The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee!

An event that not only showcases the best spellers but explores laughter, humor and love.

Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience.

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 a champion! At least the losers get a juice box.

Show is NOT recommended for children under 13.

Dates:  November 9, 10, 16 & 17

Time: 7:30 - 10 pm

  • Music & Lyrics |by William Finn
  • Book | by: Rachel Sheinkin
  • Conceived | by Rebecca Feldman
  • Additional Material by: | Jay Reiss
  • Originally Directed on Broadway by: | James Lapine
  • Originally Produced on Broadway by: | David Stone, James L. Dederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company,  Second Stage Theatre

Title Name
Director Jennifer Little
Musical Director Tara Sievers-Hunt
Choreographers  Kiran-Durae Lambert & Alycia Osstyn
Stage Manager  Myah Gaither
Set Design & Technical Director Eric Niece
Assistant Stage Managers Matthew Bryant & Olivia Schutt
Lighting Design Megan O'Brien
Sound Design Jon Ball
Costume Design Marley Boone
Poster & Program Design  Melissa Burkle & OCC Creative Services Team
Acting Coach Kiran-Durae Lambert
ASL Mentors Diane Campbell, Randa Hermez & Margaret Yellin
Theatre Manager Ken Faulk
Set Builders OCC Theater Tech Course Students 
Preshow Music Composter  Antonio Hood

The25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is presented through special arrangement with Music, Theatre International (MTI) 

All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Based upon C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E. An origian Play by the Farm

The Barrington Stage Company Workshop of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was originally directed by Michael Barakiva and Rebecca Feldman

The Cast

In Order of Appearance

Title of Part Playing Name 
LEAF INTERPRETER Alexandra (Lex) Cessna
WILLIAM BARFÉE Nicholas Balfour
VOLUNTEER SPELLER Phoenix Ciechanowski
LEAF’S MOM Nola Reece
LEAF’S DAD Ko’de Hollom
PAUL CONEYBEAR Castiel Stouffer
MARCY’S DAD Keith Morris
OLIVE’S MOM Evelyn Koblin
Sign Language

This show uniquely integrates speaking actors from OCC's Theatre
department along with signing actors from OCC's Sign Language
Interpreter program, supervised by qualified mentors.

There will be one fifteen minute intermission. The show is 90 minutes long in its entirety.

Please turn off all electronic devices and cell phones and refrain from texting during the show.

Thank you!

Musical Numbers

Title Sung by
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Company
The Rules Spellers, Rona, Panch, Mitch
My Friend the Dictionary Olive 
Goodbye #1 Company
Pandemonium Company
I’m Not That Smart Leaf
Goodbye #2 Company
Magic Foot Barfee
Goodbye #3 Leaf's Parents 
Pandemonium Reprise Chip, Mitch
Chip Goodbye Company
Rona Moment #2 Rona
Prayer of the Comfort Counselor Mitch


Title  Sung by
Chip's Lament Chip
Woe is Me  Schwartzy and Dads 
Spelling Montage  Spellers and Panch
I'm Not That Smart Reprise  Leaf 
I Speak Six Languages  Marcy
The I Love You Song  Olive, Olive's Mom and Dad 
Woe Is Me Reprise  Schwartzy
How Exciting/ Rona Moment #3 Rona 
Second  Olive, Barfee
Finale  Company

Director Notes 

Thank you so much for venturing forth and joining us tonight for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee! All the spellers are so excited you are here for their competition. They have been really hitting the dictionaries hard in preparation!

We are so excited to bring a musical to you this fall! We are hoping this is the first of many to come. We have been working on singing, and dancing, and acting – often all at the same time! (Anyone recognize the quote? Anyone?)

I would like to mention our ASL colleagues have also been dancing WHILE signing! That takes a special amount of talent! I want to give a special shout-out to Diana Campbell, Randa Hermez and Margaret Yellin, who kept showing up every single night!

In addition, I want to thank everyone here at OCC, for supporting me and my vision for theatre. I have been grateful to speak with and feel the support from Chancellor Pete Provenzano and Provost Jennifer Berne to Dean Cindy Carbone and Chairman Nick Valenti. I am grateful for everyone with whom I work.

On behalf of our colleagues in the ASL department, I want to note this show uniquely integrates speaking actors from OCC’s Theatre Program along with signing actors from OCC’s Sign Language Interpreter Program, supervised by qualified mentors.

Interpretation for the production is provided by interpreting interns through a supervised clinical experience  partnership between the Oakland Community College Theatre Program and the Sign Language Interpreter Program. Student supervision follows the requirements of the State of Michigan Deaf Person’s Interpreter Act and the Memo of Understanding between the Michigan Division on Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing and the Michigan Interpreter Education Programs. Further, hearing and Deaf interpreters who are experienced performers provided supervision, mentoring, and language modeling to the students in preparation for and through these performances.

Finally, although we all may have our favorite speller tonight, please remember to support all these young people on their journey. sometimes their parents get a little… overeager… so we want to make sure they feel our love whether they win or lose. Remember, just being here is winning! - Jen


Sign names are an important part of Deaf culture. A member of the Deaf community may create a sign name for an individual based on their personality, their physical traits, their English name, or other factors. It is considered an honor to be given a sign name by the Deaf community. Deaf ASL Models/Mentors Diana Campbell and Randa Hermez developed the following sign names for this production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

RONA LISA PARRETTI: R handshape touches near the shoulder area and then near the waist area, like the outline of her power suit

LEAF CONEYBEAR: L hand out a little in front of the body shaking side to side, like wandering a little

WILLIAM BARFEE: B handshape with palm sideways, moving up a few times (like the movement for OFFICIAL). When name is mispronounced as Barfy, the location is running from the nondominant side to dominant side, palm down, B handshape kind of wiggles (mimicking wiping off snot from under the nose)

VICE PRINCIPAL DOUGLAS PANCH: P handshape circles and touches the non-dominant fist (like the sign for PRINCIPAL)

MITCH MAHONEY: bud handshape slides across the nondominant fist as it opens up (like the sign for COUNSEL)

CHIP TOLENTINO: C handshape, palm down, moves out from forehead

MARCY PARK: bud handshape out in front of body, palm down, rotates upwards and inwards, ending with palm up, like a flower budding and opening up

LOGAINNE SCHWARTZANDGRUBENNIER (SCHWARTZY): 3 handshape closes, palm in, between shoulder and chest, showing the clip of her overalls

OLIVE ORSTROVSKY: flat O shape twists on the cheek (like the location and movement for FRUIT)


MAX ADKINS, Carl Dad, built stages for musicals and straight plays in high school. He loves that theatre projects like Spelling Bee inherently create strong communities. And he is particularly excited for this musical because this is the first show where he is acting as well as singing on stage.

JAY ARSENEAULT, Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, is in their fifth show at OCC and is the president of the Damned Spot Theatre Club. They are an OCC theatre major and excited to be in their first musical. Jay would like to thank their friends, family, and partner, Alex Sprinkle, for their constant support.

KRYSTIE BAKER, Featured Dancer, is in her first Oakland community production! She is excited to be a featured dancer and a part of such an amazing cast. She wants to thank her family for supporting her, and her mother for forcing her to do ballet as a kid.

NICHOLAS BALFOUR, William Barfée, is so excited to perform his first show with OCC! He hopes you enjoy the show!

MADELINE BOHL, Chip’s Interpreter, (they/any) is delighted to be working with such talented mentors and castmates. Madeline has acted, stage managed, and designed sets in high school, community, and college theaters around Michigan, but this is their first time signing on stage. Catch them also performing in their kitchen, their car, and as part of the Playback improv troupe at the Matrix Theatre in Detroit.

LAUREN BURRY, Marigold Coneybear, has been involved in the Oakland Community College theater department for five  years now. They have been involved in the last few shows put on. 12 Angry Jurors, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Play that Goes Wrong. They are excited to be a part of the cast and bring this character to life. Lauren would like to thank their fellow castmates, friends and family for making this process so enjoyable and their family for all their support.

MARISSA CARSON, Rona, is a 3rd year here at OCC, graduating this December while she is pursuing a career in musical theatre! Marissa has been in over 9 productions and is thrilled to be back in her true comfort of musical theatre with this show! She would love to give a shout-out to the production team for giving her this amazing opportunity and her friends and family for always being her biggest cheerleaders throughout this whole process!

ALEXANDRIA CESSNA, Leaf Coneybear’s Interpreter, is a 2022 graduate of OCC and is thrilled to be back in the theatre once again. She wants to give a big thank you to her loved ones who have been supporting her!

PHOENIX CIECHANOWSKI, Volunteer Speller, is in 13th grade at Oakland Early College and this is his fifth year at Oakland Community College. He has been in many of the shows at Smith Theatre including The Play That Goes Wrong, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and 12 Angry Jurors. He will be graduating with an Associate Degree in Theatre at the end of the winter semester.

ADIE DEWEY, Pinecone Coneybear, (He/They), is extremely excited to be a part of an OCC show! Adie is a sophomore and has been doing theater since they were 9 years old, doing tech and being on stage! Some of his favorite roles were Cat in the Hat in Seussical, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Zaneeta in Music Man! Adie also enjoys drawing, reading, playing DnD, and cuddling with their cat Lewis.

TESSA GIBSON, Olive Orstrovsky is so excited to be performing in her fourth production at OCC. Tessa was a part of previous productions: The Play That Goes Wrong and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She would like to thank family and friends for the constant love and support.

RAWAN HAMDAR, Barfee’s Interpreter, graduated from OCC’s Sign Language Interpreting Program in 2022. This is her first time interpreting a production with OCC. Rawan is profoundly grateful for the continued love and support of family and peers. 

ALEX HARDMAN, The Voice/Chip’s Dad, is participating in his first show here at OCC. He attended South Lyon High School and participated in shows such as Oliver, Big Fish, and Shakespeare Gone Wrong. Alex is in his second year at OCC and is studying in the Radiologic Technology program. He is glad you came and hopes you enjoy the show.

ELIANNA HARVEY, Volunteer Speller/Barfee’s Mom, is pleased to be in her first show at OCC and she couldn’t be more excited to share with you all! She would like to thank her mom for all that she does all of the time and would also like to thank her dog for being adorable. Elianna hopes everyone loves the show just as much as she does!

KO’DE HOLLOM, Leaf’s Dad, has always wanted to be in a musical, and wondered what his first one would be. He is happy to say Spelling Bee at OCC was the wish that came true! Ko’de is very fortunate to have family and friends who have been by his side since day one when he started theatre. He is finally where he belongs.

ANTONIO HOOD, Mitch Mahoney, is a junior at OCC. With his second stage play and first musical, Antonio takes on his first-ever lead role, electrifying audiences with his infectious energy and boundless passion. Get ready for a thrilling performance! Fun fact: he is 6’8.

EVELYN KOBLIN, Olive’s Mom, is looking forward to her first show at OCC. In high school she played JoJo in Seussical, and Teen Anastasia in Anastasia. Evelyn would like to thank her parents for supporting her in all of her endeavors and Jen for giving her this opportunity.

EMILY LADUKE, Marcy Parks, is new to the OCC theater program but is excited to be here. She is currently dual-enrolled at Eastern Michigan University studying history. Unlike Marcy Park, Emily can only speak two languages but it’ll soon be three.

NATALIA MADERO, Olive’s Interpreter, is a 3rd year SLIP student. She is excited to have the opportunity to join the OCC theater program onstage doing what she loves most, interpreting. Natalia is grateful for all the support from her family and friends that helped her get here!

LILY MAES, Schwartzy’s Interpreter, is excited to be in their first production at OCC! This is their first performance on a stage that wasn’t in their bedroom. Lily has cherished their time with their fellow cast members, interpreting team, and mentors! A huge thank you to their friends and family as well!

COOPER MILLER, Vice Principal Panch/Olive’s Dad, is so excited to perform his first show with OCC for everyone today! He would like to shoutout his parents for not being like Olive’s parents, you guys rock. Cooper hopes you enjoy the show as much as he has enjoyed working on it!

KEITH MORRIS, Marcy’s Dad, is excited to be doing his first ever show here at Oakland Community College. Keith would like to thank his parent’s for always supporting him and hopes everyone has a great time at the show!

MIA NESBITT, Landscape Coneybear, had to be a part of this show since she fell in love with it after performing as Leaf in her senior year of high school. Mia would like to give a shout-out to lovely Ricardo and her special friends who love and welcome every part of her. And hey......... thanks.

LINDSEY OLSEN, Mitch Mahoney/Vice Principal Panch Interpreter, is excited to be onstage again in her second production at OCC, and her twelfth production altogether. She’s grateful to have worked alongside mentors who have helped improve her skills over the recent years. Lindsey is truly thankful for those who encouraged her to pursue this opportunity.

ALYCIA OSSTYN, Rona’s Interpreter, graduated from OCC’s Sign Language Interpreting Program in 2021. This is her third time interpreting a production with OCC and her first experience as an Assistant Choreographer. Alycia is thrilled to interpret a musical and would like to thank her mentors, friends, & family, for their support!

KRISTEN PARKER, Raisin Coneybear/Jesus, (She/Her) is so excited to be a part of her first theatre production ever. She would like to thank her mom and her sister, who couldn’t be here. Kristen is grateful to Jen for encouraging her to audition which changed her life for the better.

NOLA REECE, Leaf’s Mom, joined this show on a happy accident. She loves the performing arts and has participated in multiple shows both in high school and after in community theatre. Nola’s excited to feel more of a part of the theatre program and hopes to be a part of more productions in the future. She’d like to thank her newfound friends in the cast/crew and her friends and family who came to see the show.

KALEN A. ROGERS, Leaf Coneybear, is a senior in college and a theatre major. He set forth on the acting journey learning new techniques and skills to aid him in order to become a better actor and hopefully make it to Broadway. “I love singing and acting, so why not do both at once!?” Though this is his first musical, it is not is first time on stage! Kalen is very excited to be able to participate with other talented actors who share the passion for acting, singing, and maybe a little dancing! “I’m so glad that you all are willing to come out to watch the show! Hopefully you enjoy it!” Kalen would like to take this chance to thank his friends, family, and peers for their continuous support for everything he has been doing. He would also like to thank Kiran Durae Lambert and Jennifer Little.

FAITH SCHULTZ, Marcy Park’s interpreter, is ecstatic to be a part of her first production at OCC! She was cast in multiple shows in high school but this is her first signing role! Faith wants to thank her cohort members, family and Deaf mentors, for supporting her throughout her journey.

ALEX SPRINKLE, Chip Tolentino (he/they) is so excited to be part of Spelling Bee! He is a theatre major, who has previously been in The Play That Goes Wrong and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at OCC. Alex would like to thank his partner, family and friends for their endless support. Enjoy the show!

CASTIEL STOUFFER, Paul Coneybear, is so excited to be part of Spelling Bee! He has previously worked on Little Mermaid, Last Day of High School, and 13 Past Midnight. Cass would like to thank his partner Atlas, his family, and his friends for their support. Hope you enjoy the show!

ZACH THOMAS, Dan Dad, is on track to an arts degree with OCC. This is his first play and he would like to thank God for the  opportunity to be here and hopes everyone enjoys the show.

ALAYNA TUZ, Brook Coneybear, is ecstatic to be a part of Spelling Bee, her first show at OCC! She has previously been in Sister Act, Trixie The Teen Detective, Shrek, and Grease (the favorite). She would like to thank her friends in the Spelling Bee and outside and her family for their endless love and support. Enjoy the show!!


JENNIFER LITTLE Director/Producer, spent over fifteen years as a professional actress, performing on Broadway under the direction of such luminaries as Harold Prince; working with actors such as Michael Cervaris, Alice Ripley, Brian D’Arcy James and others. Her roles include Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Mame in Mame and others. She holds a B.A from SJSU in Performance and a M.A. from CUNY in Applied Theatre. She currently teaches full-time at Oakland Community College as the head of the theatre department and is a member of Actor’s Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild. This is her fifth production here at OCC (my how time flies) and she hopes everyone has a lot of fun with tonight’s 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee!

TARA SIEVERS-HUNT, Musical Director, has served as music director, vocal instructor, conductor, classical singer, pianist, and college professor in many settings across her 20 years of professional musicianhood. After completing her PhD (educational psychology through the lens of the performing arts) in 2021, she became Director of Mentorship for Write the Damn Dissertation (an online organization which helps women around the world complete their doctorates). Tara is thrilled to have worked alongside the talented cast, crew, and production staff to bring this clever piece of theatre to life.

MYAH GAITHER, Stage Manager, is excited for you to enjoy OCC’s first musical under Jennifer Little and Dr. Tara Sievers-
Hunt’s direction. Outside of the theatre, Myah spends her time working in festival production for Country Nation. This is her fourth show as Stage Manager at Oakland Community College. In addition to stage managing at OCC, Myah frequently works for other Michigan theatres, including Black and Brown Theatre and Neighborhood Theatre Group. Previous shows at OCC include 12 Angry Jurors and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It’s going to be Pandemonium, enjoy!

MATTHEW BRYANT, Assistant Stage Manager, is a rising talent in the world of theatre production. With a deep love for the performing arts since childhood, Matthew is pursuing his dreams by studying to become a stage manager. With an
unwavering commitment to his craft and an infectious smile that brightens every room, he brings enthusiasm and dedication to every production. From blocking the show to help coordinating behind-the-scenes chaos, Matthew is ready to take on any challenge that comes his way.

OLIVIA SCHUTT, Assistant Stage Manager/Props Master, is working her first musical with OCC, but has been involved in theater throughout her entire life. She is in her last year of school and getting her Associate Degree in Arts, with plans to pursue production-based work. Outside of school, her time is spent working at various Michigan concert venues such as Pine Knob and Fox Theater doing backstage hospitality, hanging with her dog, Kova, rollerblading, and baking in the kitchen! Olivia is very excited for you all to see the show we’ve been pouring love into, and to the cast, break a leg!

ERIC NIECE, Set Designer and Builder, ( is thrilled to be designing at OCC for the first time. When Eric isn’t at OCC, he works as the Technical Director for Rochester University. Some of his other notable scenic designs include his Wilde Award Nominated set for Ada and the Engine at Open Book Theatre, Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare Royal Oak, and most recently How I Learned to Drive at Open Book Theatre. Eric also works as a freelance actor and singer, most recently with Uncovered Theatre Company. He would like to send all his love and thanks to his lovely wife, Hannah, and his two beautiful children, Daphne and Miles. They are the reason that he does what he does.

ETHAN ROSENENDER, Spot Light Operator, is working on their first musical with OCC but has done theater since 2017, mainly working on the tech side. They want to go to Michigan Tech or Western to pursue getting a degree in technical theater. They are very excited for what’s to come!

DW BASS, Spot Light Operator, is a a Detroit-based actor and musician, who can usually be found onstage or in front of the camera versus behind a spotlight. He has appeared in television shows including Chicago Fire and national stage tours of Unequally Yoked and Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Boys? He is pleased to be joining the crew of Spelling Bee. Member of SAGAftra.

MARLEY BOONE, Costume Designer, is on her 4th show with OCC! Marley is a freelance actor and costume designer based in metro Detroit. She has designed over 35 professional productions in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Her next show is costume designing A Little More Alive with Meadow Brook Theatre. All of Marley’s resumes, production photos, and show updates can be found at BFA: Michigan State University… go green!

JON BALL, Sound Designer, has been in the live event industry since 2017. He started playing drums at the age of 9, joining every band class available throughout high school and college. He opened a recording studio in 2016 which eventually led to his passion for live sound. This is Jon’s 3rd production with OCC and it won’t be his last!

MEGAN O’BRIEN, Lighting Designer, is excited to be working on her fourth production with OCC! Megan received her MFA in lighting design at Wayne State University and her BA in theatre at Eastern Connecticut State University. She has recently moved to New York City and is now based there.

KIRAN-DURAE LAMBERT, Acting Coach/Co-Choreographer, is an actor and professional storyteller. Kiran has spent several years working in professional theatre and film. She began her career as an intern with Meadowbrook Theatre (MI). Over the years, Kiran has worked with several theatres, including: Theatre Thirty 3 (MI), The Detroit Actors’ Theatre Company (MI), The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (SC), and Belvoir Terrace (MA). She has been active in the Michigan theater scene for over 15 years, and has performed in several productions, some favorites include: Gruesome Playground Injuries (Kayleen), Silent Sky (Henrietta), Peter and the Starcatcher (Mr. Smee). In addition to acting and coaching, Kiran also works as a designer and producer. You can find out more at

ALYCIA OSSTYN, Co-Choreographer, graduated from OCC’s Sign Language Interpreting Program in 2021. This is her third time interpreting a production with OCC and her first experience as an Assistant Choreographer. She is thrilled to interpret a musical and would like to thank her mentors, friends, & family, for their support!

DIANA CAMPBELL, Deaf ASL Theatre Mentor / OCC Sign Language Interpreter Program Mentor, studied with the National Theatre of the Deaf in Connecticut. She directed the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Theatre program through Bloomfield Hills Schools for 5 years, and recently retired after 30 years working in the district as an ASL Specialist. Diana hopes everyone enjoys the show!

RANDA HERMEZ, Deaf ASL Theatre Mentor/ OCC Sign Language Interpreter (SLI) Adjunct, has performed on stage at Gallaudet University and Oakland University in over 20 shows. She is very excited to see the hard-working students from the SLI program team with the great actors from the theatre program in their fifth collaboration. Very proud of them! Enjoy the show!!

MARGARET YELLIN, Sign Language Interpreter Program Mentor, is an alumni and adjunct in OCC’s Sign Language Interpreter Program. She enjoys collaborating with the theatre department, learning more from the director, production team, cast, signing actors, and Deaf mentors every time. She thanks everyone for their hard work to make shows more inclusive for the Deaf community. She recently learned what kind of bug loves the dictionary…a spelling bee!

ANNETTE HOPPENWORTH, Interactive Lobby Designer, is a consultant, educator, and artist who spent a lifetime digging into exhibits, literature, art, company mission statements, and now a play to identify core themes and find ways for participants to connect on a personal level. Her hands-on interactives seek to be inclusive and life-changing.

KEN FAULK, Theatre Manager, is a professional award-winning sound designer and stage manager. Ken has been involved in hundreds of productions at such theatres as Second City Novi and Chicago ETC, Performance Network Theatre, and the Riverside Art Center. Ken works full time as the Event Coordinator for Oakland Community College’s and works as a freelance theatre consultant and designer. Ken has an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership and has a Master’s Degree in Theatre Art Management from Eastern Michigan University. He would like to thank his wonderful wife Stephanie and his little Angel Averie for their continued love and support.

REBECCA FELDMAN, conceiver of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for which she won a Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk and Tony Nomination for Best Musical. She directed its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company in the summer of 2004. Rebecca is Associate Producer on Transparent, the Musical Finale, and served as Staff Writer on the finale as well. She is currently developing an episodic drama with Big Kid Pictures, called La Coyote, which has been selected to the WeForShe’s 2019 Writeher List. She is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab as well as the AFI Directing Workshop for Women where she won the Jean Firstenburg Award for Best Short. Her short films include, My First Time Driving (AFI Jean Firstenburg Award, Best Short at Lake Arrowhead Film Fest, Best of Shorts at Outfest), A/V Club (TV Pilot, NYTVF), Uber Alice (Woodstock Film Fest), Dead Cat (Producer, Tribeca Film Fest) and Irving (Official Selection Rhode Island Film Fest, Official Selection USA Film Fest, Ft. Lauderdale Film Fest, Atlanta Jewish Film Fest).

WILLIAM FINN, Composer, is the writer and composer of Falsettos, for which he received two Tony Awards, Best Book of a Musical (with James Lapine) and Best Original Score. He has also written and composed In Trousers, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, two Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, the Lucille Lortel Award, and Guggenheim Fellowship in Musical Composition). Mr. Finn wrote the lyrics to Graciela Daniele’s Tango Apasionado (music by the great Astor Piazzolla) and, with Michael Starobin, the music to Lapine’s version of The Winter’s Tale. His musical, Romance in Hard Times, was presented at the Public Theater. Recently, he wrote Painting You for Love’s Fire, a piece commissioned and performed by the Acting Company, based on Shakepeare’s sonnets. For television, Mr. Finn provided the music and lyrics for the Ace Award-winning HBO cartoon
“Ira Sleeps Over,” “Tom Thumb and Thumbelina,” “Pokey Little Puppy’s First Christmas,” and, with Ellen Fitzhugh, two “Brave LIttle Toaster” cartoons. Mr. Finn has written for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and The New Yorker. A graduate of Williams College.

RACHEL SHEINKIN, Lyricist, credits include: Broadway: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Tony, Drama Desk
awards); Off Broadway: Striking 12 (Lucille Lortel nomination), Off-Off: Serenade. Regional: Guthrie, Little House on the Prairie; Center Theater Group, Sleeping Beauty Wakes (Los Angeles Ovation Award); London: Blood Drive. Residencies, fellowships, commissions include: Eugene O’Neill National Theater Center, Baryshnikov Dance Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Manhattan Theatre Club, Deaf West, McCarter Theatre, Playwrights Horizons. Rachel is a volunteer mentor for TDF’s Open Doors program, a visiting instructor at Yale School of Drama, and adjunct faculty member of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.


Oakland Community College offers great classes for both the novice actor and the professional actor honing his or her skills. Acting I, Acting II, Acting for Film, Introduction to Theatre, Voice and Improvisation. We also offer technical theatre courses in production and lighting design. Classes can be taken toward an associate degree or for the pure enjoyment and experience.


We have an Associate Degree in Arts with a concentration in Theatre. For more information visit where he was awarded the Hutchinson Fellowship for Musical Composition, Finn now teaches a weekly master class at the NYU Tisch Graduate Program in Musical Theatre Writing. His most recent projects include Elegies, A Song Cycle (Lincoln Center) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which ran on Broadway and has been produced nationally and internationally, as well.

Special Thanks

NICK VALENTI Chairman of Fine and Performing Arts
JAY SEEWALD Campus Facilities Manager
DENNIS HALEKS Campus Facility Operations Mechanical Systems and Plant Operations Chief
MYIA (ANDRE) WINNETTE Superintendent Buildings/Grounds
JOHN BOROWSKI Manager of Desktop Support
RENE RUBENACKER Department Secretary
LIZ SCHNELL Vice Chancellor for Marketing & Communications
ANNA HANSARD Director, Web Services
BRIDGET KAVANAUGH Director, Marketing & Community Relations
MELISSA O’LEARY Digital Strategist, Marketing & Communications
MICHELE KERSTEN-HART Manager of Multi-Media and Web Services
KELLY FLORES Full-Time Faculty, American Sign Language Studies
RANDA HERMEZ, MARGERET YELLIN, DYLAN SECORD Faculty and Mentors, American Sign Language Studies

Sign Language Codes