World Premiere of Cho's Blackburn-Winning Language Archive Opens in CA

News   World Premiere of Cho's Blackburn-Winning Language Archive Opens in CA
Leo Marks, Betsy Brandt, Laura Heisler, Tony Amendola and Linda Gehringer are featured in the South Coast Repertory world premiere of Julia Cho's The Language Archive, a new romantic comedy about love and miscommunication, opening April 2 after previews from March 26.
The Language Archive stars Leo Marks and Betsy Brandt
The Language Archive stars Leo Marks and Betsy Brandt Photo by courtesy of South Coast Repertory

Performances play to April 25. Mark Brokaw directs the play, which recently won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. The title is popping up on the seasons of American resident theatre companies. Brokaw will also direct the play's New York City premiere, Off-Broadway, for Roundabout Theatre Company this fall.


The comedy "tells the story of George (played by Marks), a brilliant linguist who knows how to talk to everyone except his wife, Mary (played by Brandt), who is about to leave him, and his assistant, Emma (played by Heisler), who has a not-so-secret crush on him," according to SCR notes. "Meanwhile, at work, he's in danger of losing his chance to record the dying Elloway language. Its last two speakers — an elderly married couple (Amendola and Gehringer) — are in the midst of a fight, and they refuse to speak their native tongue until they resolve the argument."

The Language Archive was commissioned by Roundabout Theatre Company and is being produced by special arrangement with the Manhattan company.

When presenting Cho with the Blackburn prize, which is given annually to an outstanding new English-language play written by a woman, judge and Tony-winning director Doug Hughes called the play "funny and filled with surprises — a humane, wise work about the terrifying inadequacy of language to bridge the distance between human beings." Cho's plays include The Piano Teacher, Durango, The Winchester House, BFE, The Architecture of Loss and 99 Histories.

The Language Archive's creative team includes Neil Patel (set design), Mark McCullough (lighting design), Rachel Myers (costume design), Steven Cahill (sound design), Chrissy Church (stage manager) and Jamie Tucker (assistant stage manager).

This marks the SCR debut of director Brokaw, whose credits include the New York premieres of Distracted, The Long Christmas Ride Home, How I Learned To Drive, Lobby Hero, This is Our Youth, As Bees in Honey Drown, Old Money, The Dying Gaul and more.

For Language Archive tickets and information, visit, call (714) 708-5555 or visit the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, CA.


Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, under the artistic direction of David Emmes and Martin Benson, was founded in 1964 and is "committed to theatre that illuminates the compelling personal and social issues of our time, not only on its stages but through its education and outreach programs."

Of SCR's more than 440 productions, 112 have been world premieres with subsequent stagings achieving success across America and around the world.

Located in Costa Mesa, CA, in 2002 SCR opened the Folino Theater Center, an expanded three-theatre complex that includes the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.

Tony Amendola, Leo Marks and Linda Gehringer in <i>The Language Archive.</i>
Tony Amendola, Leo Marks and Linda Gehringer in The Language Archive. Photo by courtesy of South Coast Repertory
Today’s Most Popular News: