In Between the Acts, The Globe and Mail takes a look at how artists manage their time before and after a creative endeavour.
She's best known for her performances in the films Capote and Police Academy, but the career of Araby Lockhart reaches back to 1947, when she acted at Hart House Theatre at the University of Toronto under artistic director Robert Gill. In April, the 91-year-old actress will co-star in a fundraising production of Morris Panych's Vigil in Clarksburg, Ont. Lockhart spoke to The Globe and Mail about a performance that will be both a comeback and swan song.
If this article appears in The Globe and Mail, the reaction among the people reading it will be, "My God, is she still alive?" I mean, all my friends have gone. But, anyway.
The last work I did was in 2007 or 2008, on television. I can't remember the last time I appeared on stage. I used to tour the country. That's all in the past now.
I have five kids. All the tribe is coming up to see it, because some of my grandchildren have never seen me perform. It's a lot of pressure on me, but I'm used to it. I do lots of tai chi – about four hours a week. So, I'm in fairly good nick.
When I started, after the Second World War, people weren't used to going to the theatre. We'd play out West and some of these people had never seen theatre before. They'd chat. They couldn't believe you were real, you know?
As an actress, I hope I'm more sophisticated than I was – more restrained.
I love comedy. But I did every kind of show. My favourite play was Another Season's Promise, by Anne Chislett and Keith Roulston.
It was about the farms in Ontario, when the banks came in and sold farmers these huge tractors, which they couldn't afford. They lost their farms. It was a ghastly time.
The play I'm doing, Vigil, suits me down to the ground. Of course, I'm in bed. I'm sure I've seen it somewhere along the line, ages ago. And I certainly know Morris Panych, who is a terrific writer. Paul Brown, who I am sure has played my son a thousand times, is going to direct it.
So, it's going to be great fun. Though, in this role, I've got to die in the play. I will die, as one does.
You live this absolutely superb life, and God, we're lucky to be here in Canada. It's been a good ride. I've had a super life, actually.
The Marsh Street Centre and Loft Gallery presents Vigil, April 6 to 15 (marshstreetcentre.com).