THE LAST DUCK
“My friend, Paul, in one of his better known gospels, makes the argument that, that, indeed,
everything will be known to us. That one day, we will be known to ourselves. I’m not so
At the cold and muddy edges of a ruined lake, Gerry, an actor, and Royall, a writer, engage
in a battle of whiskey and wits, but only one knows the true end game. Tense and precise,
the play follows the unexpected and dramatic events of a single night between strangers. In
this world premiere production, the actors will alternate roles nightly, illuminating the
psychological differences of and between each character as well as within the story itself.
Neff’s swift, muscular dialogue hammers at the moral constructs of our society and does so
with a breathless, unceasing tension that begs the question, “Given the choice, given the
chance... what would you really do?"
L to R: Pat Whalen & Andrew Burden Swanson. Photos by Jessie Young Photography
MARTI LYONS was born in Chicago and spent her early childhood unknowingly just a few
blocks from Lucas Neff. Marti recently directed the Chicago premiere of Brainpeople by Jose
Rivera, assistant directed Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting at Lookingglass Theatre Company,
attended the Lincoln Center Directors Lab in NYC, associate directed Old Times with
Kimberly Senior, directed Cities of Light at Piven Theatre Workshop, and directed Children of
a Lesser God at Oakton Community College. This spring in addition to directing The Last
Duck for Jackalope Theatre Company, Marti will assistant direct for Michael Patrick
Thornton on Will Eno's Oh, the Humanity (and other exclamations) at The Gift Theatre. Marti
serves as the Literary Manager and Company Dramaturg for Lookingglass Theatre
LUCAS NEFF hails from the city of Chicago where he is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and the UIC dept. of the Performing Arts. He is thrilled to be back working in the Chicago storefront scene, where he started his career as an actor. Currently, he can be seen working on the Fox TV program Raising Hope, which is just finishing airing its second season. He's written several plays and might write several more. He was very glad to be welcomed into the the rehearsal room by a great director and cast. Many thanks to Jackalope Theatre for their incredible work and support throughout this process as well to his family and friends. And to his dogs, without whom he would be just another lost stray. Love to all who need it.
Scenic Designer Roger Wykes
Properties Designer Jesse Gaffney
Lighting Designer Mac Vaughey
Sound Designer Chris Kriz
Costume Designer Emma Weber
Production Stage Manager Krissy Larson
ASM/AD/PA Rosa Pasquarella
Technical Director Josh Lambert
The Last Duck sweeps Chicago with stellar reviews
★★★ - Chicago Tribune
"There are no protective publicists when Neff sits alone at the computer, typing. And he most certainly can write... Neff benefits from the very tight direction of Marti Lyons - this play moves at a blistering pace... And he also has two terrific Chicago actors baring their souls in a most satisfying fashion..."
Chicago Reader Recommended "...structural ingenuity, intellectual rigor, and linguistic adroitness give Lucas Neff's dazzling new play a bracing immediacy. Neff infuses his seemingly rudderless dialogue with visceral unease (something is very wrong in this cabin) and profound moral indeterminacy."
- Justin Hayford
Time Out Recommended
"...this is a tightly plotted comic thriller with a tense culmination...Marti Lyons helms a well-appointed and smartly paced production-or productions. Neff stipulates that the two actors alternate roles nightly; Lyons and her talented cast make the dual iterations seem quite distinct, with Andrew Burden Swanson and Pat Whalen clearly distinguishing their characterizations."
- Kris Vire
"The night I saw the play, Whalen was playing Royall and Swanson was Gerry. Each seemed perfectly suited for those particular parts: Whalen captured Royall's neurotic intensity and Swanson Gerry's more loutish lack of awareness. But each also brought so much skill to the table that I would love to see them in the opposite roles too. Lucky for them, Neff has written a play that's twisty enough to be worth seeing twice."
- Alex Huntsberger