This past Fall, Annamaria Pileggi, Professor of the Practice in Drama, returned to St. Louis Actors’ Studio to direct Tribes, written by English playwright and director Nina Raine. Nathan Lamp, graduate student in Theatre and Performance Studies, served as the assistant director. "I'd taken the Theatre for Social Change course with Anna and had served as her dramaturg for the Performing Arts Department's Spring 2018 production of Wallace Shawn's Aunt Dan & Lemon," says Lamp, "but serving as her assistant director on Tribes gave me an opportunity to learn from her and work alongside her outside of the university." According to Lamp, he learned a great deal from this process: how to help actors home in on their characters' wants and needs, how to organically block a scene, and how to work efficiently, critically, and effectively in the rehearsal hall when time is precious. "Anna is a wonderful director and also a marvelous teacher, and I consider this show to be a very formative learning experience in my academic journey as a burgeoning director, teacher, and theatre scholar," says Lamp.
Tribes explores the life of Billy, a young man who was born deaf into a hearing family. His family is idiosyncratic and unconventional, and he’s adapted brilliantly to their ways, but they’ve never bothered to accommodate his deafness. It’s only
when he meets Sylvia, a young woman who is going deaf, that he begins to understand what it means to be truly understood.
Tribes was presented by St. Louis Actors’ Studio at The Gaslight Theater (358 N Boyle Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108), and ran from Friday, November 30th to Sunday, December 16th. Opening night and all Thursday and Sunday performances were ASL-interpreted for deaf and hard of hearing patrons.