ETC Turns Trash Into Creative Treasures

Monday, June 25, 2018
From left, Noah Phillips, Violet McClendon and Bec Fitzsimmons
From left, Noah Phillips, Violet McClendon and Bec Fitzsimmons

For the fourth production of the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga’s 2018 season, ETC will offer up a new take on a classic story.  Opening July 13 and running through July 22, HONK! A musical comedy will take the stage at the Barking Legs Theatre. 

Review for HONK!:

HONK!, written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe is a musical retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s popular fable “The Ugly Duckling.”  Garry Lee Posey, ETC’s executive director and a member of the cast, said, “Theatre should not be segregated by age, and this particular musical will please old and young alike.  With messages of tolerance and acceptance and love, the authors mix is a nice dose 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 really wanted to approach the telling of this story in such way that is both unique and still relevant.  Here is how he best describes his approach:

"In order to tell the story of Honk!, we have decided to step outside the box and completely re-imagine the show. Taking place during a community park and river clean up, 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 their environment and the animals who live in it. Humans aren't the only ones who have families, but they are the only ones with voices. Honk! is an important opportunity to value and nurture the imaginations and creativity of all the diverse children within our community. It's an experience that will give them the inspiration to stand up and make change." 

To further Mr. Caissie’s mission, ETC has reached out to several local nonprofits with similar outlooks regarding conservation, recycling, and wildlife protection to partner with in getting out the message and helping to educate.  In addition, the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga will be designating the three matinee performances (July 14, 15 and 22) as YouthCentric Performances.  Any child 14 years of age or younger will be admitted free of charge.  There will be a preshow presentation by a partnered non profit, followed by a free snack at intermission and then a post show meet and greet with the cast. 

“ETC hopes that this will launch an annual campaign where one of our productions will feature free admission to shows for area youth,” said Mr. Posey. 

HONK! will play for eight performances at the Barking Legs Theatre.  More details about performances can be found online at or by visiting the Facebook page.  Tickets for the matinees performances will need to be reserved by emailing In the email, please state how many tickets you would like to reserve, the number of children 14 and under and the best way to confirm your reservation.  Tickets for the other five shows can be purchased online through the website or by calling 987-5141. 

Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga presents HONK!

July 13 at 7:30 p.m.

July 14 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.

July 15 at 2:30 p.m.

July 19 at 7:30 p.m.

July 20 at 7:30 p.m.

July 22 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. 

General admission is $20; senior citizens are $17; students (at 7:30 production) are $17, (at matinee production 14 and under) free (15 and above) $17. 

Barking Legs Theater is at 1307 Dodds Ave.  Call 987-5141 for ticket information. 

From left, Tiffany Bulloch, Garry Lee Posey, Edward LaGuardia, and Noah Phillips (on shoulders)
From left, Tiffany Bulloch, Garry Lee Posey, Edward LaGuardia, and Noah Phillips (on shoulders)

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