Honk! - March 14 - March 17, 2019

St. Thomas Aquinas High School

 End Notes 

Director’s Notes


At first glance, the 2000 Olivier award winning musical HONK!, based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the ugly duckling, is a fairy tale about a bird born in a barnyard who is criticized and belittled because of his looks until one day he transforms into a graceful swan.  Such a story may be used to calm children who may be the subject of ridicule by their classmates. In life, Andersen was described as tall and ugly with a big nose and feet. Perhaps the author saw something in himself when he wrote the tale.


But set in the context of today, one could say the story was about bullying especially with regard to “the others” in society, those who are different and are bullied and vilified simply because they are different.  In fact, our dramaturg for this production, Miss Megan Mondek, pointed out that the composer of the show, Anthony Drewe, created the show along with lyricist George Stiles in response to his “mixed-race nephews being bullied and the amount of bullying seen in younger generations”.


Ugly is separated from Ida, his mother, the only one on the lake to love him for who he is. She ventures forth to find her son despite the comments of her husband, Drake, battling the elements along the way.


Costuming for the show was inspired by the original production which did not dress the characters as animals but rather used clothing with colors evocative of the animals each character portrays.  For example, a cygnet, or young swan, is shades of gray and white with black feet and black beak. Our Ugly is dressed in those shades with a black cyclist cap to represent the black beak and black high top tennis shoes for his feet.  When he transforms into the swan, his clothing is completely white with the same hat and shoes. Similarly, the ducklings are dressed in yellow with other colors to represent their individuality. We hope you enjoy our production!


Special thanks go to the administration of St. Thomas Aquinas: Fr. Vincent T. Kelly, Dr. Denise Aloma, Dr. Robert Mulder, Dr. Suzy Prieto and Mrs. Margie Scott.  I also would like to thank: Ms. Maria Virginio and Mrs. Wanda Drozdovitch for their work in choreography and music direction, respectively; Mr. Joe Basi for his scheduling magic; Mr. Xander Snell and Mr. Jarrod Bailey for their work in creating the set; Coach Steve Strand for his continued support; the after-school Theatre Tech students for their work on lighting and sound; Ms. Linda Mierley and Mrs. Maureen Davis; Mrs. Christine Alston and her team of Drama Mamas who fed us; Miss Megan Mondek for her dramaturgy work on this musical; Mrs. Evelyn Falcon of Use Your Words Pediatric Therapy; my friends and fellow teachers for their incredible support; and those who trusted me throughout the entire process. Finally, thank you to my wife, Elena Maria Garcia for being my rock throughout this and every show I direct and our two beautiful daughters, Ana and Emma, who have to deal with me every day of their lives.  And always, a nod and a wink to the Big Cat at the top of the stairs!


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