According to the official website, the story is based on Hans Christian Andersen's “The Ugly Duckling,” similarly telling a story of an odd-looking baby duck, Ugly, whose “gawky looks instantly incite prejudice from his family and neighbors.”
He becomes separated from his mother and goes on a quest to find her. Pursued by a hungry cat, Ugly must find his way home. Along the way he not only discovers his true beauty and glorious destiny, but also finds love and acceptance in all its forms.
Anthony Drewe, co-creator along with George Stiles, described the principle theme of the show as “clearly, the acceptance of others who may appear different for whatever reason.”
“In our increasingly multi-cultural society, school bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism and any other ‘isms’ you care to mention are still prevalent to varying degrees,” Drewe said on the “Honk!” website. “I don't even like the word ‘tolerance,’ as this implies having to put up with something that, in truth, is to one's disliking. Acceptance, compassion, and understanding are far better words.”
Drewe said he and Stiles’s goal for the production was to provide “family entertainment that would be fun for all ages, as much about people as it is about ducks.” He said they didn’t envision feathers and beaks, but rather just a few color schemes and mannerisms that would indicate the identity of the characters.
Director for “Honk!” is 24-year-old Jonathan Humble from Chattanooga. No stranger to the stage, Humble spent much of his youth with the Chattanooga Boys Choir and even performed at The Colonnade in several productions. Over time he developed a passion for being “behind the scenes,” and although he was only 18 when he began his successful directing career, the ambitious Humble already has nearly a dozen productions under his belt at the Tivioli in Chattanooga, as well as The Colonnade.
Humble was hand-picked by producer Jan Daigle. Daigle, who moved to Chattanooga from Maine in 2002, is a seasoned stage manager who began managing at The Colonnade in 2005. She recently formed Ever After Productions along with Humble in order to explore the other aspects of theater such as producing. Both Daigle and Humble are very dedicated to making The Colonnade a successful venue and were inspired by the story of “Honk!”
"We chose to produce Honk! because we feel it has such a powerful message, so relevant today, which is that it's okay to be unique or different," Humble said. “We are each a wonderful creation by God, and it's our differences that make us great. “Honk!” teaches us that even if we don't fit the cookie-cutter mold that society would call ‘normal,’ we are still amazing individuals and are special in our own way.”
HONK continues Ever After Productions’ inaugural year as their children's show of the year supported by the teen and adult leads, with music direction by Josh Cozart and choreography by Kristen Nalley.
Ticket prices are $15 adult admission, $12 seniors (age 55 and older), $12 students, $11 for groups of 15 or more. Please call 706-935-9000, ext. 103, for more information or visit the website colonnadecenter.org. Interpretation for the deaf will be provided.