Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 25, 2016

Time Stands Still

New Century Theatre, Northampton, MA
through July 23, 2016
by Konrad Rogowski

For the four characters in New Century Theatre’s latest production, there are moments of truth and moments of decision when, indeed, “Time Stands Still.”

The debate at the beginning of the play as to whether a photojournalist is just an objective chronicler of what happens, or should become involved in the actions that they capture on film -- especially those of raw human suffering – sets the stage for what follows.

For Sarah and James, photographer and writer, respectively, it is the conflict of whether they return to the next battle front and risk more pain and suffering for one more story, or withdraw to a more conventional life in suburbia and marry. For Richard and Mandy, it is whether their sudden spring/fall romance is genuine and lasting, or just another convenient fling for both. Interspersed with these moments which stop the characters in their personal or professional tracks, are other moments of decision, as personalities clash.

The battle-stressed and scarred Sarah is pitted against the perky insights of the youthful and seemingly untested Mandy. Richard and James clash over Richard’s stalled writing career, and the weight of personal loyalty vs cold business decisions, and those who must make them. Add to the mix the discovery of infidelity, betrayal, and more than a few personal demons, which confound these four people and make their ability to move on with their lives truly wrenching experiences, but ones which will not go away and must be dealt with, for life to go on with any meaning or validity.

Director Nichole Ricciardi puts her cast – Kim Stauffer, Nathan Kaufman, Sam Rush, and Alana Young – through their paces and delivers a show which poses provocative questions, and some interesting, if not expected, answers.