U.Va. Department of Drama to Present 'Language of Angels' Beginning Oct. 22

October 13, 2009

October 13, 2009 — The University of Virginia Department of Drama 2009-10 season will continue with Naomi Iizuka's contemporary ghost story, "Language of Angels," set to open Oct. 22 in the Helms Theatre.

"Language of Angels" is a haunting tale that begins in a cave on the edge of a rural North Carolina town, where a young girl once went missing. One of nine friends is responsible for her death, yet her ghostly, echoed cries will haunt each of them forever. Iizuka weaves together the parallel paths each friend takes that lead to their own tragic fates. Her ghost story morphs into a multi-layered musing on grief, loss, guilt and karma, and the elusive truth behind missing girl's life and death reveals itself one piece at a time.

Doreen Bechtol, director of youth programs at the American Shakespeare Center and a founding member of the Charlottesville-based Performers Exchange Program, will direct the play.

"Because Iizuka set the structure of Japanese Noh drama, with its ghostly presences and shifting time, against the rural landscape of North Carolina, we likewise juxtapose elements of Japanese drama with clearly drawn characters from a mountain village in the South," said Bechtol. "What surfaces is a beautifully poetic Appalachian voice – a familiar voice of hardship, despair and grief elegantly spun into a centuries-old dramatic structure."

"Language of Angels" will run Oct. 22-24 and Oct. 27-31. All performances begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $14 for the general public; $12 for seniors and U.Va. faculty, staff and Alumni Association members; and $8 for students. Parking is free at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, located alongside the theaters.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu and are also available weekdays between noon and 5 p.m., both by phone at 434-924-3376 and in person at the Arts Box Office, in the lobby of the Drama Building on Culbreth Road. A $3.50 processing fee applies to Internet, phone and mail orders.

The 2009-10 Department of Drama season will also include Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid" (Helms Theatre, Nov. 12-14 and Nov. 17-21); Chekhov's "The Seagull" (Culbreth Theatre, Feb. 18-20 and Feb. 24-27); Sarah Ruhl's smart and funny "Dead Man's Cell Phone" (Helms Theatre, March 25-27, March 30-April 3) and the musical theater fairy tale "Pippin" (Culbreth Theatre, April 22-14, April 28-May 1).

For information on the 2009-2010 season, visit www.virginia.edu/drama.

— By Jane Ford