s closest associates. Not the sharpest tool in the shed.  He sings Fugue for Tinhorns and Guys and Dolls.

Arvide Abernathy – Baritone, Supporting

  • Sarah’s grandfather
  • A member of the Save-a-Soul mission. A reasoned old man with a warm heart that harbors only the kindest intentions. He sings More I Cannot Wish You.

Rusty Charlie – Baritone, Cameo. Possible 3rd voice in Fugue for Tinhorns


Big Julie – Supporting

  • Gambler
  • An intimidating hustler from Chicago. A sore loser.  Stage presence and acting ability are the main requirements for this gem of a comedic speaking role.

Harry the Horse – Supporting

  • The quintessential “tough guy.”

Lt. Brannigan – Cameo

  • A policeman engaged in what he perceives to be a battle of wits with Nathan to stop the craps game. Again a primarily acting role. Comic timing and acting ability are essential.  Irish dialect possible.

Joey Biltmore – Cameo

Owner of the Biltmore Garage.

Male Ensemble includes Gamblers, Havana Dancers and Mission Band.  Male Ensemble gets to sing three of the great “guy songs” in musical theatre: Oldest Established, Lucky Be a Lady and Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat.

Sarah Brown – Soprano, Lead

  • Prim Salvation Army officer
  • An idealistic, but sheltered missionary. Kind-hearted but like Sky, too categorical in her view of the world. A Soprano role that requires the ability to handle the acting range of Stern, Romantic, Comedic and Drunk.  Sings I’ll Know, I’ve Never Been in Love Before, Marry the Man Today, etc.

Adelaide – Mezzo, Lead

  • Comic, classic showgirl and Gambler’s moll
  • A club singer and Nathan’s long-suffering fiancée. Half of the comedy team that is Adelaide and Nathan. One of the great comedic roles in the canon.  Sings Bushel and A Peck, Adelaide’s Lament, Take Back Your Mink, Sue Me and Marry the Man Today.

General Matilda B. Cartwright – Cameo

Salvation Army Matron

Regional direction of the Save-a-Soul mission.  Authoritative through necessity but motivated by charity.  Some comic moments.

Agatha – Mezzo, Cameo

Member of the Mission Band

Martha – Cameo

Member of the Mission Band

Female Ensemble includes The Hot Box Girls, Havana Dancers, Mission Band, etc.  Songs include Bushel and A Peck, Take Back Your Mink and Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat.

The Small Town Life: Charlie & Jane’s Bed & Breakfast



It was certainly a fine day to be answering the call of the road.  Despite it being July 4, the weather was like a perfect spring day.  The drive was smooth and sure and the scenery was peppered with plenty of lush foliage.  Thus marked my journey to Mount Ayr, IA, the home of Charlie & Jane’s Bed and Breakfast.

A big part of what I like about bed and breakfasts is that it’s like a home away from home.  And this was truer than usual for Charlie & Jane’s.  Many of the bed and breakfasts I’ve visited are almost like museums in the sense that they are completely restored, opulent homes with furnishings to match.  It’s almost like stepping back in time.  However, Charlie & Jane’s is like stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting.  It’s a humble little slice of Americana like going to Grandma’s house.

In fact, images of my grandparents’ home lept into my mind when I arrived at this fine establishment.  Before I could even ring the doorbell, I was greeted by Collus Lawhead, one of the owners.  With a firm handshake, he welcomed me into his home and led me to my temporary home of the Rhoades Suite (pictured below).


Yes, memories of visiting my grandparents flooded into my mind as I gazed about the room.  Even more impressive was that the room contained one of the cookbooks written by the late actor & gourmet cook, Vincent Price.  I may have to see about getting a copy of that book for myself because that man wrote some fabulous recipes.

After settling in, I went downstairs where I was greeted by the other owner, Jane Lawhead.  She told me of the 4th of July activities taking place in Clearfield, IA and graciously provided me with a folding chair  in case I wanted to drive down there and watch the fireworks.

By visiting on the 4th of July, I had hoped to see some small town festivities, but discovered that the counties in this region take turns hosting major holidays.  Because of that, the noninvolved counties completely shut down.  Businesses, restaurants, even movie theaters were all closed for the day.  Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t experience any of the small town life that I look forward to on these excursions.  Hopefully, I will be able to return at some point and have the proper experience.

I was able to do a little exploration.  I wandered about the town square and marveled at the very impressive library.  How I wish it had been open so I could have done a little perusing.

Fortunately, the inn more than made up for any lack of activities.  The room was very comfortable and contained the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in.  When I went to sleep for the night, my eyelids didn’t even flutter until the next day when I awoke to a thunderstorm.

When I went downstairs for breakfast, I met Bob Tribblett and Georgie Scurfield, who were staying across the hall.  Amazingly, Bob and Georgie were from my neck of the woods as they live in Papillion, NE.  Bob is retired Air Force and Georgie is the treasurer for the Papillion-LaVista Community Theatre which is getting ready to open Annie.

What followed was one of the most splendid breakfast conversations I have enjoyed.  Bob & Georgie told me how they met and we spent much of the time talking about the local theatre scene.  And breakfast was a magnificent meal.  Over glasses of coffee, orange juice, and water, we enjoyed fresh fruit and raspberry coffee cake.  The main course was an omlette that was more like a pie as two crusts of egg contained the tasty filling of cheese, tomatoes, celery.  On the side was bacon made just the way I like it, firm, but chewy.

Thanks to Jane introducing me to the Iowa Bed & Breakfast Association, I have also been able to expand my search list by a great deal and will be able to continue this project for a good many months.  If you find yourself in Mount Ayr, stay for a night at Charlie & Jane’s.  You’ll be glad you did.