Everything’s Ducky in Lexington, MO


A Close-up look at LHS 2009 Fall Musical and an Interview with Director Jamie Yung
by Fred Stuart

lucky_duck_logoLexington High School’s Fall 2009 musical was none other than TRW tuner LUCKY DUCK. Henry Krieger, Bill Russell & Jeffrey Hatcher’s sparkling new take on the classic Ugly Duckling tale played November 19-22 to sold out crowds. Directed by Jamie Yung and music directed by Tim Crosson, the show featured a cast of forty-four talented young actors from the LHS Drama and Music Departments.

LUCKY DUCK is a wacky adaptation of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ which takes place in a kingdom where vegetarianism is the law and ducks rule. Serena, the ugliest duck in the barnyard, yearns to leave her sorry life where she is totally unappreciated and become a great singing diva. But the road to superstardom is bumpy.

LUCKY DUCK follows a long line of hit musicals at LHS. Previous years titles have included The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 42nd Street, Godspell, Big River, Grease, and last year’s hit Working. I recently spoke with director Jamie Jung on her choice for this year’s musical and her expeience directing the title.  Here is that interview:

FS:  LUCKY DUCK is a thoughtful choice for a high school musical. What lead you to choose this show?

JY: LUCKY DUCK was introduced to me by a friend, and when I read it I found myself instantly giggling at the allusions, play on words, etc. When looking at it for a potential show to produce and direct I felt like the themes would resonate across the ages. And a group of high school students certainly know what it feels like to be the one being picked on or the one doing the picking. Through the show I am hoping that kids can relate, shine on stage, and find their own inner swan, realizing that beauty is beyond superficial-it is what you bring to this world and how you treat others. I also knew I would have a young group this year and I was hoping that the quacky characters and physicality needed to play the different roles would be a good introduction to the theatre.

FS: That is beautiful…Has your cast been enjoying themselves in rehearsal?

JY: I believe they have. Once again because we are a young group, we have worked hard and played hard. I think the characters are a great outlet for them to let loose.

Photo from the 2006 Boston Conservatory Production

Photo from the 2006 Boston Conservatory Production

FS: Have you found any special challenges in staging the show?

JY: We are a small school with a small stage and even smaller wing space, so the numerous locations on and off has been a challenge, but that’s what makes theatre grand!

FS: It does. Overcoming those challenges is usually pretty fun. What would you say is the real theme/lesson of LUCKY DUCK?

JY: The lesson of LUCKY DUCK is that we all need to accept ourselves and each other for who we really are. Too many times we try to be something we are not and in the end it only causes pain. And ultimately beauty comes from within!

FS: Are there challenges and/or rewards in producing more contemporary, lesser-known works?

JY: Absolutely! The main challenge is getting an audience to buy into something new. However, the rewards are numerous. Classics are wonderful, but they also can be limiting at times because we as artists and our audiences are too tied to what they have already seen and expect from the show. Lesser known works force the entire cast and production team to bring creativity and open minds to the process.

FS: I couldn’t agree more, Jamie. Thanks for taking a few minutes to talk with us today and please offer our congratulations to the entire company of your production of LUCKY DUCK!

JY: Will do.