One In Five for Sunday 7 July 2013
Tribes: a dramatic take on being deaf within a hearing family.
The contemporary play, Tribes, currently being staged at Dunedin's Fortune Theatre, centres on an argumentative, academic family in which the youngest son, Billy is deaf but has been raised to lipread.
Family dynamics are fractured when Billy's new girlfriend, who is losing her hearing, teaches him sign language and he begins to find his independence.
The acclaimed and, sometimes, provocative, play, by Nina Raine, explores family relationships and the ways people communicate, whether they are able to hear or not.
Katy Gosset talks to the actors who have learnt sign language for the production as well as both deaf and hearing crew members about making the play authentic.
Left: Nathan Mudge as Billy and Sophie Hambleton as Sylvia. The character of Billy is using sign language.
Right: The third is Nathan Mudge as Billy and Ben Van Lier as Daniel hugging. They play brothers in the production.