Tom Block's, Duck , Presented by IRT Theater
IRT Theater
New York, NY
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Tom Block's, Duck , Presented by IRT Theater
IN RESIDENCE: October 15  November 4, 2019

Duck follows the internal struggle of a CIA statistician who learns that 1% can be the difference between life and death. He tries to understand what loyalty means  to whom, and at what cost. Under periods of great stress, he loses the ability to speak and instead quacks at people like a duck.

Friday, October 18 (8 pm)
Saturday, October 19 (8 pm)
Sunday, October 20 (2 pm)
Wednesday, October 23 (8 pm)
Thursday, Oct. 24 (8 pm)
Friday, October 25 (8 pm)
Saturday, October 26 (8 pm)
Sunday, October 27 (2 pm)
Monday, October 28 (8 pm)
Wednesday, October 30 (8 pm)
Friday, November 1 (8 pm)
Saturday, November 2 (8 pm)
Sunday, November 3 (2 pm)
LENGTH OF SHOW: 70 minutes
PRICE: $20.00
At IRT:154 Christopher st. NYC #3B (third floor)

Playwright: Tom Block
Director: Katrin Hilbe +
Scenic: Jefferson Ridenour
Costumes: Cathy Small
Lighting: Joyce Liao
Sound: Andy Evan Cohen
Fight Manager: Michael Hagins
Stage Manager: Perri Sparano

DUCK: Michael Sean Cirelli
CRUMB: Tom Paolino*
ABBIE/TESS/SUSAN: Kellye Rowland
DOCTOR/WEIGERT: Annemarie Hagenaars
FRATES: Paula Rossman*

* Appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association
+ Member SDC (Stage Directors and Choreographers Society)

Duck (Billy) has reached the end of his rope and only communicates by quacking. After a career in the CIA, 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 Ducks boss.Crumb lost faith in the system, leaving his younger brother to kill for reasons of state while 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 and tries to befriend him. Crumb tires of the game and drags Duck off the bench to take a voyage through Ducks past, so he can understand how he found himself there.

Duck sees the man he had killed in Damascus (probably innocent), watches his father (once an eminent neurobiologist, but now decimated with Alzheimers 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 bullied him when they were alone together.

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

We end where we began: with Duck, Crumb and Abbie in the plays 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.

Tom Block (Playwright): is a playwright, author of five books, 25+ year exhibiting visual artist and Founding Producer of New York Citys International Human Rights Art Festival ( His plays have been developed and produced at such venues as the Ensemble Studio Theater, HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, Urban Stages, Theater for the New City, Theater Row, Drama League, Wild Project and many others. He is the Founding Producer of NYCs International Human Rights Art Festival; was a Research Fellow at DePaul University (2010), LABA Fellow (NY, 2013-14) and Hamiltonian Fellow (2008-09).

Katrin Hilbe (Director): directs opera and theatre, working both in the US and in Europe. Her Richard Strauss SALOME for New Orleans Opera won Best Opera Production 2012. She won the Hilton Edwards Award for best direction and adaptation at the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival. Between 2007-2010 Katrin was the primary Assistant Director for Richard Wagners DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN under the direction of Tankred Dorst at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany.

Reviewers have said of Tom Blocks plays that they offer a fascinating and rewarding look at the multiple dimensions of faith, theory, and inspiration and if youd like to explore where theater will be ten years from now, it is probably worth a look.

IRT Theater is a grassroots laboratory for independent theater and performance in New York City, providing space and support to a new generation of artists. Tucked away in the old Archive Building in Greenwich Village,  IRTs mission is to build a community of emerging and established artists by creating a home for the development and presentation of new work. Some of the artists we have supported include Young Jean Lee, Reggie Watts and Mike Daisey.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts, and The Nancy Quinn Fund, a project of ART-NY.


PLEASE NOTE: All sales final and there is no late seating at IRT Theater.
***IRT is a fully wheelchair-accessible facility.***


IRT Theater (View)
154 Christopher Street #3B
New York, NY 10014
United States


Arts > Performance
Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: IRT Theater
On BPT Since: Nov 09, 2009
Kori Rushton