TheatreWorks New Milford will open its production of "The 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" Feb. 26 at 8 p.m.

Following opening night, the play will be staged Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. through March 27, as well as March 7, 14 and 21 at 2 p.m.

The play follows the experiences of six disparate outsiders, in the throes of puberty, vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime.

Supervising the competition is a group of grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves.

"I hit the jackpot with this cast," said director Beth Bonnabeau of New Milford.

"They are as talented a group of musical theatre performers as you could find anywhere. It's not easy to find actors between 25 and 40-something who can effectively play junior high school students, but we did, and we are all having the most fun...we can't wait to share it with the audience," she said.

Willing audience members may participate.

The cast includes Tony Saracino and Vicki Sosbe of New Milford, Priscilla Squiers and Billy Dempster of Danbury, Cat Crocetto of Newtown, Michael Wright of Sandy Hook, Jaclyn Blythe of Monroe, Dave Anctil of Thomaston, and Jerrial T. Young of West Haven.

The show's crew includes musical director Daniel Koch of Millbrook, N.Y., lighting designer Scott Wyshynski of Washington and stage manager Rob Onorato of Brookfield.

Tickets are $28. A free preview for seniors will be held Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. A pay-what-you-can night will be held March 4 at 8 p.m.

Parking is available behind the Catherine E. Lillis Building on East Street.

For more information and reservations, call the 5 Brookside Ave. theater at 860-350-6863.