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Local teachers flock to the stage in HONK!

The school employee cast of Honk!

A bevy of talented school employees flocks to the stage for an award-winning interpretation of the award-winning musical tale of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Ugly Duckling."

Presented by Heavier Than Air Family Theatre, HONK!  uses charm and humor to tell the endearing story of an odd-looking baby duck and his quest to find his mother. Familiar cast members include teachers, para-educators and staff from the Kent, Auburn, Tahoma and Federal Way school districts.

Several of these school employees recently hosted a Musical Theatre Night in conjunction with the PTA at Lea Hill Elementary. In addition to providing students with a workshop on the art of acting, singing and performing, the event allowed cast members to deliver HONK!'s message of tolerance in support of the anti-bullying campaigns widely featured at institutions throughout the state.

Not surprisingly, almost all of the educators who perform with Heavier Than Air Family Theatre during their main stage season have worked in the company's musical theatre camp held for five weeks each summer. Instructors agree that the camp and stage are a terrific outlet for their creativity, as well as a special opportunity to do what they do best: nurture the desire to learn in every child.

Terry Thibodeaux teaches third graders at Kent's Lake Youngs Elementary and plays HONK!'s lead character, "Ugly" the duckling. During the summer he directs the teen division of the popular camp and says that teaching and theatre complement each other perfectly. "Good teachers make good actors and good actors make good teachers," he said. "The two go hand-in-hand."

HONK! A Musical Tale of the Ugly Duckling premiers at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 21. Performances continue Fridays and Saturdays through March 29 at the Green River College Performing Arts Building. For ticket information and summer camp details call Campus Student Life at 253-833-9111 ext. 2400 or visit www.heavierthanair.com.