JACK presents a new play about four plucky finalists competing for the Dance Hall Queen of Pittsburgh crown. More…
Reigning Queen Rihanna T, determined librarian Donna, revolutionary romantic Rihanna P, and young mother Bunny are all vying for the title. Led by a young and shady entrepreneur, the women travel to Pittsburgh from across the country to twerk their way to possible YouTube stardom. During the pageant, relationships are tested and personal dignity is challenged. Is twerking empowering to women, or degrading? Is the American Dream accessible to everyone? What moves does it take to be a winner? 'Ducklings' explores the complexity of what it means to be a woman within the current American capitalist system.
"I wanted to see Amina Henry’s work because I heard she was amazing. And by God, ‘Ducklings’ delivered…Henry’s script sketches their lives in hilariously tragic detail…Director Christopher Burris has a ton of fun with the circumstances Henry has provided, and the actors fully commit to the wacky ride. There is a frenetic, giddy, energy to the staging, and choreographer Joya Powell manages to make every woman’s movement incredibly distinct and revealing.” Full Review
"The genuinely interesting drama as well as the twerking, winning, etc. are all live...It’s much more than a contest. It’s about how hard it is to get to a position of wealth and control over your life. It’s about women whose opinions are strong and not at all diminished by the power of sexual expression which they possess...For me, there was the happiness of a linear, unedited story, something which reality shows have tried to take away." Full Review
"Far from perfect; jaded souls might argue it’s far from good. Yes, 'Ducklings' has rough edges, but it’s also a sneaky charmer...The director could have quickened the pace a little...It’s exciting to see a new play that doesn’t involve middle-class neuroses, meta-storytelling or tasteful indie-rock-accented scene changes. When the women finally dive into Joya Powell’s choreography and strut their stuff, it’s almost impossible not to applaud their spirited, high-energy display." Full Review
See it if You like plays with dancing; beautifully staged! A smart take on "celebrity" and what people will do to achieve it. Good acting & writing.
Don't see it if You prefer shows with high production values and with no raw edges.
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