By Jhazalyn Prince
The theatre was comfortably small. Specks of dust wafted through the still air as the lights above dimmed completely, leaving the audience in darkness and suspense. Immediately we were introduced to the two main characters: a spunky, independent photographer named Sarah and her eager-to-please journalist boyfriend, James.
The play opens with an injured Sarah limping onto the stage. The characters spend a while discussing Sarah’s desire to be independent once her rehabilitation is complete. The relationship between Sarah and James is full of tension, as they discuss their futures.
Soon into the play two more characters are introduced: a photo editor named Richard and his new, younger girlfriend, Mandy, an event planner.
Mandy, the most relatable character, poses an impactful question that speaks to the theme of the play: “How could a photographer take photos of someone dying rather than doing something to help?”
In response, Sarah says, “The camera is there to record life—not to change it.”
The production also consisted of great acting. In particular, Maeve Brady, who plays Sarah, is excellent. Even when the lights dimmed for a scene change, she maintained her limp. Brady’s simple commitment to her craft made a deep impact on the realistic flow of the play.
James, who is played by Brad Wilson, has the ability to go from calm to loud and angry in the blink of an eye. This ability to transition is both amazing and overwhelming. He plays a very complex character who may cause a bit of confusion or even evoke familiarity because he reacts as any human being would.
Sarah becomes conflicted in knowing that she may have been able to save at least one life, but she did not. Ultimately, she decides to continue her photography with the goal of telling the truth. Even though she makes this choice, the audience will not feel forced to agree, and the question is left unanswered for individual interpretation.
This play is full of drama, suspense and a twisted-but-respectable ending. “Time Stands Still” is a wonderful production. It raises questions regarding the obligations of journalists and whether their jobs are more important than their humanity.