Tag Archives: Sami Schwaeber

“Spelling Bee” Boosts Best Buddies

At Staples High School, 2012 graduates Gregg Bonti and Sami Schwaeber had 2 passions: Players and Best Buddies.

Both are now rising sophomores at the University of Vermont. Both are studying early childhood education. And both realized, in their 1st year away from Westport, that they missed Best Buddies, and the friendships they formed in the club that helps improve the lives of people with disabilities.

This Friday and Saturday (July 12 and 13, 7:30 p.m., Toquet Hall), they’ll put on a show. All proceeds go to Best Buddies.

Gregg is directing “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Sami serves as choreographer, and plays Schwartzand Grubenierre. The 9 actors are all current Staples Players, or alums.

The"Spelling Bee" cast.

The”Spelling Bee” cast.

Gregg chose “Spelling Bee” because, he says, “Everyone can relate to it.” The musical is about 6 youngsters in the throes of puberty. Throughout the bee, they learn it is okay to be different — and that losing does not make you a “loser.”

“This fits in nicely with Best Buddies,” Gregg says. “We’re all different, and that’s okay. Best Buddies celebrates everyone’s individuality and unique identity, while providing support in the form of friendship. That’s something the characters in ‘Spelling Bee’ are looking for.”

Funds will help Best Buddies host events and parties, as well as a statewide ball.

For a ball of your own, see “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

(Tickets are $10. They’re available at the door 30 minutes prior to curtain, or by clicking here.)

(Click below for August Laska’s trailer — or click here if your browser does not take you directly to YouTube.)