Theatre in Review

Buffalo Theatre Ensemble presented a two act play at the McIninch Art Center in Glen Ellyn titled Time Stands Still this past weekend and I was fortunate enough to see the opening night performance. The entire play is set in a Brooklyn loft apartment that really serves well in creating a New York feel. The cast is power packed though small as four actors take on the roles of two couples in this story that mostly centers around the pair living in the loft though the other couple is still strongly placed in the story line.

As the story is described, Sarah, a photo journalist, is recovering in the Brooklyn apartment she shares with her foreign correspondent boyfriend James after being injured by a roadside bomb while covering the Iraq war. When they receive a visit from their photo editor friend Richard and his young new girlfriend Mandy, it forces Sarah and James to re-examine their relationship, and address the ethics of journalism in a world torn by conflict and suffering.

Times Stand Still is powerful and comes with acting is of very high caliber, each actor as impressive as the next. I never actually felt like I was watching actors, which in itself is testament to the players’ convincing performances. This play provides four very believable characters, and all decidedly different. It is also thought-provoking a play that prompts some very interesting conversations going on during the intermission. Written by Donald Margulies with Connie Canaday Howard serving as the production and artistic director, Time Stands Still is well-produced in every way. College of DuPage alumni Chris Kriz handles the play’s original music as sound composer and designer while Michael W. Moon does a fantastic job with scenic design, and Claire Chrzan with lighting design.

The central character, if you could say there was one, was Sarah Goodwin, played by Lisa Dawn, who has done work with BTE before. I found her character the most controversial in many ways. Having said that, the audience may have disagreed. In talking to, and overhearing, audience members afterward it appeared many had differences of opinions, the play encouraging some good conversation – always the mark of a good script.

Amanda Raudabaugh, played by Mandy Bloom, is also a provocative character. She is the new wife of Richard Ehrlich, played by another BTE veteran, Kurt Naebig. Brad Lawrence played James Dodd, who was the other half of the couple with Goodwin.

I don’t think two people could walk away with the same description of what they took from this play. Personal and moral values are questioned by the characters in the cast, as well as the audience. There are also some light-hearted moments, though the subject matter was anything but light. The story really makes you think and really puts into question your own thinking. How would you handle yourself if you were put in the position of the central character?

If you are looking for something light and funny, check out another play. If you do enjoy pondering over real issues, get yourself a ticket. Actually, go see it for yourself. Not everyone is going to walk away with the same perspective of this engaging story. The talented Buffalo Theater Ensemble does yet another a great job with this one. Time Stands Still show will be at The MAC on the grounds of the College of DuPage until March 4th and comes highly recommend. It just might make you think.

For more info on this play visit http://www.atthemac.org/.

Published in Theatre in Review

AstonRep Theatre Company will conclude its 2016-17 mainstage season with the Tony-nominated drama TIME STANDS STILL by Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies, directed by Georgette Verdin, playing May 11 – June 11, 2017 at The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St. in Chicago. Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 1, 2017 at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129. 

 

TIME STANDS STILL will feature Rob Frankel, Sara Pavlak McGuire, Kirra Silver and Robert Tobin.

 

TIME STANDS STILL focuses on Sarah and James, a photojournalist and a foreign correspondent trying to find happiness in a world that seems to have gone crazy. Theirs is a partnership based on telling the toughest stories, and together, making a difference. But when their own story takes a sudden turn, the adventurous couple confronts the prospect of a more conventional life. TIME STANDS STILL is a witty, intelligent look at what happens when ordinary life is refracted through the lens of war.

 

The production team for TIME STANDS STILL includes: Jeremiah Barr* (scenic design), Arielle Valene (costume design), Samantha Barr* (lighting design), Ray Kasper* (sound design), Matthew Nerber (asst. director) and Melanie Kulas (stage manager).

 

*Denotes AstonRep Company Members.

 

PRODUCTION DETAILS:

Title: TIME STANDS STILL

Playwright: Donald Margulies

Director: Georgette Verdin

Cast: Rob Frankel (Richard Ehrlich), Sara Pavlak McGuire (Sarah Goodwin), Kirra Silver (Mandy Bloom) and Robert Tobin (James Dodd).

 

Location: The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday, May 11 at 8 pm and Friday, May 12 at 8 pm

Press performance: Saturday, May 13 at 8 pm

Regular run: Sunday, May 14 – Sunday, June 11, 2017

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3:30 pm

Tickets: Previews: $10. Regular run: $20. Student/seniors $15. Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 1, 2017 at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129.

 

About the Artists

 

Donald Margulies' (Playwright) plays include Brooklyn Boy, Dinner with Friends, Sight Unseen, Collected Stories, The Loman Family Picnic, God Of Vengeance, The Model Apartment, What's Wrong with this Picture? and Found a Peanut. He has won a Lucille Lortel Award, an American Theatre Critics Award, two Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards, two OBIE Awards, two Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Awards, five Drama Desk Award nominations, two Pulitzer Prize nominations and one Pulitzer Prize. His works have been performed on and off Broadway; at major theatres across the U.S. including South Coast Repertory, Manhattan Theatre Club, Primary Stages, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Long Wharf Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival; and in Paris, London, Rome, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Sydney, Berlin, Vienna and many other cities around the world. Mr. Margulies is an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild of America. He is an adjunct professor of English and Theatre Studies at Yale University.

 

Georgette Verdin (Director) is thrilled to be working with Aston Rep for the first time. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Interrobang Theatre Project, as well as the founding theatre teacher at Polaris Charter Academy, an Expeditionary Learning School in West Humboldt Park. Recent directing credits include: Interrobang's Jeff Recommended Recent Tragic Events and their production of the 2013 Yale Drama Series Winner Still. Georgette holds a Masters in Directing from Roosevelt University and a B.A. in Theatre Performance from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. 

 

About AstonRep Theatre Company:

 

AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced 18 full-length productions and eight annual Writer’s Series.  AstonRep is an ensemble of artists creating theatre to move and engage our audiences and spark discussion through new works and re-imagined classics in an intimate setting.

 

Published in Upcoming Theatre

 

 

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