By Kathy Kang
People want to do their best in the world and struggle to do so, which is heartbreaking,” said Emma Watt ’13, when discussing the Princeton Summer Theatre’s production of “Time Stands Still.”
The play, written by Donald Margulies, is the fourth and final show of the summer seasons, said Watt, who is the theater’s artistic director.
The plot focuses on what happiness means to each individual by telling the story of a photographer and a journalist trying to navigate the world bravely and thoughtfully with love.
The protagonist, Sarah, is deeply distressed and struggles with the ethical dilemmas photographers must confront when working in dangerous countries. Sarah breaks down at one point when she keeps having a flashback to the traumatic event, which leads her to question the morality of her profession. “It’s wrong,” Sarah says.
However, she believes that photographers “save the world” by capturing moments of horrible scenes. “How can you live without knowing what’s going on out there?” Sarah says. Sarah finds her work strenuous yet essential to the world. She finds her happiness in pursuing a profession she can really commit herself to, though she struggles to balance her infinite passion for photography and her limited ability as an individual.
Other characters portray different perspectives on what happiness is: James strives to find his happiness through living a simple life with Sarah; Richard and Mandy find happiness in love. “It’s amazing how different we are,” said Maeve Brady ’15, who portrays Sarah. “People find their happiness in love, passion, career, fame and all kinds of things. And in that, I think we did a great job portraying that.”
The play was well-organized, and successfully drives the audience to explore a different interpretation of “happiness” while providing delightful humor and a well-constructed story.