OC Premiere of Nina Raine's TRIBES Begins 9/24 at Chance Theater

Chance Theater, Anaheim's official resident theater company, is pleased to announce the fifth show in our 19th Anniversary Season... Tribes. Written by Nina Raine and directed by Marya Mazor, Tribes will preview from September 24 through September 29; regular performances will begin September 30 and continue through October 22 at Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center on the Cripe Stage.

Billy, the only deaf child in a family that could hear, was raised inside the family's fiercely idiosyncratic and politically incorrect cocoon. His family is determined to raise him like a "normal" child - training him to read lips instead of learning sign language. Billy adapts brilliantly to his family's unconventional ways without truly feeling what it's like to be heard. It's not until Billy meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, that he is finally introduced to the Deaf community that his family sheltered him from his entire life. As Billy tries to find his identity among his true family, his interactions with the deaf community reveal that they are the ones who truly understand how important it is for him to be understood.

In an interview with Steppenwolf Theater Company, playwright Nina Raine explains she was inspired to write Tribes after watching a documentary about a deaf couple. "They wanted their baby to be born deaf," she said, "and then I kind of thought, 'yeah, but we all want our kids to display some sort of aspect of ourselves.' because in a way, there's some ego and vanity in having children and creating your own dominion."


Chance Theater wants to ensure that Deaf audience members can also enjoy this production. So for the first time, there will be ASL interpreters present at select performances. They will be standing to the side of the main action on stage.

  • Friday, September 29 at 8:00pm

  • Sunday, October 8 at 3:00pm

  • Friday, October 13 at 8:00pm

  • Thursday, October 19 at 7:30pm

These performances will be interpreted by Christine Bartley or Kiana Bjur.

Nina Raine (Playwright) graduated from Oxford, where she began her career as a trainee director at The Royal Court Theatre. She dramaturged and directed the play Unprotected (Written by Esther Wilson, John Fay, Tony Green, and Lizzie Nunnery) at the Liverpool Everyman, for which she won both the TMA Best Director Award and the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for an Outstanding Production on a Human Rights Theme. Raine's debut play, Rabbit, (which she also directed) world's premiere was held at the Old Red Lion Theatre in 2006 after which a sell out run transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End before being produced as part of the Britts of Broadway festival held in New York City. Rabbit garnered her the Charles Wintour Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright as well as the Critics Circle Award for most promising Playwright. TRIBES, Raine's second play, enjoyed a sell out run and won an Offie Award for Best New Play. It was also nominated for both Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best New Play. Tribes North American Premiere was held at Barrow Street Theatre in New York City where it won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play, The New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award.

Marya Mazor (Director) is critically acclaimed, award-winning director of theatre and film whose work has been seen across the country. She was one of eight where she directed The Winged Man, featuring Ana Ortiz, written by Academy-Award Nominee Jose Rivera (Motorcycle Diaries). The Winged Man, which premiered at the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival, has since played at festivals around the country and abroad, including ComiCon and Athens International; it also aired nationally on SiTV and is now available on itunes. Marya recently directed Ivy & Bean at South Coast Repertory Theatre; her fall 2013 production of Time Stands Still at Chance Theater garnered rave reviews. In 2012, Marya directed Aladdin for Disney Cruise Line, the world premiere of Brian Nelson's Overlooked at Chance Theater, and Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest at the Open Fist Theatre, all to critical acclaim. Her hit production of Albee's The Goat was named Best Play of 2011 by OC Weekly.

The production team for Tribes also includes scenic designer Bradley Kaye (After the Revolution, In the Heights), and stage manager Wade Williamson (Seminar, LA Vida: OTR Reading).

Tod and Linda White are the Executive Producers, Sophie and Larry Cripe, and Laurie Smits Staude are Associate Producers. Bette & Wylie Aitken are the Season Producers for the entire 2017 production schedule.


Proud to be one of the leading ensemble-driven theatre companies in Southern California, CHANCE THEATER recently received a National Theatre Company grant from American Theatre Wing. The Chance has won six Ovation Awards, including two for Best Production of a Musical - Intimate Theater for its West Coast premiere of Triassic Parq - The Musical and Southern California premiere of Jerry Springer - The Opera, as well as four LADCC Awards, including the Polly Warfield Award for Outstanding Season. The Anaheim City Council named Chance Theater "the official resident theater company of Anaheim", and Arts Orange County has twice named the Chance as "Outstanding Arts Organization". Known for using bold and personal storytelling to promote dialogue and connection within the Southern California theatrical landscape, the Chance is committed to contributing to a more compassionate, connected and creative community. As a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Network of Ensemble Theaters, and the LA Stage Alliance, Chance Theater continues to bring national attention to the Southern California and Orange County theater scenes.

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