Artist Rep’s Tribes Examins the Hierarchies of Ability, Class, Language, and Love
Tribes is a play about Deaf Culture, and the complicated ideas about ability it brings up challenges the viewers preconceived ideas about deafness and disability. Billy, the central character, is deaf and the play focuses on the struggles he has with his family. His family never taught him ASL because they wanted him to be ‘normal’ not ‘handicapped.’ This leaves Billy in a state of solitude with only books and his hearing aid to rely on, until he meets Sylvia who teaches him ASL. This journey Billy takes looks at how humans tend to categorize those different from themselves as ‘others’ in order to simplify, making their problems separate from your own.
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