CCRI first in state to stage ‘The Language Archive’

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The Community College of Rhode Island Players will present “The Language Archive” by Julia Cho for the first time in Rhode Island from Feb. 26 to March 1 in the Bobby Hackett Theater at the Knight Campus in Warwick.

In “The Language Archive,” George studies dead languages and is busy trying to record the conversations of the last two speakers of a language called Elloway, which Cho invented. But having command over several languages and being fluent in the language of love turn out to be different things: George 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.

Cho began work on the play in 2008 after reading a newspaper story about the death of the last known speaker of an indigenous language. Tony-winning director Doug Hughes, one of the judges who chose it for the 2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for outstanding new English-language play by a woman, described it as “funny and filled with surprises – a humane, wise work about the terrifying inadequacy of language to bridge the distance between human beings.”

The production is directed by Professor Bert Silverberg. Set design is by Assistant Professor Luke J. Sutherland, with costume design by Marilyn Salvatore, lighting design by Dan Fisher, technical direction by Justin Carroll, and sound design by Kaisey Caputo of Johnston and Audrey Lavin Crawley of Pawtucket.

The student cast includes: Derek Smith of Woonsocket; Rebecca Tremblay, Jeff Ararat and Marina Tejada of Providence; Lauren Ferreira and Yemi Owojori of Cranston; James Diego Fontaine and Nicholas Menna of Warwick; Stephanie Randazzo of Barrington; Jessica Still of North Kingstown; Yunus Quddus of Pawtucket; and Samantha Sievers of Richmond. Brayam Renovales of Providence is the stage manager, assisted by Jeana Ariel Garcia of North Providence.

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Feb. 26 to 28, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 28 and March 1. Tickets cost $10 for the general public and $8 for students and senior citizens. Telephone reservations may be made by calling 825-2219 at any time.

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