(Above: Photo by Richard Scheeland. Left to right, Kari Welch, Sarah Glidden, Damon Noyes and Joel Albrecht make up the cast for The Very Little Theatre production of “Time Stands Still.”)
By Randi Bjornstad
Good news for those who thought they might miss The Very Little Theatre’s production of “Time Stands Still,” now onstage in the theater’s small Stage Left space: One more performance has been added, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20.
Give Mother’s Day either the blame or the praise for the additional opportunity.
“We canceled the performance (on) Mother’s Day, as very few were buying tickets — no surprise,” VLT spokesman Scott Barkhurst said. “So that’s why we added the Saturday, May 20, to make up for it.”
And it’s working, he said, with half the seats in the smaller space already sold.
Donald Margulies wrote “Time Stands Still,” a story of the way the lives people plan for themselves sometimes suddenly become interrupted and how everything seems to come to a full stop as they struggle to recover, adjust or otherwise figure out how to go on.
In this play, a young war photographer named Sarah is covering the war in Iraq when the vehicle she’s in is blown up by an IED — improvised explosive device — killing several of the passengers and also nearly ending her life and career.
Sarah’s partner, a journalist named James, also has suffered war-related trauma, and the plot centers on their struggle to maintain their relationship at the same time that they rebuild their lives.
They’re helped by two friends, a photo editor and publisher named Richard and his new, much-younger girlfriend Mandy, who works as an events organizer. The play opened on Broadway in January 2010 for a two-month run. It reopened in a different theater in September 2010 for another four months. Laura Linney played Sarah in both productions and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress. The play also received a Tony nomination for Best Play.
James Aday, who directs the VLT version, was drawn to the subject matter because “journalists working in conflict zones, especially in the 21st century landscape of constant warfare, face many of the same dangers and experience many of the same horrors as military personnel.”
Not only are they targeted by hostile governments and civilian factions, they also face possible kidnapping and even execution as they do their jobs with minimal or no armed protection, Aday said.
He admires Margulies’ ability to weave a compelling story around the issue, including the subject of coming back to a non-military life where journalists also may be suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The play also raises “one question that is difficult to settle,” Aday said, which is “why some journalists will repeatedly return to conflicts after even the most intense traumas, with an apparent disregard for their personal safety.”
The actors in “Time Stands Still” at The VLT are Kari Welch as Sarah, Sarah Glidden as Mandy, Damon Noyes as James and Joel Albrecht as Richard.
Time Stands Still
Added performance: 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20
Where: The Very Little Theatre, 2350 Hilyard St.
Tickets: $12, available at the box office, 541-344-7751, or online at TheVLT.com/
Note: Because of mature subject matter and language, parental discretion is advised regarding the appropriateness of “Time Stands Still” for younger playgoers