"TIME STANDS STILL" AN INVOLVING AND INTENSE DRAMA


        BONNIE GOLDBERG

What would you do if you were addicted to adrenalin rushes and adventurous risks? If jumping out of airplanes and leaping off bridges on a bungee cord were activities your body craved? A desk job would not be your first occupational choice but being a war correspondent or photo journalist, traveling to "hot spots" around the globe, might be your perfect position.

Meet James and Sarah at a moment in their lives that threatens to explode all their preconceptions or cement all the possibilities of their relationship. TheaterWorks of Hartford will present the intense drama "Time Stands Still" by New Haven playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies until Sunday, September 15.

The pressure of his position has taken its toll on James (Tim Altmeyer) and he has returned to the United States to their shared New York loft. When he learns Sarah (Erika Rolfsrud) has been caught in a bomb exploding in Iraq, that killed her interpreter Terek, he rushes overseas to be at her side.

Carefully he escorts her back across the pond, wounded mentally and physically, and they are forced to reevaluate their personal and professional arrangements. A visit from their magazine editor and good friend Richard (Matthew Boston) raises lots of issues when he appears on their doorstep, with a new, much younger girl friend Mandy (Liz Holtan) in tow who naively raises questions.

Mandy wonders aloud why they risk their lives, why Sarah takes pictures of catastrophes instead of doing anything to save lives, especially of wounded babies? When Richard and Mandy's relationship escalates to marriage and a baby, Sarah and James feel compelled to reevaluate their own and whether they can stay in this country and not return to a war zone. Perhaps they can recycle their careers to safer and more conservative turns, to make a lasting commitment to each other. Sarah's parents' failed marriage is a fearful memory, but perhaps it can be erased as an obstacle. Rob Ruggiero directs this intense and escalating confrontation of wills with a powerful hand.

For tickets ($50-63), call Hartford TheaterWorks, 233 Pearl Street at 860-527-7838 or online at www.theaterworkshartford.org. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Talk backs are Tuesdays August 27, September 3 and 10. Come early for a compelling display of photographs curated by the theater to demonstrate the perils of war and the emergency response to disasters.

The lens of a camera and the words of a correspondent are powerful aphrodisiacs for two people addicted to action, but do they have the power to change their focus?

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