The Creative and Performing Arts Academy (CaPAA) will perform “Honk! JR.” as part of the 16th annual Clarks Summit Festival of Ice. The play will be presented Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 School St., Clarks Summit. Admission is free.
An ugly duckling’s journey of self-discovery is played out in this musical by Anthony Drewe with score by George Stiles. The witty but moving tale is an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Ugly Duckling.” Ugly discovers that being different isn’t a bad thing and finds unique characters along the way that are just like him.
Area fifth through 10th graders will perform in the production. The show will be directed by Karl Barbee with music direction by Sheri Melcher and choreography by Cristina Sohns Williams.
The “Honk! JR.” cast includes 20 kids in the Junior Players division of CaPAA, a division open to all middle and high school students. “”Honk! JR.” has a mix of kids that have participated in CaPAA before and some who are new students,” said Melcher, CaPAA’s founder and director.
CaPAA, based in the Ritz Theatre in Scranton, offers creative opportunities in the arts to kids of all ages. “We continue to grow,” Melcher said. “CaPAA is looking to add more aspects to our arts program and layer in more opportunities. One way we are doing that is by going out into the community. Events like the ice festival is one of many we are looking to do moving forward. We want to be visible in the community and give the kids more opportunities to perform.”
CaPAA offers acting, voice and music lessons as well as a core summer camp program. CaPAA puts on several productions throughout the school year as well as choir performances. Middle school and High School students can work behind the scenes with professionals in the field – directors, stage hands, sound engineers and lighting designers and then have an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned.
“We just did a main stage production of ‘Matilda.’ I had an eighth grader, a 10th grader and a senior working my light board, my sound board and my spot lights,” Melcher said.
This is CaPAA’s second year at Clarks Summit’s Festival of Ice.
“Honk! JR.” is a winner of multiple awards, including the 2000 Olivier Award for Best Musical, and has been performed around the world. Anthony Drewe and George Stiles, who also wrote the musical “Mary Poppins,” have collaborated again with “Honk! JR.” writing a charming story that speaks to audiences of all ages.
“The story is heartwarming and just fantastic. The characters are endearing. There are so many sweet moments,” Melcher said. “The audience will find the characters to be eclectic and interesting. This junior production is really special. The whole adaptation is very well done. ... It’s a ton of fun with some really unique characters and a beautiful message.”