Childhood has its fair share of growing pains. But Genius Genius Productions’ rendition of The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee turns pain into laughter when the musical comedy premiers on Tuesday evening at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center.

“It’s a great, heart-warming play for a time when helicopter parenting is sort of an epidemic,” said director Bryn Boice. “The characters in the play have a lot of anxieties. Some of them are self-inflicted but some of them are parentally inflicted.”

Putnam County Spelling Bee comes to the PAC. — Ray Ewing

The musical focuses on six anxious, adolescent contestants competing against one another at the 25th Annual Putnam Count Spelling Bee. Flashbacks explain each contestants’ background. Problems at home plague the contestants with issues ranging from over-parenting and ridicule to empty households and unrealistic expectations.

Ms. Boice’s production satirizes how hard parents push their children by offering a comedic look at the issues of adolescence, something everyone can relate to. Each character comically experiences their own epiphany, learning something knew about themselves before the contest’s end.

“I think the Vineyard people will like it because they will recognize characters in themselves,” said Ms. Boice.

Ms. Boice recently earned her MFA in directing from Boston University. Producer Jane Dreeben sought her out after receiving a recommendation from one of Ms. Boice’s Boston University professors. Ms. Dreeben’s company, Genius Genius Productions, began launching theatre productions in the summer of 2015, and each one raises funds for Vineyard-based non-profits. This year’s musical benefits Vineyard House, a sober living center for men and women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Prior to choosing The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, Ms. Boice wanted to direct the musical Rent. However, it became a struggle to acquire the rights to the musical. Confident in her young, talented cast, Ms. Boice saw The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee as a better fit in hindsight.

“The people that we had in that cast really fit this play very well,” Ms. Boice said. “[Spelling Bee] was the next choice and, in my opinion, was a more obvious choice because the personalities in this particular musical really fit the people who are playing them.”

A majority of the cast grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, including Ben Nadelstein, Sam Permar, Katie Clarke, Rykerr Maynard, Aaron Teves, Laury Binney, Barbara Dworkin Binder and Darby Patterson. This is Miss Patterson’s third year performing for Genius Genius Productions. She plays Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, an adolescent girl suffocated by her same-sex parents’ heavy expectations.

Majority of the cast grew up on Martha's Vineyard. — Ray Ewing

“The plays that we choose tackle tough topics,” Miss Patterson said. “But it tackles them in a fun way. [Bryn] always brings together a great cast. She creates this great family.”

Miss Patterson began performing in Genius Genius Production shows two years ago when she played Martha in Spring Awakening. Last year she performed as Sheila in Hair. She graduated from MVRHS this past spring and plans to study at the Boston Conservatory in the fall.

Off-Island cast-members Ana Marie Calise and Jordan Brown also play major roles in the musical. Miss Calise, currently studying at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, plays contestant Olive Ostrovsky, and Jordan Brown, an Ohio native and recent Boston University graduate, plays contestant William Barfee.

The musical begins on Tuesday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, and continues through July 22. Tickets are $20, available at the door or at