Northport Music Theater will hold two camps this summer for students with an interest in the performing arts of singing, acting and dancing. Campers learn the art of American musical theater from seasoned professionals and come from as far away as New York, Lewiston/Auburn and the Midcoast towns of Camden, Rockport, Hope, Lincolnville, Islesboro, Bayside and Waldo.

The first show from this summer’s Musical Theater Camp season is “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a wonderful family show with contemporary themes performed by high school age students. Performances will be held Friday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 24 at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, July 25 at 3:30 p.m. at NMT on Route 1.

Music and lyrics are by William Finn and the book is by Rachel Sheinkin. The show tells a hilarious tale of overachievers’ angst by chronicling the experience of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. Each performance will be different, as a few audience members will be polled before the show to see if they would like to participate in the bee — they will even have a chance to win. Although the show is about middle school students, it is definitely rated PG-13.

The cast includes The Spellers Chip Tolentino, played by Morgan Cates; Logainne Schwartsandgrubenniere (Schwarzy), played by Hannah Winklhofer and Louisa Klemperer; Leaf Conybear, played by Derrick LaCasse; William Barfee, played by Jordan Richmond; Marcy Park, played by Kate Rich; and Olive Ostrovsky, played by Shayna Cohen.

The Adults are Rona Lisa Perretti, played by Lizzie Cox; Rona’s assistant, played by Amanda Corey; Vice Principal Douglas Panch, played by Cayenne Outerbridge and Connor Mushlit; and Mitch Mahoney, played by Ian Doran. Ensemble players include Melissa Cushman, Eliza Boetsch, Amy Cushman, Katie McMorrow and Louisa Klemperer.

Camp Director is Kim Murphy of Lincolnville. She is the choral and music theater director of Camden Hills Regional High School. Stage manager is Emily Widdoes of Searsmont, the band, choral and drama teacher at Lincolnville Central School. High school volunteer Alli Webster of Bayside will assist. Costume and set design is by Kim Murphy, lighting design is by Morgan Cates and the light board operator is Nick Murphy; Cates and Nick Murphy both are Camden Hills students. The three-piece band accompanying the show will feature professional musicians including pianist Jamie Hagedorn of Ellsworth, drummer Tony Shay of China Village and woodwinds player Glen Sargent of Lincolnville. The show is produced by Ruth Gelsinger.

All tickets are $12 at the door (cash or check), and reservations are strongly recommended. Credit card purchases can be made online at To reserve seats, call 338-8383. Northport Music Theater is a 128-seat theater with a modified thrust stage located six miles north of Lincolnville Beach and six miles south of Belfast.

The August Musical Theater Camp for students age 8 through 11 will feature Disney’s “Mulan Junior,” directed by Abi Norman. It will be held during the week of Aug. 16 through 20 and conclude with two performances, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21. Tickets will be $8 for adults and $5 for children.

For more information, visit or call the NMT box office at 338-8383.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to