Duck - staged reading

March 4, 2017
161A chrystie street
New York, NY 10002,
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My play Duck will be read as part of the International Human Rights Art Festival, at 5 pm, March 4, 2017 in the Dixon Place theater.  

Duck was initially created from four 10-minute plays written for the “30 plays in 30 days” project (August 2013).  It was developed with Director Brad Raimondo and then read at the 14th Street Y Theater, NY (December 2013); Spooky Action Theatre, DC, directed by Kristy Simmons (September 2014): Wide Eyed Productions “WINKS” Series (May 2015), directed by Suzanne Karpinski and then read for Secret Theatre’s (NY) New Voices Project, September 2015.

Duck (Billy) has reached the end of his rope and only communicates by quacking.  After a career in the CIA, which has led to a downward emotional spiral, he finds himself on a park bench, which happens to be the home of his older brother Crumb (John), who was also once a CIA operative and Duck's boss.  Crumb lost faith in the system, leaving his younger brother to kill for reasons of state while he, Crumb, dropped out of society.

In the opening scene, Abbie, who has undergone a personal travail of her own, enters and tries to talk to Duck, who only quacks.  However, he will talk to his brother.  Abbie is very taken with the injured Duck (though not at all with his acerbic brother) and tries to befriend him.  Crumb tires of the game and drags Duck off the bench to take a voyage through Duck's past, so he can understand how he found himself there.

Duck sees the man he killed in Damascus (probably innocent), watches his father (once an eminent neurobiologist, but now decimated with Alzheimer's disease) euthanized in Rotterdam and even explores his original psychic injuries, as a bullied elementary school student.  His brother protected him from exterior threats in that long ago, though beat him up when they were alone together.

We also meet his wife, his journalist biographer (Duck has been awarded an Intelligence Star Award for his work in the Middle East) and see him in therapy.

We end where we began: with Duck, Crumb and Abbie in the play's "present."  Duck never is able to speak directly with Abbie, but she feels strongly that she can save him from whatever internal war he is going through.  They exit together, unable to communicate but somehow bound together, and Crumb is left alone on his bench.