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Amina Henry's DUCKLINGS to Tackle Personal Dignity at JACK

JACK presents the world premiere of Ducklings by Amina Henry, running May 25 - June 10, 2017.

In this new play by Amina Henry (The Animals), four plucky finalists are competing for the Dance Hall Queen of Pittsburgh crown, including reigning Queen Rihanna T, determined librarian Donna, revolutionary romantic Rihanna P, and young mother Bunny. 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? What moves do you have to be willing to make? Ducklings explores the complexity of what it means to be a woman within the current American capitalist system.


by Amina Henry

Katchana Agama
Quilan Arnold
Khalia Davis*
Cristina Pitter
Cole Taylor
Victoria Wallace
*Appearing Courtesy of Actors Equity Association

Director: Christopher Burris
Choreographer: Joya Powell
Set Design: Christina Tang
Lighting Design: Jason Fok
Sound Design: Andy Evan Cohen
Costume Design: Sabrina Bianca Guillaume

Thursday, May 25 at 8 pm
Friday, May 26 at 8 pm
Saturday, May 27 at 8 pm
Thursday, June 1 at 8 pm
Friday, June 2 at 8 pm
Saturday, June 3 at 8 pm
Wednesday, June 7 at 8 pm
Thursday, June 8 at 8 pm
Friday, June 9 at 8 pm
Saturday, June 10 at 8 pm

LOCATION: JACK | 505 ½ Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238 | C or G train to Clinton-Washington

TICKETS: $18 (


Amina Henry (Playwright) is a Brooklyn-based playwright and producer. Productions include: The Animals at JACK, Happily Ever at Brooklyn College, An American Family Takes a Lover at Theater for the New City, Water, produced by Drama of Works and The Minstrel Show, produced as part of the 2013 Bring a Weasel and a Pint of Your Own Blood Festival at 13th Street Theater/CSC (NYC). Her work has been developed by/presented at: The New Group, The Flea, Clubbed Thumb, National Black Theater, Barefoot Theater, Little Theater at Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, The Brick, JACK, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR) and Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX), among others.

Christopher Burris (Director) is an artist and educator. He's an adjunct professor at Pace University, a trainer with Ovation Communications, and a member of Home in the Time of Brooklyn (651 Arts). He directed THE BROTHERS SIZE at Luna Stage which has received five 2016 Broadway World Award nominations including Best Play and Best Director. Other directing credits include the world premiere of GEESE (Samuel D. Hunter) at The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, and WHEN WE WAKE UP DEAD (Dennis A. Allen) at Brooklyn College. Christopher directed POTATO SALAD (Keith Josef Adkins) for the inaugural year of the Obie-winning 48 Hours in Harlem, as well as the first four years of Obie-winning Fire This Time Festival, culminating in their premiere full length production, LORDS RESISTANCE (Camille Darby). As an actor, he has been seen on television (The Guiding Light, As the World Turns), stage (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse), commercials (Dr. Scholl's, ESPN360, NY Post), and a host of voice-overs (including Grand Theft Auto V, McDonald's, AT&T). AEA Member. SDC Associate Member. Twitter/Instagram: @misterburris

Joya Powell (Choreographer) is a native Harlemite and a Choreographer and Educator passionate about community, activism, and dances of the African Diaspora. She is the 2016 recipient of The Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Bessie Award. Her company, Movement of the People, is dedicated to creating Socially Conscious Contemporary Dance Theater, and has performed in venues such as: BAM, Lincoln Center, SummerStage, The Bronx Museum of Arts. She has choreographed such plays as: The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Luna Stage, NJ), Fit for a Queen by Betty Shamieh (The Classical Theatre of Harlem), Ducklings by Amina Henry (The National Black Theatre). Joya is currently a Dancing While Black Fellow, member of the Artistic Resource Group for The Flea Theater, an Adjunct at Hunter College and SUNY Old Westbury as well as a faculty member of Cumbe.

JACK is an OBIE-winning performance venue founded in 2012 in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn by theater-maker Alec Duffy and several co-founders. Our mission is to create radical access to the arts by presenting performance work that reflects the diversity of the city and by involving local residents in the creative process. We present about 200 theater, music and dance performances a year and hold community forums on racial justice, gentrification, and police/community relations. JACK is now co-led by Duffy and DeeArah Wright.

Photo Credit: Laura Rose

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