A Celebration of Being Different: “HONK! Jr. Onstage; Tickets on Sale Now

It was lovely summer weather in the country, and the golden corn, the green oats, and the haystacks piled high on the meadows looked beautiful…In this snug retreat sat a duck on her nest, watching for her young brood to hatch. – from the 1844 fable The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen.

Witty and hilarious, but also deeply moving, HONK! Jr., is a modern adaptation of Andersen’s 19th-century fable, with music by George Stiles and book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, onstage for two performances at Mount Madonna School.

On December 8 and 9 at 2:00pm, middle school students will take the stage for matinee performances at the school’s Hawks’ Nest Theater. Tickets on sales now at mms-honk.brownpapertickets.com. Adults are $15; 18 and under are $10. All seats are reserved.

HONK! Jr. is a story that addresses struggles around acceptance – acceptance of one’s self as well as others,” commented Director Erin Fitzgerald. “Through the creative process in rehearsals, students are engaging with this theme in their character exploration. Students are asked to bring themselves into their characters and to identify the similarities to find how this theme shows up their life. This play has helped to bring the middle school together as a community, not only by discussing our differences, but also by celebrating them.”

In this version, “Ugly,” a sadly-named swan cygnet, is mistaken for a homely duckling and rejected by most of the barnyard community, except mother duck, Ida, and a sly cat. Later, pursued by the hungry cat, Ugly flees and as he searches for a way back home, meets an array of characters who help him to discover his true beauty and place in the world.

“Participating in HONK! Jr. and performing arts has helped me by making me face my fears,” shared eighth grader Kaya Westbrook. “We are asked to stand in front of people and sing, dance and act and that can be scary. It’s nice to have the opportunity in a school setting, where we aren’t teased or made fun of, to try something scary and new.”

HONK! Jr. is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) and all authorized performance materials are supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com.

“I love doing plays because off stage I am sometimes nervous and shy around people,” shared seventh grader Sophia Manzur. “But when I am on stage, I feel like I can break out of my shell. Being in a play is not an independent thing; you work together with a community, and we each have a part to play.”


Contact:  Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a community of learners dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.