Riverland Theatre explores 'Language' of love

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Categories: Riverland News Area Media Stories Media Release

Riverland Community College Theatre kicks off 2017 with the funny and deeply heartfelt play The Language Archive by Julia Cho.

George is a man consumed with preserving and documenting the dying languages of far-flung cultures.  Closer to home, though, language is failing him.  He doesn’t know what to say to his wife, Mary, to keep her from leaving him, and he doesn’t recognize the deep feelings that his lab assistant, Emma, has for him.  Is love a universal language or just a well-intentioned dream that leaves us all at a loss for words? The Language Archive is suggested for ages 12 and up.

Riverland Theatre faculty member Susan V. Hansen directs. The set and lighting designer is Mark Spitzer. The costumes are by Kaye Perry. Sound design is by Riverland student Danny Ziebell. Makeup design is by Riverland student Emily McAlister. The production is stage managed by Ian Gearhart.

The Language Archive is a beautiful, very funny play about our ability and inability to use words in expressing our deepest feelings,” says director Susan Hansen. “It focuses on love, death, deepest desires, and purpose. One metaphor in the play is a baker’s starter, a yeast mixture that gives form and life to the dough. Everyone needs a ‘starter’ to give life to their deepest desires, bring happiness and to fulfill purpose.”

The cast of The Language Archive includes Paulina Aguirre Quijano (Veracruz, Mexico) as Alta, Nora Curtis (Austin) as Emma, Livia Dyke (Austin) as Passerby 2/Conductor, Joseph H. Gerber (Austin) as Old Man/Zamenhof, Dathen Johnson (Albert Lea) as George, Glynnis Kunkel-Ruiz (Austin) as Mary, Garrin Loveland (Austin) as Old Man/Baker, Charli Martin (Austin) as Language Instructor, Adam Shehata (Henderson) as Resten, and Danny Ziebell (Kasson) as Driver/Passerby 1.

The Language Archive will be performed Feb. 22, 23, 24, and 25 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre.

“We use different ‘languages’ with different people,” says Hansen. “If that relationship disintegrates, that language, that culture, dies. On a grander scale, the linguist, George says, ‘There are sixty nine hundred languages in the world. More than half are expected to die in the next century. When we say a language dies, we are talking about a whole world, a whole way of life. It is the death of imagination, of memory.’”

Individual tickets to The Language Archive are $13 and currently on sale at www.riverland.edu/tickets 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online ticketing system allows customers to choose their seats and pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Tickets may also be purchased at the Riverland Box Office, located in room E107 in the East Building of the Austin campus. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and one hour before performances. Riverland students receive two free tickets to each performance with a valid student ID. Contact the box office at 507-433-0595 or by emailing boxoffice@riverland.edu.

The Language Archive is suggested for people 12 and older. Riverland Theatre strives to provide quality productions that are entertaining and challenging to both the audience and the artists.  Because we reach such a diverse audience, some audience members may find some subject matter, language, or situations objectionable. If you have concerns about a specific production, we encourage you to become familiar with the material before attending the performance.

Riverland’s Theatre Department is a high-energy performance-oriented program. Plays produced vary from classical tragedy to modern comedy and from full-scale large cast musicals in intimate small cast plays. Students are encouraged to get involved in all areas of theatre production including, but not limited to, acting, stage managing, set building and painting. Strong academic offerings provide challenges in and out of the classroom.