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TYPA production to teach valuable lesson on acceptance
Honk Jr
Ducklings from “Honk! Jr.” give their best teasing faces during rehearsals (Photo contributed).

The Turlock Youth Performing Arts troupe will put a musical twist on a classic tale next weekend with a show that celebrates being different.

“Honk! Jr.” is a version of the well-known story, “The Ugly Duckling,” and follows a young bird named Ugly, played by Landon Tilby, who doesn’t quite look like the rest of his siblings. Other animals on the farm are quick to point this out. His mother, played by Sophia Alvarado, tries to teach the others to be accepting of Ugly to no avail.

Feeling bad about himself, the little bird finds himself on an adventure of self-discovery, meeting a whole flock of unique characters along the way. Eventually, he finds out being different isn’t a bad thing to be.

“I think it’s a really great story to be told since anti-bullying campaigns are so prevalent in schools. It’s a story about how being different isn’t bad, and that’s something I think is important for the youth of our community and even adults to have a reminder of,” the production’s director and choreographer, Amber Traini, said.

The musical’s cast is from TYPA’s junior company, Traini explained, which includes children ages eight through 14 from throughout the area. There are 40 cast members in the production, who have been rehearsing since January to put on the show.

“It’s so interesting to see 40 kids come together from all over the county and in four months they’ve formed friendships,” Traini said. “This is the definition of what this story is, coming in as strangers and leaving having accepted each other.”

TYPA will perform “Honk! Jr.” at 7 p.m. April 12 and 13, and at 2 p.m. April 14 at the Turlock Community Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at the door beginning one hour before showtime.