The Sage School Theater Company gave an incredible performance of Honk! JR. this weekend in front of an audience of over 300 at The Norwood Theatre. Based on the tale of the Ugly Duckling, Honk! JR. provided attendees of all ages a performance filled with colorful backdrops, custom made props and costumes, creative dance performances, and a storyline with a relevant and universal theme of acceptance.
“The story of Honk! JR. is about believing in yourself, perseverance, and acceptance, all qualities we value at Sage,” explains Director Danielle Bazinet. “Just as this story unfolds into an ending that celebrates who Ugly truly is inside, the cast and crew rose to achievements beyond my expectations and shined in their own unique way. We had students take on lead parts who were new to The Sage School or had never been in the musical before. There were crew members who worked diligently on the set changes and overall, a cast and crew that worked seamlessly to put on a performance that was truly magical. Theater at Sage is a community effort with an enormous amount of volunteers and supporters. I am so grateful for everyone’s support and contributions to an unforgettable evening at the Theatre!”
For over ten years the Arts Program at Sage has annually produced full-scale musical productions. Students in Grades 5-8 have the opportunity to audition for lead roles, be in the chorus or work as the backstage crew. Consistent with our mission, the musical offers students the opportunity to participate and “own” all aspects of a major production. Sets and costumes are designed and built during a collaboration period and during rehearsal, as is the poster and program. Students also serve as backstage leaders, representing the crew boss and stage manager. The musical brings together many members of the Sage community, including younger classes that help with sets, parents, and faculty/staff. For the past four years, the musical has received many nominations and awards from the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild for acting, singing and set design.
Honk! JR. is the story of the Ugly Duckling (played by Kenneth S., Grade 6) who comes out of his egg and looks different than his siblings, Billy (played by Cate L. Grade 5), Beaky (played by Samantha L., Grade 5), Downy (played by Wendy W., Grade 7), and Fluffy (played by Adrian W., Grade 5). His father, Drake (played by Achyuta R., Grade 8) thinks he is a turkey. The siblings pick on him because of his physical appearance while his mother, Ida (played by Anona J., Grade 8) says “he’s just different” and protects him. The little fowl finds himself on an adventure of self-discovery, all the while unknowingly outwitting a very hungry Cat (Ben L., Grade 7). Along the way, Ugly meets a whole flock of unique characters and finds out being different is not a bad thing to be.