The cost of war reporting at Act II Playhouse

The Broadway drama “Time Stands Still” took to the stage this past weekend at Act II Playhouse in Ambler, Pa., with an emotionally wrought look at the role and risks of war journalism.

Back home in her New York City apartment, photojournalist Sarah Goodwin is recuperating from physical injuries sustained by a roadside bomb. She is lovingly cared for by her longtime partner James Dodd, a fellow correspondent for whom the death and devastation of war has left deep emotional wounds. As the conversations unfold between Sarah and James, their lives are laid bare as they try to sustain their relationship thousands of miles from where it was forged.

One can’t help but think of journalist, husband and father Anthony Shadid, who suffered a fatal asthma attack in Syria while reporting on the desperate plight of civilians caught in harm’s way and American journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik, who were killed in Syria when shells hit their home.

Like Shadid, Colvin and Ochlik, the intrepid Sarah is compelled to deliver first-hand accounts, photographs, from war-torn regions of the world.

In the intimate, 130-seat theater, you are immediately drawn in, hanging on every word, feeling as though you are right there with the characters, given the opportunity to formulate your own perspective on the role and responsibility of journalists who bring us the news from the center of the world’s worst conflicts.

The realistic set, by Dirk Durossette, includes running water, rain falling outside the windows, and furnishings with much detail. The cast features four extremely talented, believable actors, Susan McKey, Kevin Kelly, Bruce Graham and Megan McDermott; a brilliant script by Donald Margulies; and direction by Bud Martin, who produced the acclaimed Manhattan Theatre Club staging of the play starring Laura Linney and Brian D’Arcy James.

“Time Stands Still” is onstage at Act II Playhouse through March 11, at 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, Pa., and is a co-production with The Delaware Theatre Company.

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