Award-winning acting company to perform Shakespeare in Santa Fe

“What’s that Ducdame? ‘Tis a Greek invocation, to call fools into a circle,” or so says Jacques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

Ducdame is also an award- winning theater ensemble coming to Santa Fe. The founders are artists spread across three countries and two continents: all of whom are graduates of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts’s Master’s Degree in Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre program.

One of the Ducdame members—Ariana Karp— is a dear friend. We met Ariana when she was 14 and apprentice-directing a production of Shaw’s Androcles and the Lion. She brought incredible insight to the play and amazing enthusiasm for the project. You wanted to hang around in the back of the theater just so you could soak up the vibe. 

Years passed, we acted together in a mixed-age production of King Lear and had a blast. Then, not long after she got out of college, we directed Macbeth together. There is nothing more bonding than co-directing the Scottish Play! We geeked out on textual details.

Then off she went to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art: LAMDA.

And here’s where collaboration and magic converge. 

Santa Fe is a hotbed of Shakespeare nerds. The thriving Shakespeare community includes the Shakespeare Close Readers group, the Upstart Crows of Santa Fe (a youth Shakespeare troupe), the Santa Fe Playhouse, the Santa Fe Shakespeare Society, the Lensic, the Jean Cocteau, and the Screen – more than we can name.

And now Shakespeare’s First Folio was coming to Santa Fe, courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library and the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibit, First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare will be at the New Mexico Museum of Art in February 2016. Event planning went into overdrive! ISC board member Anna went off to London for a summer Shakespeare course at LAMDA, and one hot Wednesday while having roast duck at Yin Yang, it hit us. What if LAMDA were be part of the First Folio celebrations in Santa Fe? The fortune cookie said, “Wednesday is your lucky day!”

Really.

E-mails were sent, phone calls were made, Anna met with Joanna Read, LAMDA’s principal in London. It was all coming together. If only, said Joanna, there were people who could demonstrate the LAMDA teaching style at workshops held in Santa Fe. 

So we picked up the phone and called dear Ariana. Yes,-she’d love to come. So would much of her amazing New York-based acting company, Ducdame, which had just won an award at the NYFringe festival.

So this is how we know Ducdame. Ariana grew up, trained at LAMDA, made friends at the conservatory, and formed an acting company with those friends when they returned to the States. The First Folio is destined for Santa Fe revving up all the Shakespeare adrenaline. Anna met with Joanna at LAMDA. Santa Fe is full of Shakespeare nerds. The ISC formed. We’ve created a circle of organizations.

And the fortune cookie said it was our lucky day.