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Contact: Zina L. Carter  979-532-6417


WCJC drama students present ‘The Language Archive’ as first spring production

Wharton County Junior College Drama Department students Cynthia Kulak of Boling, foreground, and Diego Flores of Glen Flora, background, rehearse a scene from the upcoming production of The Language Archive. The play is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 25-27 at the Horton Foote Theatre in the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts Building on the Wharton campus. The play is free and open to the public.

Wharton County Junior College drama students will utilize an obscure language when they present their first production of the spring 2016 season.

During The Language Archive – scheduled for Feb. 25-27 at the Horton Foote Theatre on the Wharton campus – actors will present portions of the dialogue in Esperanto, a “constructed” language created by a Polish eye doctor back in the 1880s.

“It’s still used but not extensively,” said WCJC Drama Instructor Greg McLarty, referring to Esperanto, which he describes as a mix between French, Spanish and Russian. “The students will speak bits and pieces of it during the play.”

Memorizing lines and expressing emotion can be tough enough, but doing it while speaking a rare language certainly poses some challenges.

“The accents of the language are demanding,” said WCJC actress Megan Poffenbarger of San Antonio.

Boling actress Cynthia Kulak agreed.

“The whole thing is quite challenging,” Kulak said. “And for many of the characters we have to express several emotions at the same time.”

McLarty believes his students are quite capable of meeting such challenges. After the local performances, he plans on taking the show to a spring play festival scheduled for March 2-5 at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.

“It’s one of those plays that’s hard to describe,” McLarty said. “You have to sit down and watch it.”

Written by playwright Julia Cho, The Language Archive centers on a man who preserves and documents dying and extinct languages and yet has issues trying to communicate with the women in his life.

“The dialogue is amazing and every role has so much potential for the actor,” observed WCJC drama student Sheila Begin of Austin. “The characters are all so complex and so real.”

McLarty plans to use file boxes as set pieces to symbolize the “stored” languages.

“I’ve never done that before,” he noted.

In addition to Poffenbarger, Kulak and Begin, the cast and crew for The Language Archive include David Arvizu of El Campo, Diego Flores of Glen Flora, Stephanie Udayan of Sugar Land, David Hiebert of Rosenberg and Cameron Hardee of Sugar Land.

The WCJC Drama Department will present The Language Archive at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-27, at the Horton Foote Theatre in the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts Building on the Wharton campus. The show is open to the public and free of admission.

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