Chattanooga Now Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga upcycles 'Honk!'

Chattanooga Now Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga upcycles 'Honk!'

Theater troupe reimagines musical to convey importance of recycling

July 11th, 2018 by Staff Report in Chattanooga Now - Art

Cast members Noah Phillips, Violet McClendon and Bec Fitzsimmons, from left. (Ensemble Theatre Contributed Photo)

Photo by winshare

If you go

› What: “Honk!”

› Where: Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.

› When: 7:30 p.m. July 13, 15, 19 and 20; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. July 14 and 22

› Admission: $20, $17 senior adults, $17 students at 7:30 production, youth ages 14 and younger free at matinee

› For more information: 423-987-5141

Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga will offer a new take on a classic story when "Honk!" opens Friday, July 13, at Barking Legs Theater.

"Honk!" is a musical retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's popular fable "The Ugly Duckling."

"Theater should not be segregated by age, and this particular musical will please old and young alike," says Garry Lee Posey, ETC's executive director and a member of the cast. "With messages of tolerance, acceptance and love, the authors mix in a nice dose of humor, and the acting style is broad and engaging."

While Andersen's fable may be one that resonates greatly in today's society, director Normand Caissie wanted to approach the telling of this story in a way that would be unique and relevant.

"In order to tell the story of 'Honk!', we have decided to step outside the box and completely reimagine the show. Taking place during a community park and river cleanup, a group of children and adults engage with one another to tell a story, transforming the garbage and junk around them into the magical set pieces, costumes and props they need.

"It's a family-like community of characters coming together to not only tell a story, but encourage audiences to convert waste materials into reusable objects, recycle and think about the environment and the animals that live in it. Humans aren't the only ones who have families, but they are the only ones with voices."

Caissie believes this production of "Honk!" will nurture the creativity of children and inspire them to stand up and make a change.

To further Caissie's mission, ETC has partnered with several local nonprofits whose missions regard conservation, recycling and wildlife protection. There will be a presentation by a partnered nonprofit before each show.

Additionally, three matinees (July 14, 15 and 22) have been designated YouthCentric Performances. All youth ages 14 and younger will be admitted free of charge.

"Honk!" will be presented for eight performances July 13-22.

For more information: Tickets for the matinee performances will need to be reserved by emailing In the email, state how many tickets need to be reserved, the number of children 14 and under and the best way to confirm your reservation. Tickets for the other five shows may be purchased online through the website or by calling 423-987-5141.