Tuesday, May 2, 2006

HONK! If you love musical theater!

May musical production brings ducklings, fish, frogs to Goshen College stage, May 14-16


May Musical: HONK! By George Stiles and Anthony Drewe
Dates and times:
Sunday, May 14 at 6 p.m.; Monday, May 15 at 7 p.m.; Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m.
Location: Umble Center
Tickets are $12 for general admission and $6 for students/seniors.
Event sponsors: Goshen College Music Department and Theater Department
For more information: Call the Goshen College Welcome Center by calling (574) 535-7566 or e-mailing

GOSHEN, Ind. – Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale of “The Ugly Duckling” is known to the young and young at heart. Goshen College students in the theater and music departments are rediscovering the adventures and heart-warming outcome of this hilarious and colorful story as they prepare to present musical production HONK!, by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

Directed by Professor of Communication and Theater Doug Liechty Caskey and Professor of Music Debra Brubaker, with choreography by Talashia Keim Yoder of Goshen, performances are scheduled for Sunday, May 14 at 6 p.m.; Monday, May 15 at 7 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m., in Umble Center.

“It is a show for the entire family: from gosling, to gander, to great-gander,” said Liechty Caskey. “The youngest audience members will enjoy all the color and movement and fun sounds from the cast and orchestra. The adolescents will be able to have fun with all the word play and puns that riddle the entire show – lots of poultry-bird humor – and the adults will appreciate the variety in character interpretations and a socially redeeming message.”

HONK! is the story of Ugly who when hatched, makes a strange “honk” sound instead of the expected “quack!” This brings about ridicule and adventure with the surrounding barnyard animals. A mishap sends Ugly out and about resulting in a desperate search to be reunited with his mother, Ida. Overcoming numerous obstacles, including a hungry cat and duck hunters, Ugly not only finds his mother, but his true identity as anything but ugly. Playwright Anthony Drewe said, “The principle theme of the show is clearly the acceptance of others who may appear different for whatever reason.”

Brubaker said, “Folk tales have great lessons to teach us, and do so in such an enjoyable manner.”


HONK! is an award-winning show, having received three Best Musical awards: the 2000 Laurence Olivier Award, The FNB Award in South Africa and the Elliot Norton Award in the USA.


Some highlights of the Goshen College production of HONK!:

·    This production will have more dance choreography than is typical of GC musicals.

·    On April 28, the cast had the unique opportunity to do up-close character studies when 14 little ducklings followed their mother from an enclosed courtyard on campus towards the Elkhart River, crossing Goshen’s busy Main Street (Ind. 15). This has become an annual tradition, beginning when the mother duck flies into the courtyard, lays her eggs, waits for them to hatch and then taps with her beak on a glass door to the courtyard when she is ready to make the trip toward water with her youngsters. Quite a crowd of Goshen College faculty and students turned out to watch the processional and to stop traffic on the busy road next to campus. The HONK! cast have also studied the mallard ducks on the Millrace and visited a nearby farm to see how various poultry use their bodies.

·    The GC production of HONK! opens on the evening of Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14). One of the opening songs in the musical is “Joys of Motherhood.” Attending the play would be a great Mother’s Day gift for kids and dads to offer a mom or aunt or grandmother.

·    Many of the student cast members will be acting in several roles; three students will each take on four unique animal characters.

·    The entire production process has been completed during the three-and-a-half week Goshen College May term.


The cast includes Jessica David (Jr., Archbold, Ohio), Marianne Stegmann (Sr., Elkhart, Ind.), Adrienne Nesbitt (Jr., Goshen), Kimberlee Rohrer (Sr., Orrville, Ohio), Cassie Greer (Sr., South Bend, Ind.), Miriam Augsburger (Sr., Apple Creek, Ohio), Sara Thögersen (So., Goshen), Grace Magnan (Fr., Minneapolis, Minn.), Janell Koch (Fr., Goshen), Becca Shantz (Sr., Goshen), Ben Noll who plays Ugly (So., Lancaster, Pa.), Kyle Dean Reinford (Sr., Goshen), Adam Schellenberg (Fr., Clovis, Calif.), Brent Lehman (Fr., Elkhart, Ind.), David Bontrager (Jr., Archbold, Ohio), Andrew Landis (Fr., Goshen), Laura Landis (Sr., Orrville, Ohio) and Ramadhan Audy (So., Nairobi, Kenya).


The crew includes stage manager Hillary Knox; assistant director/lighting operator Rachel Sprunger (Sr., Akron, Pa.); lighting designers Cassie Greer (Sr., South Bend, Ind.) and Jonny Meyer (So., Millersburg, Ind.); costumes/set/props designers Nicole Miazogwicz (Sr., Temperance, Mich.), Lindsay Nance (Sr., Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Kevin Koch (international education administrative assistant); master carpenters Adam Orrich (Sr., Towanda, Ill.) and Travis Yutzy (Sr., Wayland, Iowa); producer Michelle Milne (adjunct professor of theater); assistant stage managers Laura Landis (Sr., Orrville, Ohio) and Ramadhan Audy (So., Nairobi, Kenya); and hair and makeup designer Sara Thögersen (So., Goshen).


Tickets are $12 for general admission and $6 for students/seniors. They can be purchased at the Goshen College Welcome Center by calling (574) 535-7566 or e-mailing


Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or




Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit

Goshen College
1700 S Main St
Goshen, Indiana 46526
phone: +1 (574) 535-7569
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