Riverland Community College Theatre kicks off 2017 with ‘The Language Archive’

Published 10:08 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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?

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,” director Susan Hansen said. “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.”

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

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

“We use different languages with different people,” Hansen said. “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 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday 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 emailingboxoffice@riverland.edu.

“The Language Archive” is suggested for ages 12 and up.

Riverland Theatre strives to provide quality productions that are entertaining and challenging to both the audience and the artists. Because the theater reaches such a diverse audience, some audience members may find some subject matter, language, or situations objectionable. If those planning to attend have concerns about a specific production, attendees 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.

Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State system, is a community college that inspires personal success through education. Approximately 9,000 students are served annually through a wide range of credit-based educational opportunities and non-credit courses. Campuses are located in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna, Minn. Riverland may be found on the Internet at www.riverland.edu.

Minnesota State, formerly known as Minnesota State Colleges and Universities includes 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 400,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system in the United States.