Performing Arts




November 17 and 18 at 7 PM, and November 19 at 11 AM

SEPTEMBER 27, 2022 – The town of Matthews and beyond will be flocking to Arborbrook’s production of HONK! JR., a contemporary and comic re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling, it was announced today by Drew Cohen, President of Music Theatre International (MTI). Based on the award-winning musical Honk! by George Stiles (composer) and Anthony Drewe (books and lyrics), HONK! JR is a witty and heartwarming show celebrating what makes each of us special.

“Plucked” as the 2000 Olivier Award’s “Best New Musical,” HONK! is so inspirational that the Ministry of Education in Israel made it compulsory viewing for school children. 

HONK! JR. is an incredibly clever show that will have you laughing out loud.  Yet at the center of all its humor is a touching message about acceptance. We’d like to applaud the students in Arborbrook’s production, by working as part of this cast and crew, each young person has been able to explore what makes him or her unique,” says Cohen.

HONK! JR. follows “Ugly,” who hatches looking quite a bit different from his darling duckling brothers and sisters. The other animals on the farm are quick to notice, and despite his loving mother's protective flapping, Ugly’s odd, gawky looks instantly incite prejudice from his family and neighbors. When Ugly is separated from the farm and pursued by a hungry Cat, he must find his way home. Along his harrowing yet hilarious journey he not only discovers his true beauty and glorious destiny, but also finds love and acceptance.

HONK! JR. is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized materials are supplied by Music Theatre International 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY, (212) 541-4684,

Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theatres from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond. Founded in 1952 by composer Frank Loesser, and orchestrator Don Walker, MTI is a driving force in advancing musical theatre as a vibrant and engaging art form.

MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these musicals to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 professional, community and school theatres in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.

MTI is particularly dedicated to educational theatre, and has created special collections to meet the needs of various types of performers and audiences. MTI’s Broadway Junior™ shows are 30- and 60-minute musicals for performance by elementary and middle school-aged performers, while MTI’s School Editions are musicals annotated for performance by high school students.


Each fall Arborbrook offers drama as an enrichment opportunity in Grades 2-8 where students have the opportunity to expand their acting, singing, and movement skills as they discover what it takes to put on a musical. Students also explore theater vocabulary, storytelling through music and dance, developing character, and most importantly: collaboration and focus. Our performances have included Schoolhouse Rock, American Jukebox: a Musical Review, Selected Songs, Jungle Book, Phantom Tollbooth, The Bird and the Bug, and Scenes from Seussical the Musical.

Arborbrook High School students have the opportunity every spring to audition for and participate in a full-scale Broadway musical. Beginning with the audition process to the closing number, students engage in all aspects of musical theater while being taught by theater professionals. Arborbrook has participated in the Blumey Awards, a Blumenthal Theater program that recognizes excellence in high school musical theater in the Charlotte area. Arborbrook won a Blumey Award in 2016 for Best Supporting Actress in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Other performances have included Shrek,  Seussical the Musical, Wizard of Oz, and James and the Giant Peach

Past High School Electives have also included Musical Theatre, Drama and Acting.  


“Many great men have put their beautiful thoughts, not into books, or pictures, or architecture, but into musical score” Charlotte Mason 

At Arborbrook, we take every opportunity to expose children to the masters of music. In addition, we listen to great musical compositions from multiple genres, and learn about the lives and work of master musicians and composers.

Our students begin music in Kindergarten and continue to build on those skills as they progress in lower school grades.  By 6th grade, students build on to their musical skills by learning to play the ukelele.  The reading of music and learning to play an instrument is vital part of developing our brains.