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Review: HONK! JR. at Gettysburg Community Theatre

Review: HONK! JR. at Gettysburg Community Theatre

If you have never experienced a Penguin Project show, you do not want to miss this.

In 2004, a unique theatre program was developed in Illinois. The Penguin Project provides opportunities for young performers with a range of developmental disabilities to take to the stage with the support of peer mentors. The Penguin Project has become a national program, with chapters throughout the country, including Gettysburg, PA. Gettysburg Community Theatre brings its Penguin Project back to the stage for the first time since 2019, and the joy on stage and in the audience is palpable.

Under the direction of Chad-Alan Carr, with music direction by Carrie Conklin, choreography by Marilyn Lopes, assistant direction by Kevin Foster, technical direction by Michael Connelly with assistance from Lexi Connelly, and production assistance by Maria Wolf, Gettysburg Community Theatre's Penguin Project brings Honk! Jr. to life. While the show only has one more live performance, audiences can enjoy it from the comfort of their own homes streaming on-demand November 25-27.

The dedicated, passionate, and talented cast includes Mikey Athanasakis (Chorus), Danny Burton (Pink Foot), Victoria Carver (Bullfrog), Kasey Duncan (Dot), Kevin Foster (Turkey/Farmer's Voice), Maddie Greco (Maureen/Chorus), Devin Harry (Father Swan/Chorus), Greta Hartley (Downey/Girl's Voice/Chorus), Alaythia Hoffman (Snowy/Chorus), Hannah Hoffman (Jay Bird/Chorus), Olivia Hoffman (Chorus), Kaleigh McMaster (Fluff), Dustin Miller (Drake), Ilana Miller (Ugly), Madelyn J. Noel (Mother Swan/Chorus), Hadley Petruzzelli (Beaky), Holden Petruzzelli (Billy), Olivia Rife (Henrietta/Chorus), Ella Scott (Cat), Janna Scott (Greylag), Tyson Schuck (Barnacles/Boy's Voice/Chorus), Cassie Smith (Grace/Chorus), Leah Spangler (Penny), and Leah Watson (Ida). Honk! Jr., featuring music by George Stiles and lyrics and book by Anthony Drewe, is a musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story The Ugly Duckling. The musical explores themes of difference, bullying, acceptance, and self-discovery.

This production, which audience's call "profoundly meaningful and inspiring", is full of emotion-humor, sadness, fear, love, and hope. Audiences thoroughly enjoy Ella Scott's feline attitude in "Play With Your Food", while the Geese Chorus, with Greylag, Dot, Barnacles, and Snowy, and the Froglet Chorus, with Bullfrog, bring a delightfully comedic element to the show. Leah Watson and Ilana Miller, as Ida and Ugly, deliver beautifully emotional performances, especially in their songs "Different", "Every Tear a Mother Cries", and "Hold Your Head High". Every single actor on this stage brings energy and joy that is utterly contagious. Audiences laugh, cry, and cheer throughout this production of Honk! Jr. Audience members declare, "these kids are incredible!"

The Penguin Project states, "Our penguins may not be able to fly, but that does not prevent their spirits from soaring." If you have never experienced a Penguin Project show, you do not want to miss this. Get your tickets to see Honk! Jr. streaming on-demand November 25-27 and see these incredible performers soar. Visit®id=194& to get your tickets today.

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From This Author - Andrea Stephenson

Andrea Stephenson’s love of music and theatre was nurtured by her parents. She started performing as a singer and actor in elementary school, and her passion for the performing arts grew thro... (read more about this author)

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