Play recovers the lost language of love 

Will somebody please take out the garbage?

According to the main character in the upcoming play production, “The Language Archive,” Joshua Lester, this singular line is, “the most important line in the show.” 

The production, directed by Hans Bloedel, is a comic drama centered around the dysfunctional marriage between characters Mary and George, as well as George’s professional and personal relationships with his work as a linguist to archive dying languages. 

“It’s such a fun script to work with, it’s very poetic, and it’s got a wonderful message: learning to communicate with the people that you love,” Lester said. 

The show will ironically display an expert of language who can’t quite seem to effectively communicate emotion with his wife, but things start to change once he encounters a happily married couple who speak a foreign language of love. 

Lester has been acting for ten years, with a handful of shows at Mankato State. The plot is centered around his character, George, who he feels is similar to himself in ways.

“George is a very straight-laced, neat-buttoned kind of man,” Lester said. “He’s very pragmatic, logistical. He’s a bit of a mansplainer.” 

The production features a language called LOA, which has a difficult dialect to master. Despite this, the process has gone smoothly for Lester and the rest of the crew. 

“The sound designer and the light designer both designed wonderful pieces,” Lester said. “We have to, as an acting troupe and a design troupe, mix our ideas together, fine tune that process, and boil it down to the point where it makes a cohesive and whole piece.” 

Bloedel, who is making his directorial debut at MSU, has explored new themes and different kinds of love with this particular show. 

“Our director Hans has been a wonderful and spectacular director to work with,” Lester said.

It is common for directors to want to maintain control and disregard commentary and suggestions from actors they do not necessarily agree with, whereas, Lester says, “Hans is very open to ideas, but still willing to say, ‘okay, let’s take that idea, use the concept of it, but not use the exact idea.’” 

The casting crew encourages students and the general public to come out to see this show that will spark all kinds of emotion from the audience. Aside from some strong language, it is a family-friendly production open for all. 

“It’ll be fun experiencing having them (the audience) laugh, having them chuckle, having them maybe cry if they feel like it,” Lester said. “I recommend anybody to come see it.”

“The Language Archive” runs Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Andreas Theatre at the Earley Center for Performing Arts on campus. Regular tickets are $10, student tickets are $5, and senior and children’s tickets are $9. 

Tickets are available for purchase in the box office open 4-6 p.m. weekdays, online at MSUTheatre.com, or by calling 507-389-6661. 

Header Photo: Pictured above, a dress rehearsal of the newest installment from the Theatre Department, “The Language Archives.” The show is out for viewing now. (Courtesy Department of Theatre and Dance)

Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at mercedes.kauphusman@mnsu.edu

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