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Tribes - A Powerful Theatre Piece About the Deaf Community

Tribes - A Powerful Theatre Piece About the Deaf Community

Victoria, Australia
Listed by View details

Actors Required for ‘Tribes’ 2021 Theatre Project
Hartwell Players is proud to be present Tribes by Nina Raine in October 2021.

“Tribes are everywhere. Billy’s tribe is his family. They have their own rituals and hierarchies that ‘outsiders’ can’t understand. Can Billy escape his tribe…will his tribe allow him?”

The prestigious winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, 2012 New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Best Foreign Play and 2012 Obie Award, Tribes is that rare play that is truly different and has the potential to affect the way that people view the Deaf community.

The play focuses on a dysfunctional Jewish British family, made up of the parents Beth and Christopher and three grown children living at home, Daniel, Ruth and Billy, the last of whom is deaf, raised to read lips and speak but without knowledge of sign language. When Billy meets Sylvia, a hearing woman born to deaf parents who is now slowly going deaf herself, his interaction with her (including her teaching him sign language) reveals some of the languages, beliefs, and hierarchies of the family and the "extended family" of the Deaf community.

The New York Times called it: "A smart, lively, and beautifully acted new play that asks us to hear how we hear, in silence as well as in speech”

Tribes will be directed by Paul Wanis, a NAATI qualified AUSLAN interpreter, whose recent productions include the award-winning Frosted Glass Coffin and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire to much critical acclaim.

Tribes has not been performed in Melbourne since 2012 and will be marketed to multiple and diverse audiences including the Deaf and Jewish Communities, mainstream media, select publications and through Hartwell’s extensive community / independent theatre networks. It will also be Hartwell Player's entry for the 2021 Victorian Drama League Awards held in December 2021.

The play will be presented in both AUSLAN and English. All performances will be interpreted and we are anticipating excellent audiences across the 4-week season (15 performances).

Hartwell Players are looking for committed, passionate actors and AUSLAN Interpreters (for rehearsals and performances) that can demonstrate a powerful engagement with the text. The rehearsal process will be intensive and a significant commitment will be required. A positive attitude and strong work ethic is essential.

***Please note: We are a not-for-profit community theatre company. Therefore, we are all volunteers and these roles are all unpaid. ***


Audition / Rehearsal / Production dates

Auditions - July 25-27th (Call-backs - 1/7)

Rehearsals - 1/8-5/10, 2021 in Melbourne (Ashwood 3147)

Performances at the Performing Arts Centre - Ashwood High School:
October 7-30, 2021

Job payment

Unpaid – this is a collaboration opportunity - We are a registered not-for-profit community theatre organisation run by volunteers.

Fee details - In order to be covered by our Public Liability insurance all participants must be financial members of our Theatre Company. This is a nominal fee of $25.

Collaborations should create mutual benefit and are usually amateur, student or 'Time for Print' projects.

UPDATE: Dear Applicants, please note that auditions are actually on the 25th to 27th of July. I have contacted Starnow to correct this error. Paul

Edited 12 July 2021


Must be a Deaf Actor who can speak (does not have to be perfect) and is fluent in AUSLAN

Male, aged 18 to 30

  • Languages: Sign Language

Applications closed 28 July 2021.


SYLVIA (20s) – Hearing girl going deaf To be portrayed by a AUSLAN proficient Hearing Actress (ideally a CODA - Child of Deaf Adult) OR a Deaf actress with excellent English speech skills). Sylvia is Billy's love interest.

Female, aged 18 to 30

  • Languages: Sign Language

Applications closed 28 July 2021.

DANIEL (20s/30s) - Billy's Brother

Male, aged 18 to 35

  • Accents: UK English

Applications closed 28 July 2021.

RUTH (20-30) - Billy's Sister

Billy’s sister. The middle child. A year or two older than Billy. UK Northern accent preferred (not essential) An aspiring Opera singer.

Female, aged 18 to 30

  • Accents: UK English

Applications closed 28 July 2021.

CHRISTOPHER (50s/60s) - Billy's Father

Billy’s father UK Northern accent preferred (not essential) University educated academic - Jewish - swears like a sailor Trying to learn Chinese.

Male, aged 50 to 70

  • Accents: UK English

Applications closed 28 July 2021.

BETH (50s/60s) - Billy's Mum

Female, aged 50 to 70

  • Accents: UK English

Applications closed 28 July 2021.


We are looking for up to 6 interpreters to assist with the production. We are willing to accept Interpreting students however AUSLAN language skills must be of a very high standard. We will provide training in theatre interpreting.

Anyone, aged 18 and over

  • Languages: Sign Language

Applications closed 28 July 2021.

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Listing created: 10 July 2021
Applications closed: 28 July 2021
Casting #1134812