As the play begins, the members of a small-town community theatre are assembling to begin rehearsals of Ibsen's The Wild Duck. Harry Budd, a local photographer, is to play Hjalmar Ekdahl (also a photographer); his real life daughter, Sophie, is playing Ekdahl's daughter, Hedvig; and his on-again, off-again mistress, Rosie Norris, will portray his wife in the play—while his real wife, Margaret, who is sitting this one out, limits her participation to caustic remarks from the sidelines. Margaret has strong suspicions about Harry's relationship with Rosie and is not above letting these be known. Also on hand are Harry's father, Nathan, who knows more about what's going on than he is willing to admit (and who wishes that the other would go away so he can watch TV); and, finally, the pompously manipulative director of the play, John Sharp, who, as it happens, once had an affair with Margaret and would like to revive their now dormant passion. As the rehearsals progress so do the complications, revelations and recriminations, until little lies have ballooned into big lies, and things are about to burst. Fortunately wise old grandfather Nathan is on hand to straighten things out, which, as the play reaches its warmly funny conclusion, he does by reminding the others that while illusion may play a part in all their lives, it is reality that, in the final essence, they must cope with.
"…considerable fun at the expense of community theatre, small-town double standards, and Ibsen himself." —NY Times.
"Israel Horovitz's joy in playwriting infects YEAR OF THE DUCK…" —BackStage.
"This is exactly the kind of play that makes you feel good about the theatre…" —NY Post.