The Oak Hill Players at Scarborough High School are performing the musical ‘Honk!’ through Nov. 13. Pictured from left are: Chelsea Ewil Katkwatkse, Emma MacLeod, Hunter Young, Allison Paradis, Kate Mederios, Evan Wardrop, Noelle Daigle, Andrew Walker, Alexis Marshall, Thomas Baia. The play is directed by Deb Doherty. Courtesy photo/Steve Barrett

SCARBOROUGH — Due to COVID-19, many schools had to shut down extracurricular activities leaving students to miss out on doing what they love and enjoy. Some schools even tried to continue with plays virtually, but others shut the program down until it was safe for students to return to school.

Trying to bring back a bit of normalcy during this time of uncertainty, the Scarborough High School Oak Hill Players are finally back. They are performing the musical “Honk!,” a retelling of the classic tale of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling.”

The story follows Ugly, a brave young bird who gets picked on by the other farmyard animals because he’s different. After being pushed out of the flock, he embarks on an adventure through the marsh, meeting several different characters along the way who help him understand that he is so much more than just his looks. The musical is about overcoming adversity, prejudice, and self-doubt, and showing that you can overcome what life has put in front of you.

The Oak Hill Players are performing ‘Honk!” the musical through Nov. 13. The actors play the ducklings are, from left: Felicity Daigle, Bridget MacDougal, Aria Noonan and Cassidy Noonan. Courtesy photo/Steve Barrett

“There were so many kids that were hesitant to audition because they just didn’t have that spark at the beginning,” director Deb Doherty said. “When rehearsals began, you saw the brightening in their eyes, the laughter and the spark came back even though they had to be careful of social distancing. Once we cast the show, we put out a call for extras, crew, tech and costumes. We had the largest number of kids show up and wanted to be a part of this show”

“It has been a relief to perform on stage again,” high school junior Elliot Goulder said. “The theater is an escape; it gives you access to an entirely different part of yourself, one that you didn’t even know existed. Knowing that there is that escape every day, gives you something to look forward to. Being able to leave yourself at the door and become another character entirely is freeing. I was apprehensive about auditioning with all the COVID restrictions because, although I knew it was going to be different than previous years, I just didn’t know how different. I was worried that COVID would take away the joy of acting the way it had the previous year.”

“It’s been so amazing to finally get back up onstage and perform. I’ve had such a fun time being able to do what I love doing with some of the coolest people I know,” said Evan Wardrop, also a junior.

According to junior Hailey Gagnon, due to COVID restrictions the actors and directors have had their work cut out for them, but have been able to work through any issues and concerns.

“While there have been stressful moments,” she said, “I think we’re all thankful for having this opportunity to bring art to the world. Being back on stage has helped me feel a sense of normalcy that I know both myself and most others have lacked. We’ve been doing everything to stay safe and will even be performing with masks on.”

“Honk” is being held at the Winslow Homer Center for the Arts located at 11 Municipal Drive, Scarborough. The play started Nov. 5 and will run through Nov. 13. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Due to COVID restrictions, seating will be limited, face masks must be worn by all individuals and social distancing will be in effect for all shows. For those who can’t make it to the show, the play can be watched via streaming starting Thanksgiving Day through the holiday weekend. Tickets are available at

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