Nodaway County youth will be taking the stage this weekend for the Maryville Young Players (MYP) performances.

Honk, played by Preston Bell, gets flack from his duckling siblings, Maggie Farnan, Zac Voss, Isaiah Schieber and Elene Leonard, for not being a normal duckling.

Performances will be at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts on the Northwest Missouri State University campus. They will be at 2 and 7 pm, Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11.

MYP is an opportunity for students entering second through ninth grades to be part of a live dramatic performance. The company began 11 years ago with 34 children and has increased to almost 300.

“It’s thrilling to watch the kids bring their characters to life and learn the ins and outs of theater each and every year,” Pat Immel, MYP director and Northwest Missouri State University associate professor of theatre,” said.

This year, the company will be performing “Honk! Jr.,” a play based on the story “The Ugly Duckling.” It follows the journey of Honk, who was born into a family of ducks, yet does not look or act like a duck, and his trials as he learns his place in the world.

Students have undergone two weeks of drama camp and practices, learning techniques and choreography.

“The theme of this year’s show echoes part of the philosophy of Maryville Young Players, to fulfill the desire to belong and to excel at some activity. MYP offers each student the chance to build new friendships and create something beautiful at the same time. There truly is a place for everyone in this program,” Vanessa Parsons, Maryville High School vocal music teacher and MYP director, stated.

Tickets are $6 per person and are on sale at the Maryville Hy-Vee service desk. They will also be available for purchase one hour prior to each show.