On Sunday, Abbie and I attended the play Tribes at Phoenix Theater. Our agency works with both The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing and Arizona Relay Service and found out about the play from their e-newsletter.
When we had originally decided to go I had looked up a description about the play. Here is the brief overview from the Phoenix Theater website: At the play's center is Billy, a young man born deaf to a hearing family. In an effort to protect him, Billy's erudite and proudly-eccentric parents (played by noteworthy Valley actors Cathy Dresbach and Dion Johnson) have raised him without any knowledge of sign language. It isn't until he meets Sylvia that Billy understands the extended family he has within the Deaf community.
Sounds simple enough?
Right… until the first minute of the play in which I felt very uncomfortable and out of my normal comfort zone. I had an immediate dislike for the overbearing and controlling father and the two self-centered siblings. In fact, not only did I feel this way throughout the entire play, even when I had tears in my eyes at the end, but I still feel that now as I am writing about the experience.
This is one of the most emotionally intense and thought-provoking plays I have attended. The message about how we view communication and how we communicate really opens your heart and makes you think about how different it must be to not be able to hear in a hearing world. It is really a sense of grounding yourself to not take anything for granted.
The play only runs through this Sunday, Feb. 16 and if you get a chance to attend, I promise you will not be disappointed.
Now I want to know have you seen the play? What were your thoughts (or emotions)?