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Pioneer Previews: ‘Putnam County Spelling Bee’ opens this week

BEMIDJI — “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a production of the Mask and Rose Theater, opens this week. Directed by Cate Belleveau, this interactive musical comedy where the audience becomes part of the action centers on a fictional spelling bee in Putnam County, N.Y.

Six students face off in the battle among themselves and audience members while a slightly-stressed vice principal, an official comfort counselor and a former spelling bee winner, help adjudicate the contest. Musical direction is by Melanie Hanson.

Tickets are $13 for adults (or sliding fee, pay what you can), $8 for seniors and $5 for students in kindergarten through college. Tickets can be purchased at Brigid’s Pub or at the door the day of performance.

Show times this week are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Next week, performances are at 7:30 p.m. May 31 and June 1 and 2 p.m. June 2.

All performances will be at the Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex on the campus of Bemidji State University.


Northern Exposure to Lifelong Learning will welcome photographer Doug Ohman for the final event of its spring lecture series.

“Journey Down Our River” takes the viewer down the Mississippi River from Itasca to the Iowa border with pictures and stories.

The talk will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Lengby Community Center, 104 N. Main, Lengby.

NELL lectures are open to the public; a free-will offering is accepted for refreshments. Information on becoming a friend of NELL is available at each session.


25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at the door.


25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at the door.


25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at the door.

Art Exhibits

A listing of the May exhibits may be accessed at

E The technology, art and design faculty of Bemidji State University have an installation in the Talley Gallery, Room 212 of Bensen Hall on the BSU campus. The exhibition will feature the work of nine faculty members: Drew Graham digital and interactive design; Tim Brockman, woodworking; Dennis Peterson, silverpoint drawing; Natalia Himmirska, painting and drawing; Barbara Hanus, painting; Butch Holden, ceramics; David Towley, woodworking; Bonnie Higgins, photography; Steve Sundahl, 3D design.

The show will be open through the summer. The gallery will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays from May 15 to June 28, then reopen Aug. 28 before closing on Sept. 20. An opening reception for the show will be held during the fall segment and will be announced at a later date.