Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) held its first middle & high school theatre production in the new Raptor Center recently, HONK! JR. The play is a contemporary and comic retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling, says LLCA Fine and Performing Arts teacher Layne Long. 

“LLCA math teacher Mrs. Shadow Quesinberry was assistant director, and I can’t say enough great things about her. Mr. Louie Long, my husband, built all the set pieces and set up and ran the sound for the shows. Ms. Ina painted all of our set pieces. And Mr. Clyde Keller, who runs our lights, learned how to cue and run the new lighting board within hours of our first show, and you would never have known,” Mrs. Long says. “I’m so thankful for this incredible group of people. I’m also grateful to the LLCA administrative team for trusting me and giving me the creative freedom to produce theatrical performances both with the after-school theatre troupe and with my theatre classes.”

A Dedicated Cast & Crew

Being in an LLCA musical is a huge commitment, explains Mrs. Long.  “I’m so impressed with the hard work and dedication of the cast. These kids are not only talented,” she says, “but they’re also dual-enrollment college students and spring sports athletes, which to me is just incredible.”

“Jack Terry, who played Ugly (the ugly duckling), broke everyone’s hearts and then repaired them again by the end of the show,” Mrs. Long says. “Mason Fitch and Johanna Khalafalla, who played Ugly’s parents, were the perfect bickering couple, while Ida’s conditional love for her son was inspiring.” 

“The comedians of the show, Ethan Morse and Katie Willet, who played the geese named Captain Greylag and Dot, charmed the audience. And Kylie Long, with her belting of the song ‘Someone’s Gonna Love You, Warts and All’ reminded everyone that there’s someone for everyone. 

“Maya Shade did a fantastic job as Ida’s best friend Maureen, and she also assisted with choreography as our dance captain. Everyone in the cast was also a crew member, moving sets throughout the show,” Mrs. Long says.  

Performing in the New Raptor Center: 

“The theatre students absolutely loved performing on the new stage and can’t wait to do it again next year!”