Award-Winning Family Drama Tribes Plays the Guthrie Beginning Oct. 5

News   Award-Winning Family Drama Tribes Plays the Guthrie Beginning Oct. 5
The Guthrie Theater's production of Nina Raine's Tribes, the winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, begins performances at the Minneapolis venue Oct. 5.

Jeff Perry and Mare Winningham
Jeff Perry and Mare Winningham Photo by Monica Simoes

Directed by Wendy C. Goldberg, opening is scheduled for Oct. 11 on the McGuire Proscenium Stage. Performances will continue through Nov. 10.

John McGinty, who is himself deaf, appears in the role of Billy. He is joined by Stephen Schnetzer as Christopher, Hugh Kennedy as Daniel, Tracey Maloney as Sylvia, Anna Reichert as Ruth and Sally Wingert as Beth.

"Billy is a young man born deaf and raised in an opinionated and intellectually raucous family that talks constantly," according to press notes. "Not only have his parents and siblings never learned sign language, neither has Billy, who has had to adapt to the hearing world. Then he meets Sylvia, a young woman from a Deaf family who introduces him to sign language. Billy feels a confidence and sense of belonging he's not known before and finally understands what it means to be understood."

On writing the play Nina Raine said in a previous statement, "I first had the idea of writing Tribes when I watched a documentary about a deaf couple. The woman was pregnant. They wanted their baby to be deaf. I was struck by the thought that this was actually what many people feel, deaf or otherwise. Parents take great pleasure in witnessing the qualities they have managed to pass on to their children. Not only a set of genes. A set of values, beliefs. Even a particular language. The family is a tribe: an infighting tribe but intensely loyal."

The artistic team includes Alexander Dodge (set designer), Anne Kennedy (costume designer), Josh Epstein (lighting designer), Leah Gelpe (sound and projection designer), Lucinda Holshue (voice and dialect), Carla Steen (dramaturg), Chris A. Code (stage manager) and Meaghan Rosenberger (assistant stage manager). Single tickets start at $29 and are on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at (612) 377-2224 and online at

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