The best-written, best-plotted, deepest, most daring, and funniest, new play in recent years.
–-Wall Street Journal


Billy's intellectual and proudly eccentric English family is its own tiny empire: private languages, in-jokes and fiery arguments. Billy, deaf since birth, is the only one who truly listens. When he meets his girlfriend Sylvia, he is introduced to a larger Deaf community, which sparks a struggle for self-identity and rebellion against his family. Tribes is sharp, witty story about finding the place where you can be heard and a family that feels like home.

Watch & Listen



  2. <i>TRIBES</i> - Audience Response

    TRIBES - Audience Response

  3. <i>TRIBES</i> - Trailer

    TRIBES - Trailer

  4. <i>TRIBES</i> in Production

    TRIBES in Production

  5. <i>TRIBES</i> in Rehearsal

    TRIBES in Rehearsal

  6. <i>TRIBES</i> - ASL Signed Synopsis

    TRIBES - ASL Signed Synopsis

  7. 2013/14 Season: <i>TRIBES</i>

    2013/14 Season: TRIBES

Cast & Artists

The Artists

The Cast

Featured Ensemble Members


“Tribes Buzzes, Dizzies, and Dazzles…a vivid exploration of how language molds lives, shapes perceptions and determines where we belong” –Chicago Magazine

So many great lines...bought the script at intermission” – Paige, Twitter

An abundance of witty dialogue, impeccable sound design…and impressive performances all around” – Newcity

Beautiful show…everyone see Tribes– Brian, Twitter

An especially stimulating, smart and important play– Chicago Tribune

Program Articles

Welcome to Tribes

A welcome letter from Artistic Director Martha Lavey

Part of Your Tribe

Playwright Nina Raine found time in her hectic schedule to chat with Director of New Play Development Aaron Carter about Steppenwolf’s upcoming production of her play Tribes. They touched base just before Nina headed off to Zagreb, Croatia to see a production of the play.
Edited by Jenni Page-White

How Can You Perform So Well?

Performer Regina Daniels on her experiences on the stage with hearing loss.

Buy Tickets

Tickets for this production are not currently on sale. Call 312-335-1650 for more information.

Running Time

Content Advisory

Steppenwolf does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects (such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.

Special Performances

To purchase ASL or open captioning tickets, click on the "Buy Tickets" box above, select a date, and click the "Select Your Own Seat" button.

(Newly Added) American Sign Language Interpretation and Open Captioning
Saturday, February 8 at 3pm*
Friday, February 14 at 7:30pm*

American Sign Language Interpretation Only
Saturday, February 1 at 3pm** (sold out)

Open Captioning Only
Saturday, January 18 at 3pm** (sold out)
Friday, January 31 at 7:30pm**

Audio Description and Touch Tour
Sunday, January 26
Touch Tour: 1:30pm
Curtain: 3pm

* Interpreters and/or caption display and seats will be on the RIGHT side of the theater if you're facing the stage.

** Interpreters and/or caption display and seats will be on the LEFT side of the theater if you're facing the stage.

More from the 2013-14 Season


  • Corporate Presenting Sponsor
    Corporate Presenting Sponsor
  • Corporate Production Co-Sponsor
    Corporate Production Co-Sponsor
  • Corporate Production Co-Sponsor
    Corporate Production Co-Sponsor
  • Major Foundation Production Support<br> <br>Opening Night Celebration Sponsor:<br>Marsh Private Client Services
    Major Foundation Production Support

    Opening Night Celebration Sponsor:
    Marsh Private Client Services