“Time stands still” is an oxymoron, something inherently contradictory. Time, of course, is always progressing, though in the eye of the beholder time can seem to stand still under extreme conditions.

How people react to extreme conditions is a major theme of Donald Margulies’ multilayered relationship play, performing through March 17 at North Coast Repertory Theatre. But, “relationship” as a topic for drama turns out to be an oxymoron as well.

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