By Eliza Brown
For many years now, Nantucket High School has put on a large musical production. Filled with entertaining songs and dances, the annual musical is always a hit. The talented cast and crew consistently work hard together for several months to put on a great show for the audience to enjoy. This year, the musical is called “Honk!” It retells the story of the Ugly Duckling in musical form, a story of acceptance and being yourself. The musical follows a baby duckling named Ugly on his search to find his mother. Ugly gets into all sorts of situations that he has to find a way out of, and it is a heartwarming tale of friendship and belonging. Due to Covid, the show will look different from the usual performances of the annual spring musical. This doesn’t mean the musical won’t be a hit, it will just be unlike past musicals. While there have been some changes, the cast is working hard to bring the story to life.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the show will be recorded, as live audiences aren’t possible. Erin MacIver, Director of the Musical and Head of the NHS Music Department said, “…we are doing a ‘staged reading’ of sorts, where the actors are in costume, performing scenes, and songs, but no set or choreography.” Despite these changes, she is confident about the performance, and excited to share the production. The cast has been rehearsing since February, and while there is not currently a set date for when the performance will be available, it is expected sometime in mid-May. The performance will be recorded, instead of live this year, which is another change the cast has needed to adapt to. While some people are still unable to rehearse and perform in person, the option to record makes this possible. MacIver has also been working with Laine Cutts, CPS Chorus Teacher and Assistant Director of “Honk!”, to persevere through the challenges Covid-19 brings. Sean Allen, a teacher’s assistant at Nantucket High School, has also been helping with the production. Additionally, Jeff Cutts, the accompanist, has made huge contributions to the show. While it may look different, the talented actors are still working hard to put on an amazing show. Some members of the twelve person cast, a smaller number than usual, have even taken on multiple roles. The dedicated students are sure to put a smile on your face as they tell the heartwarming story of “Honk!”.
Natalie Mack, a sophomore at Nantucket High School, expresses, “We still have rehearsals every day, we are still able to sing and act together, but most importantly we are still telling an amazing story and creating something bigger than ourselves.” Despite the challenges the pandemic brings, she continues to be able to do what she loves, which is theater, and telling important stories through music. Mack goes on to say, “I think that the theme to “Honk!” the musical is very, very important and I think everyone should hear it. The way my fellow castmates and I put together the story on the stage will touch a lot of people.” She encourages others to see the musical and understand the powerful message it conveys.
Mack also talked about the smaller cast this year, and how she feels about this. She said, “…I get to play multiple roles, which helps me to improve my acting skills tremendously.” The school musical has always been a fantastic way for Nantucket High School students to showcase their talent. In previous years, the cast has been very large, with a big ensemble. This year, there are less people, which Mack says was nice because she “got to know the cast a little better.”
Despite the challenges Covid has brought, both the cast, crew, and directors have been working hard to bring the musical “Honk!” to life for the audience. They encourage everyone to look out for more details regarding the streaming of the production, so that you can see the performance for yourself!