Tribes

Jan. 8—Feb. 23 $39–$75
Studio Theatre
1501 14th St. NW, Washington, DC
Map
(202) 332-3300
Actor Joey Caverly anchors Nina Raine’s Tribes with a performance of surpassing sensitivity, a still, centered presence amid the play’s whirlwind of words. Which, it’s important to note, he can’t hear. Character and actor alike are deaf; Tribes is the story of his character Billy’s coming to terms with his hearing family, or more accurately the tale of his setting new terms for them. Raised to lip-read rather than sign and kept at a distance from the deaf community by his hyperarticulate, abrasively intellectual parents on the theory that disability culture is marginalized culture, Billy has a foot in two worlds and a home in neither. What we say, what we hear, what we intuit, what tone and body language convey, what a look can say in silence—these are the texts and subtexts of Raine’s wonderfully expressive play, a language drama that unfolds in at least three tongues. [TG]

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