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Tribes

Photo by Siggi Ragnar
Kimberlyn Gumm, John Stillwagon, McKenna Liesman, Mark McCarver, Gary Hoeffler and Kathy Couser star in The Playhouse's production of Tribes
When Tribes premiered in London in 2010, award-winning playwright Nina Raine explained that her comic drama drew creative inspiration from both a documentary about a deaf couple hoping to have a deaf child and echoes of tribalism within communities, religious groups and families. Enhanced with creative elements that address hearing and listening (including projected supertitles and classical music interludes), the play surrounds an eccentric, dysfunctional family comprised of mom Beth (a writer struggling through a “marriage-breakdown detective novel”), dad Christopher (an academic yet foul-mouthed critic), daughter Ruth (a hopeful opera singer who gigs in pubs) and sons Daniel (a grad student plagued with auditory hallucinations) and Billy (who’s deaf and learning sign language from his girlfriend Sylvia). Described by The Wall Street Journal as “the best-written, best-plotted, deepest, most daring — and funniest — new play in recent years,” Tribes lands on The Playhouse’s Cellar Theatre stage in a production directed by John O’Neil.

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