Multi-hyphenate performer AC Bonifacio is taking her talent to musical theatre as part of The Sandbox Collective’s adaptation of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Dancer, singer, and actress AC Bonifacio is about to put on her schoolgirl uniform and take her place on the stage as a cast member of upcoming musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee! Theatre company The Sandbox Collective announced that the 21-year-old will play Marcy Park in her musical theatre debut, and we’ll get to see the star sing, dance, and act live on stage in 2024.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a Tony Award-winning musical comedy with a book by Rachel Sheinkin and music and lyrics by William Finn. The Philippine adaptation will be directed by theatre mainstay Missy Maramara. It tells the quirky, fun story of six young teens competing in their school spelling bee and the also-quirky adults that host it. The Sandbox Collective, in partnership with ABS-CBN, Star Magic, and Teatro Kapamilya, will be kicking off its 2024 season—and its 10th year in the industry—with the musical, which will be staged starting February 24 and will run until March 17 at the Power Mac Center Spotlight Black Box Theater in Circuit Makati.
WHAT TO EXPECT
AC has always wanted to pursue a career in singing, dancing, and performing. From the dance floor as a performer, screen as a burgeoning actress, and now stage as a soon-to-be theater star, AC is lowkey setting up the building blocks for her EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Who can deny her success at achieving her dreams such a young age? Coming from dancing and acting roles in Step Up: All In, Riverdale, Shake, Rattle & Roll Extreme, as well as a dream-come-true role as the spunky, driven Cadence in musical series Lyric and Beat, AC’s ready to embark on a whole new journey—one that’s taking her to the theatre.
The young performer will play Marcy Park, alternating with Shanaia Gomez, who is also making her theatre debut. They are joined by a mix of newbies to the musical theatre scene and veterans in the industry. The rest of the cast of young spellers will also alternate in the roles. A few of them are rising stars making their theatre debut, and a few of them have taken the stage before. Diego Aranda and Luis Marcelo will star as Chip, Krystal Brimner and Angela Ken as Olive, Elian Dominguez and Shaun Ocrisma as Leaf, Becca Coates and Justine Narciso as Schwarzy, and Joshy Ramirez and Ron Balgos as Barfée.
The musical is interactive, allowing “guest spellers” from the audience to participate. And clearly, as the cast is composed of young people playing young people, and its themes center on youth and the pressure they’re under, it’s going to be a musical that resonates while still being a great experience.
While The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will kick off The Sandbox Collective’s 2024 season, the Manila-based collective is also set to stage a few more favorites next year: Little Shop of Horrors and Tiny Beautiful Things. In the meantime, their star-studded adaptation of the Spelling Bee looks to be a staging perfect for the new generation.