The Adult Spelling Bee is similar to Scripps' Spelling Bee, but with more jokes, and improv games led by DSI comedians between rounds. It is hosted by UNC Program in the Humanities as part of our “Humanities NightLabs” series.
Friday March 27
Friday April 24
(All shows, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.)
Part variety show, part serious inquiry into the public’s orthography skills, and mostly just a fun time, this event will be the first of many events mixing entertainment with just a modicum of scholarly endeavor. Anyone can take part and teams are welcome.
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. Be prepared to show identification.
Our spelling bees employ a tongue-in-cheek philosophy: you have been warned not to take this too seriously!
If you have questions please write Dr. Max Owre, Executive Director, at email@example.com.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with a cash bar, contest starts at 7:00. If you would like to compete in the bee, please sign up using this form. Remaining open spots will be filled by random drawing at the venue, but be sure to arrive before 7 if you’d like a chance to compete!
All attendees are welcome to participate as individuals or as part of a team, and all contestants will be drawn by lot should more than 15 people pre-register, or if we do not have enough pre-registrants and need to pull from the audience (WARNING! We will have 15 competitors).
There will be two types of contests: one traditional individual competition, and relaxed team competitions (spelling, word games, and other forms) between the individual rounds. Since we’re all adults, we will be starting with difficult words and progressing to impossible words! We learned our lesson–area adults need to brush up on their spelling. So, we’ll go easy for the first two rounds but watch out after that!
Individual competition (traditional spelling bee):
- Interested competitors must place their name in the drawing immediately upon payment of entrance fee
- Fifteen competitors will be announced 6:45 pm
- No electronic devices may be brought to the stage
- Contest is single-error elimination
- Contestants will have approximately one minute with each word, of which 30 seconds is timed
- The judge will read the word, give its definition, then use it in a sentence
- Once the judge finishes, the timer will put 30 seconds on the clock
- During this time, the contestant may ask the judges for derivation
- If contestants are in the middle of spelling at the end of 30 seconds, they will be allowed to finish at judge’s discretion
- Failure to start spelling at the end of 30 seconds will lead to elimination.
- Last person standing is the winner
- Prizes will be awarded to all contestants, with a grand prize going to the champion
- Judges may not know what they’re doing…but they’re getting better
Team Competitions (subject to change)
Up for anything? The folks from DSI will take over the stage to run our team activities ranging from games to straight participatory improve.
Teams of up to 5 competitors (but no fewer than 3) will be allowed
- Teams must place their names in the drawing for teams upon payment of entrance fee
- Teams will compete in a variety of contests, games, and word-related improv sketches