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Tribes, Barrow Street Theatre, NYC Show Poster
Barrow Street Theatre

27 Barrow Street
New York, NY 10014

2hrs. 15mins
1 Intermission
Important Dates
Feb 16, 2012
Mar 04, 2012
Jan 20, 2013
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Mare Winningham and Jeff Perry star in the North American premiere of Nina Raine's comedy, directed by David Cromer.


Beyond Broadway: <I>Tribes</I>


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What Is the Story of Tribes?
Tribes centers around a British couple and their three adult children—Daniel, Billy and Ruth, all of whom live at home. While the family engages in loud, heated and often politically incorrect debates around the dinner table, Billy, who is deaf from birth but has learned to read lips, tries desperately to catch up on the conversation. But because he can’t pick up the intricacies of the dialogue, Billy feels isolated and lonely. When he falls in love with Sylvia, a deaf woman who teaches him sign language, he learns an entirely new way to communicate his feelings, creating turmoil and confusion for his family.

Critics’ Reviews

Harvard, who is deaf himself, keeps Billy at the emotional center of the play, even though Pourfar steals a number of scenes as she expresses the particular sadness of losing an ability she's always had.

Review by Stephan Lee from Entertainment Weekly

Once again, Cromer confirms that he’s one of our most vital, most sensitive directors.

Review by Elisabeth Vincentelli from New York Post

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tribes Like?
Tribes is a comedy-drama hybrid that is both raucously funny and intensely heartbreaking. David Cromer’s intimate staging is in the round, and the cast often performs only inches from the audience. Words and images are projected onto set pieces, walls and even audience members, transforming the production into an interactive theatergoing experience. Deaf actor Russell Harvard leads the strong ensemble cast in this moving story about family bonds and finding a voice.

Is Tribes Good for Kids?
No. Coarse dialogue, references to drugs and sexual innuendos are used throughout the production (in both English and sign language). Older teens may be interested in the play’s twenty-something characters, but while there is no nudity or graphic violence, this is a production parents should see first to determine the suitability of the subject matter.