Isn’t it funny that a Duck can have the answer to a lot of Questions?

Well it all began with this mini-play that I laid my hands on called The Duck Variations by David Mamet. I had been earlier impressed with Oleanna, by Mamet, and his works in Cinema (IMdB) .

And that coupled with the fact that I had always been fascinated by these plays where 2 actors sit on a park bench, casting their ‘thought-nets’ onto the whole wide world, which is racing past and around them.

Trivia 1,2,3:

  1. Evam had nearly produced The Zoo Story [Edward Albee], as its debut production (Shoo Shaan & I chose ART instead after much deliberation and divine intervention).
  2. And I had tread upon Waiting for Godot [Sam Beckett]with my favorite co-actor TMK (aka Karthik Srinivasan) , and I had even made a trip to go to Mumbai and meet Benjamin Gilani (one of the cast members of India’s favorite version of Godot along with Naseerudin Shah) to discuss how to crack that play! He was so generous to have his time wasted by a young and eager actor (me!)whose time surely hadn’t come…
  3. And watching Arundhati Raja’s production of Atol Fugart’s Valley Song was one of my memorable experiencesas a theatre audience – the actors were on song and in tune!

And when The Duck Variations came to me, I fell in love…

It was not indulgent like Godot, nor as (life)energy sapping as Zoo Story.

I felt that Duck in fact, gave me hope – made me optimistic, buoyant and made me believe that Life could be cracked – one just had to be light footed in order to fly :D

So I started off my personal journey to convince Evam (including myself) that Duck is a journey worth venturing on – because it will achieve the following purposes

(the following section is in bullet points because organizations and fellow investors always like to see the benefits enumerated in logical tangible points)

  • It will be worth Evam’s time and energy to create a production like The Duck Variations, to be able to give their audiences a variety – from ART to Oh God, this should be a new frontier
  • Duck (for me) should stand for Hope, Happiness and making meaning out of Life and its journey, along with making sure tomorrow is always better than today, and living a today that’s better than yesterday J
  • And I will direct it… and use some of Evam’s favorite actors to tell the story of Duck

So here we are on trail of the Duck… trying to create magic out of Mamet’s text – our should we say pulling out the Magic resident within his words, while adding our own spirit to make the potion unique and deadly…

I invite all of you (who are obviously reading this) to join us in this journey – mine as a solo director, Evam’s venture into the ‘different’ and that of my actors’ who will be shedding and undoing a lot of themselves…

I will make sure you hear everything – my actors’ talk and fight, my music man vent, my team scream their views…. And you promise me your hand and mind in shaping this baby!

Join us as we try and make sense of this journey – that of the Duck, of music, of poetry and of Life…

What is the Duck all about…

Where is the Duck leading me…

Following the Duck…

Karthik Kumar

Jan, 2008.

About EVAM

Founded in 2003 by Sunil Vishnu K. and Karthik Kumar, ‘evam’ today is a profitable young thriving arts organization making people believe in the power of the Arts.
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2 Responses to Isn’t it funny that a Duck can have the answer to a lot of Questions?

  1. emilvarec says:

    And the duck happened…funnily for me, this is the first play of evam I’m in, without my ‘bestest’ co-actor Karthik, on stage! but , in a different version, a ‘director-only’, and Boy! do we see a passionate director!! he just lives and breathes this play…go jus a lil easy on urself dude(!)

    and i need to confess…sometimes when he shows us his expressions for George and Emil and how he wants it..i just sit back sometimes and enjoy his performance as an audience member(!),

    and now my take till date…

    George and Emil —I feel that the play is about A AND B , not A OR B or A VERSUS B. And also, they should represent the concepts they are stating and standing for , instead of A putting up a point(say the ‘ducks life is not easy’…) .The fact is,we are never talking about the duck. Isn’t the duck just a device , a dialog , a hold-on? Is the duck there at all?

    The play is about George and Emil and the fight against the ‘George’ in Emil and Emil’s desperation not to see ‘that’ George in him and vice versa. Isn’t it about the ‘symbiotic’ relationship they share?

    Ideas thrown around….A rap duet feel for the ‘Cantaloupe,antelope’ variation
    The Slow dissolve feel for “yeaaaah…truuueee’, “that what I’m saying….”

    and finally..a dedication :)

    Duckinations-a reflection on Life ?

    Once upon a time, I was searching for Life
    Of its many winding ways, of its myriad hues
    The path was strewn with delight and strife
    Strange in its ways, fraught with hidden clues

    A friend walked in, forever to stay
    to hold my hand and lead my way
    what will I be , or who will I play?
    A dream in his heart ,to gift me my day

    we crossed the wild seas of fun and comedy
    we thought within us, we fought in its glee
    and just when we asked what more do we try
    The Duck gave its wings and taught us to fly


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