Friday, January 31, 2014


The Philadelphia Theatre Company, located in the Suzanne Roberts Theatre at Broad and Lombard Streets, is presenting Nina Raine’s award winning drama, Tribes through February 23.  Set in London, Tribes was commissioned for London’s Royal Court Theatre where it won an award and was nominated for several other awards for Best New Play. It received similar acclaim when it played on Broadway. It is captivating Philadelphia audiences as well.  The very talented ensemble cast takes on the persona of a quirky family.  Jacob Judd portrays the boisterous, eccentric father who believes everyone should share the same traits; thus he raised his deaf son to lip-read rather than sign.  Tad Cooley portrays Billy.  Having been born deaf is not the only trait that makes him different from the rest of his family.  Despite being “handicapped”, he is the only character with a sense of normalcy.  Alex  Hoeffler portrays Billy’s brother Daniel. The voices that occur in his head make him rather disturbed.  His sister Ruth, played by Robin Abramson is very fragile and his mother Beth, a struggling author portrayed by Laurie Klatscher, has a difficult time in keeping peace in the family.  Nina Raine has smacked the audience into the center of the conflict that arises for the deaf.  Is it more beneficial to learn to sign or to lip read?  Billy has  been raised in a hearing household; yet when all the bickering and subtleties of conversation fly around the room in rapid sequence, he is at a loss to catch it all and his questions are dismissed.  When he meets Sylvia, someone who is losing her hearing, a whole new world opens up to him.  The final result will have you sniveling. This work gives great insight into the world of the deaf and the hearing impaired.  It is not something that should be missed but don’t go without a tissue.  For more information or tickets, call 215-984-0420 or visit online at

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