The Dayton Theatre Guild offers the local premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies’ thought-provoking 2010 Tony Award-nominated drama “Time Stands Still” beginning Friday.
Margulies’ compelling look at career, love and betrayal centers around Sarah Goodwin, an accomplished photojournalist injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Sarah returns home to her writer-boyfriend James, but her recuperation is far from peaceful as she reflects on her future with James while visited by her concerned editor and his new, much younger girlfriend.
“The play is rich with story and character,” said director Debra Kent, who previously staged “And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little,” “A Case of Libel” and “The Story of My Life” for the Guild. “I’ve been a huge fan of the script for a long time. It’s a powerful piece. I think the story resonates with today’s life experiences. It is about a man and a woman who have been together for eight years and who thought they wanted the same things in life. Then when a life-altering experience happens to her, which affects both of them deeply, they discover maybe they do not want the same things after all.”
Kent, a recent standout in the Guild season opener “45 Seconds From Broadway,” particularly enjoyed working with the cast to discover the characters at their core, which helped secure the foundation of the show.
“As a director, it is very satisfying to help my actors find little nuances in the script and in their characters,” she said. “We spend a lot of time talking about the four people in the script — who they are and what their relationships are to each other. And those relationships change during the course of the play, sometimes multiple times. It is exciting to watch the actors’ faces when they discover something new. And as a group, we pick up new clues all the time. Sometimes when working on a script, we see all the fallacies inside it, but this script is so tight, so beautifully written. Going through it night after night only makes all of us appreciate it more.”
The cast includes Cassandra Engber (“And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little”) as Sarah, Alex Carmichal (the Guild’s “100 Saints You Should Know”) as James Dodd, David Hallowren (the Guild’s “The Pillowman” and “A Tuna Christmas”) as Richard Ehrlich, and Kelli Locker (the Dayton Playhouse’s “Hairspray” and “The Sound of Music”) as Mandy Bloom.
“Time Stands Still” marks the fourth Margulies play performed by the Guild. The others are “Brooklyn Boy,” “Collected Stories” and the Pulitzer-winning “Dinner with Friends.”
How to Go
What: “Time Stands Still”
Where: Dayton Theatre Guild, 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton
When: Oct. 4-20; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 5 p.m. (with the exception of the Oct. 5 performance which begins at 8 p.m.); Sundays at 3 p.m.
Cost: $18 for adults; $16 for seniors; $11 for students<
Tickets/more info: Call (937) 278-5993 or visit www.daytontheatreguild.org