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Playing Our Part in Taos

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Playing Our Part in Taos
The Cast of The Language Archive. Top row left to right: Kristen Woolf as Alta, Jeff Spicer as Resten, Renea Been as Mary. Bottom row left to right: Mikala Martinez as Emma, David Pérez as George.
Taos Onstage's production of The Language Archive by Julia Cho will premiere on Thursday, April 19, at the Kachina Lodge and run for eight performances. Audiences are in for a treat as the talented cast takes to the stage in this sentimental comedy of the heart that explores the mysterious language of love.
 
Director Karla Eoff has created a minimalist set that allows the story to be told through the actors' expressions, movements, and interpretation of the brilliant script. Critics have called the play "a quirky but ravishingly well-written piece that is smart, funny, deep and tender."
 
The Language Archive weaves together the stories of five people in the throes of love. The play centers on George, 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. Comic relief arrives in the form of Alta and Resten, a married couple who are the last remaining native speakers of their language. They have agreed to be interviewed and recorded, but they are not talking to each other.
 
David Perez, who plays George, is enthusiastic about the joy of creativity and storytelling. "I hope to bring my own sense of freshness and depth to my character and discover ways to connect with my fellow actors and keep the narrative going forward," he says.
 
Renea Been plays George's wife, Mary. "I instantly loved the role of Mary after reading the script because I think every woman can relate to her plight and the difficult but necessary choice she makes to live her life more authentically," says Renea.
 
Mikala Martinez plays Emma, George's assistant. "I think the play is beautifully written and falls somewhere in the space between prose, poetry and fable. It has a large dose of whimsy and a touch of fantasy," she says. "There is an element of tragic heroism in the character of Emma that is both relatable and inspirational."
 
Jeff Spicer plays Resten, one of the two last speakers of the language of Elloway. He also plays several other characters in the production.  "Audiences will enjoy the show because it's entertaining, it's funny, it's heartbreaking, and the performances are all top-notch," he says. "It's also possible that folks will walk away with a newfound appreciation of the relationship they are in."
 
Kristen Woolf plays Alta, Resten's wife, and also performs four other roles. "The play is what I call juicy -- food for thought, humor, love, grief -- like life," she says. "The audience will laugh and sigh to see human beings trying to make sense of their lives and to maybe actually communicate from one vast and previously impenetrable inner landscape to another."
 
The Language Archive will be performed on April 19-22 and 26-29 at the Kachina Lodge, 413 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, in Taos. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinee performances are at 2:00 p.m. Ticket cost is $15. Get tickets online at 
www.taosonstage.com, or call 575-224-4587.
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David Pérez and Mikala Martinez
Renea Been and Jeff Spicer
Mikala Martinez and Kristen Woolf

Poetry Is the Language of the Heart

 
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Taos Onstage offers some original poetry inspired by The Language Archive and written by cast member Kristen Woolf.

 

Language

 
Oh, how can we say what anyone means?
There are so many ways to talk.
Can you hear me? Can I hear you?
We each have our own path to walk.
We love not wisely but too well.
We have so many things to tell.
As many ways to say 'I love You'
As there are lovers in the world.
 

A Language Archive Limerick

 
A handsome young linguist is grieving.
Though many lost tongues he's retrieving.
Like so many nerds
He hasn't the words
To keep his dear wifie from leaving.

 
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