section header tribes


by Nina Raine
Directed by Michael Evan Haney
January 29-February 16, 2014
Extended! now playing through february 22!

. Meet Billy: the deaf son of a fiercely outspoken family obsessed with self-expression. He has adapted brilliantly to his family’s unconventional ways, but they’ve never bothered to return the favor. However, when he finds a new family in the deaf community, tensions reach an all-time high in this touching play about membership in your tribe. With excoriating dialogue and sharp, compassionate insights, this is a savage, funny look at family dynamics, belonging and the limitations of communication.

feature ASLThrough the generosity of several private donors, we are pleased to be able to offer 14 ASL-interpreted performances of Tribes, including our Pay-What-You-Can preview and opening night performances. Click here for a complete calendar of these interpreted shows.

Additionally, we have been able to purchase 8 new Assisted Listening devices, which are compatible with most hearing aids. These devices are available at the box office and may be checked out prior to the show.


2 hrs, 15 minutes, with one intermission

Content Advisory:
This production contains strong language and adult themes and may not be suitable for all audiences.



Billy: Dale Dymkoski
Daniel: Ryan Wesley Gilreath
Ruth: Jen Joplin
Sylvia: Kelly Mengelkoch
Christopher: Barry Mulholland
Beth: Amy Warner


Author: Nina Raine
Director: Michael Evan Haney
Set & Lighting Designer: Brian c. Mehring
Costume Designer: Reba Senske
Sound Designer: Fitz Patton
Property Master & Design Assistant: Shannon Rae Lutz
Production Stage Manager: Brandon T. Holmes
Assistant Stage Managers: Zach Wells, Becca Howell
Dialect Coaches: Kate Glasheen, Jennifer Skapeti
Technical Operations Director: Aaron Clements
Master Electrician: Matthew Hollstegge
ASL Interpreters: Dawn Caudill, Phil Fiorini, Gail Maue
Primary Consultant: Maryann Barth


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"Full of rich characters....BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE!"- Cincinnati Enquirer

Tribes is "Nothing less than EXTRAORDINARY." -iSpyCincy

CRITICS PICK! "Under Haney's firm, clear direction, Tribes is a moving master class in family dynamics." -CityBeat

Tribes is "Ensemble’s best production this season to date with a first-rate acting ensemble."
-River City News

"One of the GREATEST SHOWS of the season...a MUST SEE." -Xavier Newswire

"A confident and elegant production."- Tony Dallas Theatre Review

Kelly Mengelkoch is "An on stage dynamo...I was mesmerized by her performance."
-Sappy Critic blog

Dale Dymkoski is "Eloquent and devastating." -Entertaining Views blog

audience buzz:

"@EnsembleCincy always love your shows but #TRIBES!!! Holy cow, I was blown away!!" @me_and_elna, via Twitter

"#Tribes at @EnsembleCincy is PHENOMENAL. I've never seen a production weave #ASL into the script. Moving, fascinating, heartfelt." -@Kate_the_great, via Twitter

"OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION; really a must-see!"- Ed C., via Facebook

"WOW! Wonderful play. Stellar performance!" -Ted A., via Facebook


Drama Reflects Actor's Own Life -Cincinnati Enquirer


feature tribes playbackJoin ETC for our PLAY/Back Series* for Tribes after evening performances on February 6th and 13th. No purchase is necessary for admission to post-show talk-backs (tickets must be purchased, however, to see the show).

The PLAY/Back series includes discussions with the cast and creative team of Tribes, as well as special guests Maryann Barth, who is Deaf and has served as the Primary Consultant for this production and is the former principal of St. Rita School for the Deaf; and Natalie Marsh, who is currently the Assistant Principal at St. Rita's and who has taught American Sign Language courses from Beginning to Intermediate level as well as theory courses such as Orientation to Deafness, History of Deaf Heritage, and Psychosocial Aspects of Deafness.

*Both PLAY/Back discussions for Tribes will include ASL Interpretation.



feature blog ASLAmerican Sign Language interpreter Dawn Caudill has been a theatrical interpreter for Ensemble Theatre for ten years and while she’s not on stage, she definitely plays a major role in ETC’s production of Tribes. Tribes is about Billy, a deaf young man who was brought up in a hearing family. The story deals with different communities and the complexity of language and communication. Not only will Dawn interpret live performances of the show, but...Read more


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