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“Time Stands Still,” Donald Margulies’ witty, insightful look at what happens when ordinary life is refracted through the lens of war, opens the Snowy Range Summer Theatre June 11-15 at 7:30 p.m. in the University of Wyoming Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts (formerly Fine Arts Building) Studio Theatre.
For tickets, call the Wyoming Union or Performing Arts Center box offices at (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts. The performance is recommended for mature audiences.
“Time Stands Still” is a moving and often hilarious story of relationships from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Dinner With Friends.” Directed by UW Department of Theatre and Dance Professor Rebecca Hilliker, this Broadway hit follows longtime partners Sarah, a photojournalist, and James, a foreign correspondent, who share a passion for documenting the realities of war. But when circumstances force the adventurous couple to return home to New York to convalesce, they must confront the prospect of a more conventional life together.
Hilliker says the play raises ethical quandaries about people’s belief systems.
“What happens to people’s emotions and sense of self when they have lived in a war zone for so long under such harsh conditions?” asks Hilliker. “How do they then come home and just fit into the normal moral and physical environment of the United States with all of the comforts of home, and find meaning in their work when it’s no longer life-or-death?”
The play also examines the ethics of being the observer and documentarian who depicts such scenes of violence, but has no direct relationship to them.
“When you are taking photos of people who spiritually need to be left alone in a moment of extremity, who are you?” asks Hilliker. “And, if you step outside of the role of observer to offer help in some way, who are you then? The play asks some very serious questions about those ethical considerations.”
But such questions are only one element of the story. “Time Stands Still” bears witness to the human experience in all its facets, from the exhilaration and danger of living on the front lines to the gentle intimacies of domestic life.
“The play is much funnier than I had anticipated because of this contrast between the couples and, also, because it legitimately asks why coming to terms with a quieter life and choosing to find joy in simple things can’t be just as a valuable as documenting human suffering and war. Because, ultimately, it can be,” Hilliker says.
The production features guest artists, and Actors' Equity Association performers Caryn Flanagan and John O’Hagan play Sara and James. Jason Pasqua, a UW alumnus and head of theatre at Laramie County Community College, plays Richard, their stateside photo editor friend. Ann Mason, a UW alumna and California-based performer, plays Mandy, Richard’s much younger, carefree wife, who is an event planner.