The gulf between what's said and what isn't is at the heart of the sweet and whimsical comedy The Language Archive by Julia Cho, next up at Bristol Riverside Theatre on January 26-February 14. Directed by Adam Immerwahr, the ensemble cast features Keith Baker, Irungu Mutu, Jo Twiss, Tiffany Villarin, and Julianna Zinkel.
Previews begin Tuesday, January 26 with opening night on Thursday, January 28. Performances run Wednesday through Sunday until February 14. Tickets start at $32, with discounts for students, groups and military personnel. Tickets are available by visiting brtstage.org or calling the box office at 215-785-0100. Bristol Riverside Theatre is located at 120 Radcliffe Street in Bristol, PA.
In this lyrical, bittersweet comedy, George, a linguist consumed with preserving the dying languages of far-flung cultures, is losing his chance to preserve another language when its last two speakers refuse to talk to each other. 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.
Julia Cho is the author of The Language Archive, The Piano Teacher, Durango, The Winchester House, BFE, The Architecture of Loss and 99 Histories. She has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2004. Her work has been produced at the Vineyard Theatre, The Public, South Coast Repertory, Long Wharf Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, East West Players, Theatre @ Boston Court, and Silk Road Theatre Project, among others. Honors include the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Language Archive, Barrie Stavis Award for Durango, the Claire Tow Award for Emerging Artists, and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award for BFE. Durango was also named one of the Top 10 Plays of 2006 by Entertainment Weekly and one of the Best of 2007 by The L.A. Times. Cho is an alumna of the Juilliard School where she was a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow and NYU’s Graduate Dramatic Writing Program.
Adam Immerwahr (Director) was just named the artistic director of Theatre J in Washington, D.C.. He was the Associate Artistic Director at McCarter Theatre, where his responsibilities included producing the McCarter Lab Series--McCarter’s new play development wing. He also serves as the Resident Director of Passage Theatre and the Artistic Director of CWW Onstage, an ensemble of retired Mercer County residents who collect and perform the stories of their community. As a director, his credits include The Chimes at The Public Theater, Blood: A Comedy, Backfire, and Can’t Fight This Feeling , all at Passage Theatre; The Possibilities, The Thing About Air Travel, and The Kid Who Talked To Penguins, all at Hangar Theatre; and Know Dog at Luna Stage. He directed the world premiere of Spirit Sex: A Paranormal Romance by Desi Moreno-Penson, at Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC as part of the Going to the River Festival. Immerwahr has served as a producer for McCarter Theatre, Performance Studies International #11, Production Workshop, and the Brown/Trinity Rep. Consortium, where he worked on the premieres of two of Jordan Harrison’s plays, Kid-Simple: A Radio Play in the Flesh and The Museum Play. He was on the faculty of Interlochen Center of the Arts from 2002-2006, and returned as a guest artist in 2007. He has also directed for Westminster Choir College’s BFA Musical Theatre Program.
Keith Baker (Resten) has appeared at BRT this year in Mountain: The Journey of Justice Douglas and will direct Rumors and Man of La Mancha later this season. He has also appeared in numerous other BRT productions, including Inherit the Wind, Deathtrap, A Raw Space, Barrymore, Defiance, Proof, Hamlet, A Little Night Music, Arsenic and Old Lace, A Moon for the Misbegotten, and Old Wicked Songs, for which he won a Broadway World Award. He started his career at Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway and later appeared as Jeeves in the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn musical By Jeeves at the Goodspeed Opera House, and has sung leading roles with Houston Grand Opera, Western Opera Theatre, and Kentucky Opera Association. On television he appeared in two episodes of Stella for Comedy Central. Baker has been nominated eleven times for the prestigious Carbonell Awards, for which he was twice the recipient for Best Actor. He has directed more than 40 productions for BRT including Chicago (nominated for six Barrymore Awards), The Balkan Women (winner of a Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play), The Dresser (nominated for a Barrymore Award for Best Director of a Play) and Dear World (nominated for three Barrymore Awards).
Irungu Mutu (George) has appeared at Signature Theatre in Our Lady of Kibeho, Wooly Mammoth and Wilma Theater in The Convert, Mixed Blood Theatre in both Hijab Tube and Ruined, and La Jolla Playhouse in both Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead and Pericles. His television credits include co-starring roles on The Blacklist and Boardwalk Empire.
Jo Twiss (Alta) previously appeared at BRT last season in Always…Patsy Cline, and has also been seen in Pride and Prejudice, Up, which earned her a BroadwayWorld.com nomination for Best Actress, as well as Deathtrap, Steel Magnolias, The Spitfire Grill, and Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge. She starred in Rabbit Hole at both Pittsburgh Public Theatre and Hartford’s Theatre Works and in The Travels of Angelica at Cincinnati in the Park. On Broadway she appeared as Big Mamma in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a role she reprised in St. Louis and Cincinnati where she won an Acclaim Award for her performance.
Tiffany Vallarin (Emma) has appeared at Goodman Theatre in the world premiere of Ghostwritten, at Yale Rep in Peerless, and at Pearl Theatre Company in Figaro. She has also been a frequent presence at Second Generation, Sundance Theatre Lab, and The Theatre School at DePaul University where she earned her BFA.
Julianna Zinkel (Mary) has been a member of People’s Light & Theatre Company’s acting company since 2007 where she has starred in Theophilus North, The Crucible, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Crispin: The Cross of Lead. She has appeared locally in Crime and Punishment and As You Like It at Arden Theatre Company, Big Love at Wilma Theater, and Honeypot: Estro-Jen at Brat Productions.
The Language Archive brings together the creative team of Set Designer Jeff Van Velson, Costume Designer Kristin Isola, Lighting Designer Paul Kilsdonk, and Sound Designer Karen Graybash, all making their BRT debuts.
BRT’s Mainstage season continues with Rumors by Neil Simon (March 22 - April 17) and Man of La Mancha starring Robert Newman with music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion, and book by Dale Wasserman (May 10 –June 5).
Since 1986, BRT has brought consistently acclaimed professional theatre to Bucks County and maintains a long-term commitment to finding and developing new plays. The theatre is the recipient of 81 Barrymore Award nominations for Excellence in Theatre, given annually by Theatre Philadelphia. In addition to its mainstage productions, the theatre serves as a cultural hub for the community, with such programs as children's theatre, community concerts and exhibitions of local visual arts. Currently under the direction of Artistic Director Keith Baker, Founding Director Susan D. Atkinson, and Managing Director Jameson Gilpatrick, BRT is currently in its 29th season. For information, visit www.brtstage.org.