MC play by Pulitzer Prize winner

On Friday, theater-goers at Marietta College will be immersed in the theme of being “caught in the act” during a play about a photojournalist returning from the front edge of war in the Middle East.

The play, “Time Stands Still,” was written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies. It follows Sarah Goodwin, a distinguished career photojournalist, as she is forced to weigh her humanitarian obligations against the damages she causes against herself and her lover. It opens Friday at 8 p.m. and will run through March 1.

Jeff Cordell, director of theater at Marietta College, said the play went well with the “caught in the act” theme based on the photojournalist’s profession and her actions.

“There’s something about a photographer capturing an act of violence that people enact on other people, but her own actions get caught; her infidelity, her moral obligations. You take a photo but you don’t save a child; you’re caught by the act of your profession,” he said.

Cordell said the main character becomes the victim of a roadside bomb. She and her lover, James Dodd, deal with questions of marriage and fidelity and how, despite her injuries, Goodwin is still addicted to the thrill of the front lines.

Marietta College student Keith Foster is directing the play for his senior capstone project, during which he will work to show everything he has learned about theater.

He said the amount of collaboration with faculty during the current production has been huge: the faculty are acting as designers from props and lighting to makeup and costumes.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” Foster said. “It’s a completely different relationship (with the faculty), going from being directed by them to be being collaborators.”

Foster said the experience directing so far has been great.

“So far, (it’s been) really great,” he said. “The amount of support I’ve received from everybody has been amazing…My favorite part has been working with the faculty and staff designers.”

Foster said the play was chosen in May 2013 and work has been ongoing ever since.

“It’s a really strong play to bring to the city,” he said, adding that it will “spark new discussion” about civic engagement.

Cordell said it’s interesting how someone could be revealed through an action, something explored in the production.

“We wonder what our profession says about us, how it will reveal us and damn us… As a reporter, you seek truth at all costs, but what happens when you damage another human being? You reveal yourself and your morals,” he said.

Cordell added that the audience will see something they’ve never seen before: contemporary domestic realism.

He said before many props were left up to the imagination, and theater also utilized the surrounding outside environment, like with “Hamlet” and “Arabian Nights,” but that people would see more modern things like couches, end tables and even a refrigerator.

“It’s a very high level of detail and finish,” he said. “It’s more experimental and we wanted to really anchor it down. You haven’t walked in and seen a set like this.”