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And So It Goes

And So It Goes
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: George F. Walker
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 128
Pub. Date: 2010
ISBN-10: 889226547
ISBN-13: 9780889226548
About the Play:

And So It Goes is a full-length comedic drama by George F. Walker. A dark comedy that follows Ned and Gwen, their schizophrenic daughter, Karen, and their "therapist" (Kurt Vonnegut as a mental apparition), as Karen's condition and its repercussions unravel their lives.

And So It Goes is an allegory of our post-9/11 lives, but also a paean to the will that carries us through our darkest hours. Newly unemployed baby boomers Gwen and Ned appear to be completely different people: Gwen, a practical, down-to-earth Latin teacher; Ned, an impractical investment advisor constantly dreaming up new ventures for making money. But appearances can be deceiving, as their son Alex, who left home years ago, and their daughter Karen, recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, can attest. Unable to maintain the façade of their former middle-class lifestyle, Gwen and Ned search for a new life in vain, not realizing that they have become redundant — they speak dead languages. Both seek solace from the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut, but he can't help them in a world where the former universals of language and commerce no longer exist as foils for his sardonic humanism.

Of all the voices she hears, those of her parents have become least relevant to Karen, because they seem to her to be concerned only with what they feel about their daughter's "condition," and not with what she is experiencing within that condition. "I'm scared," we hear Karen say as the play opens, and her fear is both justified and infectious. As the play progresses her parents discover to their horror that Karen has been living the life of a drug-addicted prostitute during her illness, lashing out at threats that aren't there, but unable to defend herself against those that ultimately result in her brutal murder.

And So It Goes, a title derived from Vonnegut's signature observation on the vagaries of life, is not only an allegory of our post-literate, post-9/11 lives, in which social order has collapsed, random violence is ubiquitous, "the authorities" have become hypocritically indifferent if not downright irrelevant to our security, and we have all become "scared," but also a paean to the human will that carries each of us through our darkest hours.

And So It Goes was first performed in early 2010 at Factory Theatre in Toronto, Ontario.

Cast: 2 women, 2 men.

What people say:

"Walker's questions are, as always, more philosophical than political, and the answers are hidden far from sight in the dark corners and alleyways of the urban landscape … Oh — and did I mention it's a comedy." — Globe & Mail

"Using mental illness as a metaphor for a sick society is tricky, but if anyone can pull it off, it's George F. Walker ... [his] dialogue is sharp, and his depiction of an upside-down economic and psychological world hits us with brutal tragicomic force." — NOW Magazine

About the Playwright:

George F. Walker is one of Canada's most prolific and widely produced playwrights. His work has been honoured with eight Chalmers Awards and five Dora Awards. His plays Criminals in Love and Nothing Sacred each won Governor General's Awards for Drama. Productions of Nothing Sacred and Love and Anger have met with great success in the United States in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago. Zastrozzi has had over 100 productions in the English-speaking world. Problem Child, included in his book, Suburban Motel, won a Chalmers Award for Best New Play.

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