Imagine a professional linguist, a man who speaks countless languages and specializes in preserving dying ones, but who is unable to talk with his wife, Mary. In The Language Archive (a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize winner), about to have its regional premiere at Stages Repertory Theatre, playwright Julia Cho tells the comedic, poignant, sometimes heartbreaking story of George, a man on the verge of a great professional breakthrough in his chosen field, whose wife chooses this moment to walk out on him. Actress Sally Edmundson, making her directorial debut (''I've been threatening to jump off this cliff for 20 years''), says as soon as she read The Language Archive, she knew she wanted to direct it. ''What this play really asks is, is it possible to find another human being who plugs into the unspoken parts of us, the broken parts, who enhances the good, the potential we have.'' Toss in a young lab assistant, Emma, who gradually realizes that she loves George (''He's clueless,'' Edmundson says), and a couple of seniors who are the last two people alive speaking what had been thought to be a lost language, and the play that's been described as a quirky comedy becomes ''an onion; layers upon layers,'' Edmundson says. And, she warns, just when you think you have it figured out, you don't.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 13. Continues through March 3, 2013