Ready! Set! Honk!

This spring, Talawanda High’s drama department performed a wonderful production of HONK! under the direction of Ryan Steffen. This was Steffen’s first musical since he resumed the directorial position, and it did not disappoint. Audiences were treated to a blend of classical musical theatre composition and a rural storyline that hits close to home for Oxfordians. In this heartfelt adventure, a loving duck named Ida (Savannah Vaughn) delivers a son who is very different and gets nicknamed “Ugly”. After relentless teasing and ostracization from the barnyard community, Ugly (Isaac Diskin) seeks refuge with the sly and deceptively kind Cat (Emily Kraushar) for a nice “lunch.” Only after discovering the cat’s sinister motives, Ugly becomes hopelessly lost and wanders for months, trying desperately to find his way home. Along the way, Ugly falls in love with a bird named Penny (Caroline Benzing) and discovers his true identity: a swan! Meanwhile, Ida has been searching intrepidly for her son–never giving up hope for her family even when the barnyard tries to convince her that Ugly has been lost forever. When–in a convenient twist of events–Ida and Ugly are reunited, they return home, where the barnyard apologises to Ugly and learns the lesson: “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”
This musical not only featured a beautiful and lilting score, but great performances from all the cast members that showed just how hard the drama club works to produce quality theatre. Some special moments included hearing Savannah Vaughn’s stunning vocal prowess and Jasper Rolinovsky’s hilarious performance as the goose-brigade commander, Greylag.
Admission was $7 and– according to choral director Mr. Pearson– “Jasper’s performance… [was] worth at least $3.87 of the seven.”
Overall, the musical was very well executed and purveyed an equally timely and timeless message: “Different isn’t hateful, different isn’t wrong.”