Billy’s proudly unconventional family shows affection by lobbing barbed witticisms back and forth in a never ending match of wills. But Billy, who is Deaf, has never been able to fully participate in their game. When he meets a young woman who teaches him how to sign, he finally finds his own voice and stands up for his right to be heard. Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk award for Outstanding Play.
Lida Benson as Ruth
Andrew Butterfield as Daniel
Dale Dymkoski as Billy
Karen Lefkoe as Beth
Aly Perry as Sylvia
Steve Small as Christopher
Scenic Designer: Blair Mielnik
Costume Designer: Suzanne Kneller
Sound Designer: Martha Goode
Lighting Designer: Sarah Simmons
Props Master: Sue Wade
Technical Director: Alan Hefferon
Production Stage Management: Nicole Kutcher
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Please note: Thursday, October 15th will be an ASL interpreted performance.
Running Time: 2 hours including a 10 minute intermission.
Tribes is funded in part through Vermont Stage's new Arts Innovation Fund
Behind the Scenes
"With this exquisite production, Vermont Stage not only proves the power of live theater, but exemplifies the possibilities, and the limits, of communication itself." - Seven Days
"Vermont Stage Company opened its 2015-16 season of professional theater at the Flynn Center’s FlynnSpace with a powerful yet sensitive performance of this riveting drama. Thursday’s performance revealed an excellent cast effectively directed by Mark Alan Gordon." - The Times Argus
"'Tribes' is like a reverse crescendo; it’s a loud, fast, wordy play that gradually slows down, reflects and lets thoughts, images and deep feelings tell the final story." - The Burlington Free Press
"A smart, lively play that asks us to hear how we hear, in silence as well as in speech." —NY Times
"…subtle and scintillating…Raine shrewdly builds [a] dense canopy of sound around Billy's silence, in order to make the narrative of his oppressive solitude and his subsequent liberation from it more than just a problem play about the hearing-impaired. TRIBES is as much about the tyranny of language as it is about the misery of not being able to hear it." —The New Yorker
"What a pleasure it is to encounter Nina Raine's distinctive comedy-drama TRIBES. This story of what happens to a fiercely intellectual, relentlessly competitive, 'conventionally unconventional' (as one character puts it) English family when its youngest member, the sweet-natured Billy, who is deaf, steps into his maturity is ruthlessly unsentimental and well observed." —BackStage