“And so it goes” was a play that shocked and rocked the house. The playwright both directed and written by George F walker was amazing and showed us all the both the inner good and evil of human civilization. The story shows the fall and rise of a typical North American family. With great highs and lows the playwright “and so it goes” was surly one that left the factory theatre gasping for air. George F. Walker could have done any typical drama with over used themes but he decided to tap into themes that not a soul would feel comfortable with and turned it into a work of art, capturing the heart and soul of every single member of the audience. The theme “the depletion of wealth” really touched us all. In our North American society we often associate ourselves with the American dream, to obtain materialistic wealth and riches. We as a society believe that wealth brings eternal happiness. The play “and so it goes” illustrates a middle class family entering financial struggles. Through tough economic and rough times the family endures great hardship exemplifying the lowest of lows. The story introduces a new perspective on homelessness. George F. Walker treads into water that a normal writer wouldn’t dare to enter, showing the true dark side and evil that we as human beings possess. With all materialistic wealth and even family taken away, Walker creates an atmosphere both horrific and tragic. With all the hardships the family goes through somehow, just somehow, Walker is able to shine some light on the situation creating a sense of relief for the audience. Walker uses the metaphorical term “there is always light at the end of the tunnel” as a symbol to show that no matter what the family had to endure, by sticking together and grasping on sanity they were able to smile in a bittersweet ending that left the audience in a sense of amazement. The theme of perseverance outlasted all the negative things that had consumed their damaged lives.
The play begins with a happy opening set, the two characters in focus, the father and daughter. The father and daughter are sitting in the room, when she suspects someone of stealing their car. This is the turning point and where the story begins, dramatic irony occurs as at this time we begin to know that there was no thief but merely a repo man claiming possessions. With the families fortune going down the drain everything begins to spiral out of control. The father loses his job and the finances for this one middle class family is now destroyed; if that weren’t enough George F.Walker put a dramatic twist introducing the daughter as schizophrenic patient. The mother finds herself talking to a dead writer, it seems like nothing is working to the benefit of the family at this point. To top it all off the daughter is brutally killed. With a family that has lost everything the father has nothing but a loaded pistol the memories of his once normal family. Cocking the gun while in his cold hands he begins to question whether to seek revenge or commit suicide. With nothing to live for the couple find them at a shelter living life at an all time low. Each day a survival mission from themselves and the emotions they were feeling. The father becomes a tyrant and lost all sense of morals in his meagre pathetic life.
In the play “and so it goes” the actors portrayed each character well, mainly the two characters that really shined in the production was Jenny Young playing Karen, the unstable daughter, she shows the many sides of Karen from different angles. In terms of personality and emotion. Creating a realistic atmosphere. Through Young’s body language and projection of voice within the production she made it clear that Karen’s character was not the typical character. Fighting though bipolar mood disorders and schizophrenia. Another character that should be noted that did very well was Peter Donaldson as the father, in each and every scene he was able to capture the audiences emotions and draw a sense of empathetic emotion towards his character, Donaldson was just amazing the playing the part of Ned. Not as highlighted but still two strong actors comes Martha Burns playing the mother and Jerry Franken playing the imaginary friend Vonnegut. These two actors both had believability, body language and vocal quality but it was the characters they portrayed that had less effect on the audience as Young and Donaldson’s character.
“and so it goes” overall had great technical aspects overall such as blocking, costumes and make-up but in my personal opinion the lighting and the set were horrible. In terms of the blocking each position the characters had on the stage worked really well. Costumes of the characters were both believable and worked really well with the characters role. Overall the production team did a great job making the actors look like the characters they were trying to portray and the way they set up the blocking just exemplified the greatness of this production. The one personal issue I had with this act was the lighting, it was just on and off. The entire production consisted of short scenes backed up with horrible transitional music and a general fade out of lighting. At times the music was appropriate but sometimes the music took away from the dramatic tension that they play gave the audience. The problem of music mainly consisted in the second half, where after every dramatic scene , the transition included some horrible elevator music that brought annoyance to not only me but it seemed like the entire audience.
In conclusion the play “and so it goes” did well on establishing itself and was a play that I can only describe with one word, “bold”. George F. Walker attempted to create an atmosphere that not many writers would dare to go, thus creating a play enjoyed by what seems to be the entire audience. Gripping to every moment, I can personally say that this production was one for the ages.