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"Bee" Our Guest

For my fourth show, I attended 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Santa Clara University. I went opening night, and the energy was electric. Much of the show is improvisation, as audience members are invited to participate onstage. I admired the actors who had to be flexible and think on their feet to react to what the audience members did. What I loved about this production was what I call the Shakespeare’s Fool Effect. In other words, through the guise of entertainment and comedy, audience are exposed to charged issues and are able to engage in discussion and reflection that would not have been possible outside of a theatrical environment. For example, when Taye Diggs was asked to spell “Cheeto,” the improvised sentence was: “American loved Cheetos so much, that they made one president of the United States.” Social commentary such as this was sprinkled throughout the show, in a way that allowed audiences to both laugh, and gain exposure to different viewpoints.

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