One-Woman Show: GOING ON

Going On, a solo play written and performed by accomplished Canadian actress Elizabeth Richardson and dramaturged and directed by Stuart Cox will premier in early 2012 in Mexico in San Miguel and Tepoztlan. Going On is a bold, vulnerable and courageous piece of writing, and a tour de force of acting.

Weaving the Threads of Life

Drawing from her own life, Elizabeth counterpoints her struggles as a young actress on a 1970s theatre tour with Peter O’Toole in Toronto, Chicago and Washington–with her later challenges as a Buddhist on a three-year meditation retreat in Nova Scotia.

Youth never understands. That’s what’s so absolutely awful about youth- it never, never understands.

Gary Essendine

in Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter”

In excerpts from her plays with Peter O’Toole, Elizabeth plays classic parts which echo her own life. In Present Laughter by Noel Coward, actor Gary Essendine dumps his latest girlfriend. In real life an actor breaks Elizabeth’s heart.

Oh, don’t you see? Don’t you see, if only I could live the rest of my life in some new way! If I could only wake some still, bright morning and feel that life had begun again: that the past was forgotten and had vanished like smoke. Oh, to begin life anew!

Vanya

in Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya”

Walking on a Different Path

Checkov’s Uncle Vanya expresses the inner emptiness and pain of aging which Elizabeth feels in her own life. She becomes a Buddhist, and it is as if she has come home. But she is also an actress with a desire for fame and admiration. To truly immerse herself in Buddhism she embarks on a three year retreat–the opposite, one might think–of appearing on stage every night. That is certainly what her mother thinks. Elizabeth’s mother, one of a dozen characters in the play, is endearing and poignant with her common sense, pride, and bewilderment at her daughter’s decision to go into long retreat.

We see both the frustrations and the life-affirming inspiration that the retreat provides. Art and life interchange, collide and are reconciled in this moving performance. Elizabeth fills the stage with her ups and downs, successes and failures to share with the audience insights into the paradoxical life of a Buddhist actress.