Whimsical Comedy THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE Comes to TheatreWorks
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley announces a stellar cast of acclaimed Broadway and TV stars for The Language Archive, launching the Tony Award-winning theatre company's celebratory 50th Anniversary season. Written by Julia Cho, whose Aubergine captured rapturous praise and multiple awards, The Language Archive is balanced delightfully between affection and adversity. The quirky comedy tells the whimsical, life-affirming chronicle of a linguist fighting to preserve the dying languages of far-flung cultures, only to neglect the promise and passion of his own. Winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Women Playwrights, this romantic parable for our times will be directed by Jeffrey Lo, and features Francis Jue, Emily Kuroda, Jomar Tagatac, Elena Wright, and Adrienne Kaori Walters. It will be presented July 10-August 4, 2019 (press opening: July 13) at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto. For tickets ($30-$100) and more information the public may visit TheatreWorks.org or call (650) 463-1960.
In its world premiere at South Coast Repertory Theatre, co-produced by Roundabout Theatre Company, The Los Angeles Times said The Language Archive "uniquely blends absurdist farce with sentimental comedy" and OC Weekly lauded it as a "ravishingly well-written piece that is smart, funny, deep and tender." Roundabout Theatre Company's Off-Broadway run earned accolades from critics including Talkin' Broadway, which called it "Passionate...wise and wonderful." It has since been called "compelling," (Chicago Tribune) and "an elegant, graceful confection of a play" (DC Theatre Scene).
TheatreWorks has assembled a stellar roster of film and stage stars for this production. Francis Jue and Emily Kuroda return to TheatreWorks as Resten and Alta, a couple who are the last speakers of a dying language. Jue has starred in many TheatreWorks productions, including M. Butterfly (Soong), Cabaret (Emcee), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Molina), Amadeus (Mozart), Peter Pan (Peter Pan), and, most recently, tokyo fish story (Koji). He is familiar to television audiences for his current recurring roles as Chinese Foreign Minister Chen on CBS's popular Madam Secretary and as Medical Examiner Tom Li on The Good Wife. Jue's awards include Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards for his performance in Yellow Face at The Public Theater, and a 2019 San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Award for his performance in Soft Power at the Curran Theatre. He also starred in the recent hit The King of the Yees at San Francisco Playhouse. Jue has appeared in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, including Pacific Overtures, Thoroughly Modern Millie, M. Butterfly, My Favorite Year, Coraline, Hamlet, King Lear, Falsettoland, Richard II, and many more, appearing frequently at The Public Theater, as well as regionally at St. Louis MUNY, Center Theatre Group, American Conservatory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Company, and others.
Emily Kuroda returns to TheatreWorks, where she was most recently seen in Calligraphy. Known to national television audiences for her role as Mrs. Kim on Gilmore Girls, she has enjoyed a lengthy career on stage, screen, and in TV series/movies. Her major film appearances include Red, Minority Report, Shop Girl, Maybe Someday, Hotel for Dogs, and many more. On television Kuroda has been seen in Bloodline, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Practice, ER, The Good Doctor, Chicago Hope, Melrose Place, among others. Kuroda has won five Drama-Logue Awards for "Outstanding Performance," and has appeared on national stages including La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Playwright's Arena, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
Jomar Tagatac makes his TheatreWorks debut as George, a linguist committed to preserving dying languages. Tagatac has been seen at theatres including SHN's Orpheum Theatre (Holes), American Conservatory Theatre (Vietgone, Hamlet, Monstress), California Shakespeare Theatre (As You Like It, War of the Roses, Everybody), San Francisco Playhouse (King of the Yees), The Magic Theater, New Conservatory Theatre Center, and Shotgun Players. Elena Wright plays Mary, George's wife. Returning to TheatreWorks where she was seen in Frost/Nixon and Silent Sky, Wright has also performed at Marin Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Theatre, and San Francisco Playhouse. Adrienne Kaori Waltersplays Emma, George's lab assistant. Returning to TheatreWorks where she was seen on the main stage in Peter and the Starcatcher and in the New Works Festival in Pride and Prejudice and Norman Rockwell's America, Walters has also performed in Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Ground Floor and at San Francisco Playhouse, Aurora Theatre Company, Center REPertory Company, City Lights Theatre Company, Los Altos Stage Company, Hillbarn Theatre, and Foothill Music Theatre.
Jeffrey Lo is a Filipino-American playwright and director who helmed TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's productions of The Santaland Diaries. He is the recipient of the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award, the Emerging Artist Laureate by Arts Council Silicon Valley and Theatre Bay Area Director's TITAN Award. His plays have been produced and workshopped at The BindleStiff Studio, City Lights Theater Company, and The Custom Made Theatre Company. His play Writing Fragments Home was a finalist for the Bay Area Playwright's Conference and a semi-finalist for the O'Neill Playwright's Conference. Recent directing credits include Vietgone at Capital Stage, Peter and the Starcatcher at Hillbarn Theatre, The Crucible, Yellow Face, and Dead Man's Cell Phone at Los Altos Stage Company, Uncle Vanya at the Pear Theatre (BATCC award for Best Production), Eurydice at Palo Alto Players (TBA Awards finalist for Best Direction) and The Drunken City at Renegade Theatre Experiment. Lo has also worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and is a company member of Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company and San Francisco Playground. He is the Casting Director at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, a graduate of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute and a proud alumnus of the UC Irvine Drama Department.
Julia Cho's (Playwright) plays include Aubergine, Office Hour, The Language Archive, The Piano Teacher, Durango, The Winchester House, BFE, The Architecture of Loss, and 99 Histories. Her work has been produced at The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Long Wharf Theatre, South Coast Repertory, and East West Players, among others. Her honors include the Will Glickman Award for Aubergine and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Language Archive.
Launching its 50th Anniversary Season in July 2019, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is the recipient of the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award, which will be awarded on June 9, 2019 at Radio City Music Hall. With over 100,000 patrons per year, the Palo Alto-based theatre company has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country.
Photo Credit: Kevin Berne