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Time Stands Still, Donald Margulies (2009)

Ha! I’ve been fussing at the old rosary of whether activist drama has any usefulness whatsoever, and then I stumble across this play in which the author shrewdly avoids the need to answer that question by instead simply stating it. It’s an exquisitely and numbingly honest setup: Two idealists are racked with doubt about their ability to change the world. Making themselves and each other miserable. One of them decides to just give up. The other one decides to just keep trying. They both remain racked with doubt and miserable. The end!

This is a great example to pull out when you hear someone complaining that such and such a movie, novel, play, etc. is “formulaic.” Life is formulaic!

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