Below is the Character Breakdown for the roles in our summer 2017 Youth Theatre Workshop production, Honk Jr., as provided by Music Theatre International.
Adapted for young performers, and with a score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, Honk! JR. is a heartwarming celebration of being different that is sure to delight audiences of all ages with its sparkling wit, unique charm and memorable score. Witty and hilarious, but also deeply moving, Honk! JR. treats audiences to equal amounts of laughter and tears.
Ugly looks quite a bit different from his darling duckling brothers and sisters. The other animals on the farm are quick to notice and point this out, despite his mother’s protective flapping. Feeling rather foul about himself, the little fowl finds himself on an adventure of self-discovery, all the while unknowingly outwitting a very hungry Cat. Along the way, Ugly meets a whole flock of unique characters and finds out being different is not a bad thing to be.
Beaky, Fluff, Billy, Downy are Ugly’s siblings – cute little kid types. They are among the “popular” ones in the duck yard who enjoy making Ugly feel left out. They sing as a group.
The ugly ducking. Innocent, easily confused and very impressionable, Ugly doesn’t understand why it is wrong being different. However, the insecurities melt away as the character gradually changes from a gullible duckling to a wise swan, filled with self-esteem. Should be a strong singer and good actor. Vocal range top: F5. Vocal range bottom: D4.
Ugly’s mom. Ida is extremely protective of her son and committed to his safety. She is sweet but feisty, and she knows how to handle her husband, Drake. After Ugly is lured away from the barnyard by the Cat, Ida is determined to find him. Ida and Ugly’s relationship is a key ingredient of the show. She is the one who teaches him that it is OK to be different. Ida sings several solos, and therefore she should have a strong soprano singing voice. Gender: female. Vocal range top: A5. Vocal range bottom: F4.
Ida’s husband. Drake is a sarcastic character. He is the stereotypical sitcom father – often shirking his parental duties. Drake finds Ugly quite repulsive and isn’t afraid to say it to anyone, including his wife. He should have good comic timing and a strong singing voice. Drake opens the show singing “A Poultry Tale.” Gender: male. Vocal range top: F5. Vocal range bottom: A3.
A moorhen and Ida’s best friend. (Originally found on the moors, a moorhen is a hen that lives near the water.) Maureen genuinely loves Ida, but she can’t resist a bit of good gossip. To the little ducklings, she is the typical annoying and overly affectionate “aunt.” Maureen sings “The Joy of Motherhood” with Ida, so she should also be a strong singer. Gender: female. Vocal range top: C#5. Vocal range bottom: G#4.
The sly, cunning villain of the show. All of the other animals are deathly afraid of him. He is manipulative, cunning, witty and above all, HUNGRY. The Cat pretends to be Ugly’s friend so he can eat him. The actor playing this role (which could be played by a male or a female) should bring a sense of fun to the character and have a good sense of comic timing. He sings a few songs, but his character allows for many of the lyrics to be “talk-sung.” Improv skills are a plus. Vocal range top: Eb5. Vocal range bottom: A3.
A somewhat pompous goose and washed-up British military type, Greylag tends to over glorify its mundane activities (i.e. migrating South) to the level of military operation status. Only the wife, Dot, truly knows how to handle him. Sings a solo in “Wild Goose Chase.” Vocal range top: C5. Vocal range bottom: A4.
A motherly type, genuinely concerned with helping Ugly find his mother. Dot doesn’t think that Greylag, the husband, is an entirely capable leader, but kindly humors the over the top” actions. She sings solo as well as with Greylag in “Wild Goose Chase.” Good singer.
Barnacles, Snowy, Pinkfoot
The geese in Greylag’s “squad.” They join in singing “Wild Goose Chase.” Good singers.
A laidback, self confident frog with whom Ugly comes into contact in the second half of the show. The frog cheers Ugly up with his/her song, “Warts and All.” Optimistic and funny, he/she is a stand up comedian type of character will suited to someone with good improvisational sills and comic timing. This role can be played by a male or female. Vocal range top: F5. Vocal range bottom: A3.
The young, beautiful swan that Ugly saves from a tangled fishing net. She is able to see beyond Ugly’s looks and she loves him for who he is. She does not sing solo.
Penny’s family. They help to console Ida when she thinks her son has dies, and they offer to take Ugly with them when they migrate. They do not sing solos.
The most distinguished duck on the lake. Very aristocratic, considered the queen of the duck yard. All of the other animals look up to Grace and respect her. She, of course, is quite aware of this and is therefore a little bit haughty.
The headmaster of the ducklings’ school. The Turkey is a bit snobbish and joins in the fun of teasing Ugly. There is of course one word that send shivers down its spine – THANKSGIVING! The Turkey does not sing solo.
A hen and another of Maureen’s friends. Henrietta and Maureen gossip about the goings on in the duck yard. She takes great pleasure in making fun of Ugly. Henrietta does not sing solo.
An investigative reporter. A very “in your face” bird, all she/he cares about is getting a good story. She/He is the typical TV news personality who one would find on a reality TV show like “America’s Most Wanted.” She/He reports a story about Ugly’s disappearance. Note: If this character is played by a female, the name can be changed to “Maggie Pie.”
The only humans in the show. They are never seen by the audience, only their voices are heard. These voices may be pre-recorded or said live from backstage during the show.
The remaining actors in the company play a number of different roles. Throughout the action of the play they take on roles as barn yard animals, geese, children at play, froglets, and part of the Blizzard scene.