Honk! Costumes

I wanted to share our costumes from the Victoria Players Children’s Theater’s upcoming production of Honk! for these reasons:

  1. They are unique
  2. They are awesome
  3. They aren’t like any already on the web
  4. They are the perfect fit for this blog…a blend of craftiness and farm life

So to begin…the VPCT is a new theatre in Baltimore, Ohio, our hometown. My kids were bit by the acting bug last year and have been involved in a number of shows since then. When I learned that the Baltimore Downtown Restoration Committee was going to start a children’s theatre as a way to promote the Victoria Opera House, I wanted to be involved from the beginning. Of course, I tend to get over involved, so I simply let my kids try out for the first show. “High School Musical, Jr.” was a lot of fun and a great success, and my first time doing costuming on my own. For that show we bought or thrifted most everything.

Then auditions for Honk! came around. If you don’t know, Honk! is the musical retelling of the Ugly Duckling story. My three bigs auditioned and were cast (chronologically) as Ida, the mother duck; Turkey, and Greylag, two roles, the first being the headmaster of the school, and Greylag being the leader of the goose squadron; and Henrietta, and Lowbutt, again, two roles, both chickens, one being the school secretary and the other a domesticated house chicken.

We started brainstorming (unofficially) ideas but it wasn’t until we received the scripts that we understood the writer’s intention of the show. We weren’t to dress them as animals, but as the human interpretation of the the animal they were portraying. My mother-in-law Susan, the artist and seamstress, sketched these ideas based on our talks:


I loved her ideas for Henrietta and Lowbutt. We wanted Henrietta to be a Rhode Island Red and Lowbutt to be a Barred Rock. Here’s the finished products:

The flower design on the Henrietta dress is a Dresden Plate made by her great-grandmother and came in the bag of fabric. I love the feather wings on the dress. Lowbutt is more sophisticated and so her dress is simpler and topped off with a bow. We are adding a big red bow to her hair to be her “comb”. She will be wearing yellow tights.

As for Ida, I didn’t like her original design…I envisioned Ida as a Mallard.┬áMost Ida’s out there were yellow, and I’ve never seen an adult female yellow duck. I did like the shirt dress style though. We found a pattern from a friend and went to JoAnn’s to match the pattern of a Mallard’s feathers to fabric and came up with this:


The blue apron was Susan’s from home ec class many years ago, and it represents the blue wing tips of the duck. I love the way the dress turned out. Cute yet motherly. She will be adding orange tights and feathers in her hair.

I’ll add pictures of the Turkey and Greylag later, once those costuses are assmbled. We didn’t recreate anything there, as we are putting Turkey in a graduation robe and Greylag in a bomber jacket.

I hope that you enjoyed this post. Please like and share as we’d love for others to be inspired by these costumes too!