Taut mideast wartime drama “Time Stands Still” to open Oldcastle Theatre season in Bennington

(r to l)   Marianna Bassham as Sarah, Jason Guy as Jamie, Richard Howe as Richard, Kristin Parker as Mandy. Photo: Mike Cutler MHCPhotography

(r to l) Marianna Bassham as Sarah, Jason Guy as Jamie, Richard Howe as Richard, Kristin Parker as Mandy. Photo: Mike Cutler MHCPhotography

Pulitzer Prize winner, Donald Margulies, taut, thought-provoking, ripped from the headlines, drama, Time Stands Still is the second offering in Oldcastle Theatre’s 44th season opening June 5th and running through June 21st.

Time Stands Still focuses on Sarah and James, a photojournalist and foreign correspondent trying to find happiness in a world that seems to have gone crazy telling the stories, and together, making a difference. Theirs is a partnership based on telling the toughest stories, and together, making a difference. But when their own story takes a sudden turn, the adventurous couple confronts the prospect of a more conventional life. Sarah is loosely based on Lynsey Addario, prize winning photographer who covered the Afghanistan and Iraq wars for the New York Times and others. Her book, It’s What I Do has been a major bestseller. The play asks a number of fascinating questions such as: Can you be a dispassionate, not involved observer of horrific events, recording them for posterity and still keep a sense of right and wrong, not to mention your sanity?

“This is a play I was anxious to present as soon as I read it,” said Oldcastle’s Producing Artistic Director, Eric Peterson, who is directing the production. “War changes people and the people who love them. It seems, since the United States has been at war for 12 or 13 years, that is subject that needs attention and discussion. This play will have people talking, questioning, and perhaps arguing. Journalism and journalists are on trial during the play and I doubt anyone will be neutral. Margulies is one of our very finest contemporary playwrights. He has written a remarkable play that is relevant today and tomorrow and for a very long time.”

Donald Margulies won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Dinner with Friends, which subsequently won an Emmy when produced for television by HBO. His numerous awards include the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, the Lucille Lortel Award the Outer Critics Circle Award. Margulies’ other plays include Brooklyn Boy, Sight Unseen, Collected Stories, and most recently, The Country House which is set in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Sarah is played by Marianna Bassham returning to Oldcastle for the first time since she appeared in Almost, Maine. She has a Master’s Degree from Brandeis University. Director Scott Edmiston has said, “Marianna has become a leading light in Boston theater through her astonishing versatility. She can move effortlessly from comedy to drama to new plays to Shakespeare. She has grace and talent, but also technique and a kind of creative intuition about how to find the inner truth in her character.” Ms. Bassham is an Elliot Norton and IRNE Award recipient. Her films include Moonrise Kingdom and she was recently seen in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridege.

Jason Guy is making his Oldcastle debut as James. He has appeared in theaters around the U.S. including the Flea and the Pearl in New York City, Arkansas Rep, River City Rep, the American Shakespeare Center, the National Shakespeare Center, and Vermont’s Northern Stage.

Kristin Parker is also making her debut with Oldcastle Theatre playing the role of Mandy. She has also appeared at the Arkansas Rep. Her television appearances include Orange is the New Black and Law and Order: SVU. She is a graduate of the Circle in the Square Theatre School.

The play has been praised for “its insightful writing” the critics calling it “smart, stylish, timely and layered with and intriguing seriousness that inspires discussion after the curtain comes down.” Bloomberg News called it a “splendid theatrical experience” while the New York Times commented on Magulies “dialogue which crackles with bright wit and intelligence.”

The cast is rounded out by Oldcastle’s Associate Artistic Director, Richard Howe. His last appearance with the company was in Bennington Goes to War. He has been seen in a huge variety of roles since 1975 in comedies, musicals and dramas. He will be seen later this season as the Emcee in Cabaret.

The play runs Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30. There are matinees on Thursdays and Sundays, and on the first Saturday, at 2 p.m. For further information visit Oldcastle’s website at www.oldcastletheatre.org or call 802-447-0564.

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