PHOTO CALL: Kathryn Erbe, Edie Falco and Laura Osnes Celebrate Tribes Opening Night

By Joseph Marzullo
05 Mar 2012

A young deaf man escapes the emotional cacophony of his dysfunctional family when a woman who is losing her hearing transforms his life in the American premiere of Nina Raine's Olivier Award-nominated play Tribes, which officially opened Off-Broadway March 4 at the Barrow Street Theatre.

Lucille Lortel and Obie Award-winning director David Cromer directs the in-the-round production that began previews Feb. 16. Tickets are currently on sale through June 3.

The Barrow Street Theatre was also the home of Cromer's acclaimed staging of Our Town.

The cast features Academy Award nominee Mare Winningham ("Georgia," "Mildred Pierce," "The Boys Next Door") and Jeff Perry (August: Osage County, Our Town), who co-starred as husband and wife on "Grey's Anatomy."

They are reunited in Tribes as the parents of an unconventional family where no subject, no matter how sensitive, is off limits. Russell Harvard ("There Will Be Blood") portrays their son Billy, who was never taught sign language, but has learned to adapt to life as a deaf man by reading lips.



Also appearing are Will Brill (Cromer's Our Town) and Gayle Rankin (The Illusion) as siblings Daniel and Ruth, respectively, with Susan Pourfar (Cromer's When the Rain Stops Falling) as Sylvia, a woman born into a deaf family, who is slowly losing her hearing. She unlocks a new world of language and possibility for Billy.



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Mare Winningham, Jeff Perry, Susan Pourfar, Will Brill, Gayle Rankin and Russell Harvard
Photo by Monica Simoes



Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirtshafter, who produced Cromer's acclaimed staging of Thornton Wilder's Our Town Off-Broadway, are the produces of Tribes. Patrick Daly, of Jean Doumanian Productions, is also among the producers.

The creative team includes Tony Award-winning scenic designer Scott Pask, costume designer Tristan Raines, lighting designer Keith Parham, sound designer Daniel Kluger and projection designer Jeff Sugg.

Here's how the play is billed: "In Tribes, Billy was born deaf into a hearing family, and raised inside the fiercely idiosyncratic and unrepentantly politically incorrect cocoon of his parents' house. He has adapted brilliantly to his family's unconventional ways, but they've never bothered to return the favor. It's not until he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, that he finally understands what it means to be understood."

Cromer recently staged Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, as well as the Broadway revival of The House of Blue Leaves. His credits also include Adding Machine, When the Rain Stops Falling, Picnic and the short-lived 2009 Broadway revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs.

For tickets visit Smarttix.com. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street.