Running time: 2 hour and 5 minutes, with one intermission
Age Recommendation: 16+ for coarse language throughout the play that may be offensive to some. ACT's policy is to inform audiences of content, but to let parents, guardians, and teachers make decisions that they feel is most appropriate for youth and teens in their care.

Tribes is the story of Billy, a young man who lives with an intellectual, chaotic, and sharp-tongued family. Arguments and insults regularly fly around the dinner table, all while Billy silently watches the scene unfold—he has been deaf since birth. He has managed to adapt to his family's unconventional ways, but they've never really returned the favor. His world is turned upside down when he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the cusp of deafness herself. Told with unfiltered wit at a roaring pace, Tribes is the hysterical and touching story about the struggle for self-identity and what it truly means to be understood. Get to know Billy with the preview video at right.

Winner of the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Tribes is a story of love, family and finding one’s voice. “You’ll find yourself suspended on a swaying bridge between two worlds.” —The New York Times

Closed Captioning devices available at all performances and ASL will be available at Mar 16 (7:30pm), 25 (8:00pm), and 26 (2:00pm). If you need assistance with purchasing CC seats or ASL tickets, you can call 206.292.7676, email, or visit us in person at 700 Union Street in Downtown Seattle (12:00pm–6:00pm, Tuesday–Sunday).  To read more about accessibility, click here. To read more about the Figaro MobiTxt Closed Captioning System, please read the FAQ here

Support Provided By Tribes_sponsors

Photo by Dawn Schaefer

in alphabetical order

Anne Allgood Kjerstine Rose Anderson Lindsay Evans Joshua Castille Frank Corrado Adam Standley

Anne Allgood*

Kjerstine Rose Anderson*

Lindsay W. Evans

Joshua M. Castille

Frank Corrado*

Adam Standley*

Creative Team

John Langs
Shawn Ketchum Johnson
Rose Pederson
Andrew D. Smith
Brendan Patrick Hogan
Tristan Roberson
Briana Kersten
Hannah Beehler
Ryan Schlecht
Judith Shahn
Scenic Designer
Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Sound Designer
Projections Designer
Stage Manager
Production Assistant
Sign Master
Dialect Coach

*Members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

Tribes Dig Deep Panel Discussion: Mar 16 at 6:30pm in Buster’s

Moderated by Patty Liang, Executive Director, Deaf Spotlight, join us for a discussion with Deaf adults who, like Billy in Tribes, were raised in hearing families. Learn from the similarities and differences found in their individual and shared experience. 

Anne Danahy Buddy Elledge Lorilee Haggerty
Anne Danahy grew up in Boston in a family with three generations and attended Clarke, an oral institution, for 4 years. Thereafter, she mainstreamed from 5th grade through graduate school. She is currently a project manager at the University of Washington.                                                                             Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Buddy Elledge moved to Seattle at the budding age of 12. He attended both oral deaf schools and mainstreamed in elementary, high school and college. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree graphic design in 2009 at the Art Institute of California in Santa Monica. Currently, Buddy works as a freelance graphic designer. Lorilee Haggerty went to Clarke School for the Deaf starting at the age 6 until her graduation at age 16. She was mainstream in high school and college. She holds two bachelor degrees from CSUN and Central Washington University. She is currently a business analysis manager at Starbucks Coffee Company.
Photo ©Valdies Czikan Photography

Suggested Resources

"Understanding Deafness: Not Everyone Wants to Be ‘Fixed’" by Allegra Ringo, The Atlantic

Deaf Teens: Hearing World, BBC documentary | Learn more about the film here or view the entire film on vimeo.
Through Deaf Eyes, Documentary, PBS Home Video, 2007 | Learn more about the film here
My Deaf Family, TV show, pilot episode | Learn more here.


Anything But Silent by Mark Drolsbaugh | Amazon
The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community by Harlan Lane | Amazon
Cultural and Language Diversity and the Deaf Experience edited by Ila Parasnis | Amazon
Inside Deaf Culture by Padden, Carol and Tom Humphries | Amazon, Seattle Public Library