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TMA presents The Language Archive by Julia Cho

No, TMA does not stand for Too Much Alcohol. TMA stands for the Theatre Majors Association, consisting of about 40 students who come together to produce plays.

Joining with the campus group United States Institution Theater Tech (USITT), Dec. 5  marks opening night for their latest production, The Language Archive by Julia Cho. This is a published play about language and communication. Opening night begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Danny Peterson Theater.

“It’s like learning communication and love and how those two things intersect,” said Mathew Kolsky, senior director and vice president of TMA. “One thing I’ve been talking about since the beginning is that I can say all these words to convey exactly what I’m feeling, but the person on the other end of the conversation might have no idea what I’m talking about. I think that’s really the idea and the crux of the play. That’s what I’ve been trying, as the director, to convey that sort of message.”

Kolsky describes the play as a story about when language fails us. The character George, who is the facilitator of a language archive, records dead and dying languages to keep them alive. In the first scene of the play, his wife leaves him because they can’t communicate on a deeper level.

Later in the play Alta and Resten come to see George to have their language recorded because it is about to die and they are the last two speakers. Finally, the character Emma is in love with George but doesn’t know how to tell him. She concludes  she will tell him, but then realizes he’s still in love with his ex-wife and their love won’t happen.

“I liked the concept of the languages because it was so interesting to read the different languages,” said Laurel Curtis, sophomore actor and assistant costume designer. “There’s so many different languages featured in the show. I wanted to see them performed and I was really curious about our LOA language and I was fascinated by Emma. When we first read it, I was like ‘What is her deal’ but now I’ve come full circle and I know what Emma’s deal is.”

TMA students wear many faces while producing this play as many have multiple roles in its production. Students can expect interesting set aspects, including hanging books and a rotating platform illuminated in mood-setting lighting.

Sophomore Corey Rambough, in addition to his role as an actor, has co-designed a variety of accompanying music and sound effects.

Even some made-up languages are incorporated.

“Definitely making up the language is awesome and something we don’t get to do, but for me, especially with lighting, it’s a challenge because you have these emotional cold shifts in between the story,” said Katie Valentine, senior light designer and VP of USITT. “One minute it’s this loving couple then all of a sudden they’re fighting. It’s this quick change and you can’t have a warm light for people who are cold to each other. I like it because it’s not as easy as the last show I did.”

Kolsky encourages everyone, especially students, to come see this production.

Kolsky said he feels students can relate to the theme of communication and how to use it with all the different people they encounter.

“I’d love for students to come see work by their peers and see what kind of things we can create and accomplish,” Kolsky said. “I think this play is really cool for people in our age range. Learning how to communicate with all sorts of different people like how to communicate with your lover, how to communicate with your parents how to communicate with your friends, I think this play addresses all of those issues and what a lot of 20-somethings are trying to figure out.”

The Language Archive will be performed Dec. 5-8, each night at 7:30 p.m. in the Danny Peterson Theater in the Morrison Center.

This event is free for students with student ID.


“We work as our own separate entity, but we do have a lot of influence from the theater department. We produce show cases twice a year, once every semester. Everything is student driven: student directed, designed, performed, and built. Pretty much what TMA does is that we are almost like a liminal space between the department and professional theater and sometimes even high school. We try to grant opportunities to people that are interested in theater. We’re always looking for new members and you don’t have to be a theater major, you just have to have some interest in theater whether it’s acting, designing, etc.,” Kolsky said.

“You work with these awesome professors in their field and with TMA you get to go try it with their guidance. It’s like a trail and run, of course you want to succeed but you can also learn what works and what doesn’t. And then you get to work with your peers, which is what you’re going to have to do in the professional world.” Valentine said.

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