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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Onstage — Sound debate: Fusion Theatre Company

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Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014 5:00 am

Debate swirls around deafness. Would the hearing-deprived be happiest living mostly among other deaf people? Should they adapt as much as possible to the hearing world? Should they learn sign language, master the art of lip-reading, or pursue some other form of communication? English playwright Nina Raine, a great-niece of novelist Boris Pasternak, began musing on these matters after watching a documentary about a deaf couple who were expecting a child and expressed the strong desire that their baby be deaf. “I was struck by the thought that this was actually what many people feel, deaf or otherwise,” she wrote on the website of London’s Royal Court Theatre. “Parents take great pleasure in witnessing the qualities they have managed to pass on to their children. … The family is a tribe: an infighting tribe but intensely loyal.” These thoughts evolved into her play Tribes (first produced at the Royal Court Theatre), about a British family — part hearing, part not — that grapples with these serious issues in a context of comical dysfunction. Fusion Theatre Company brings Tribes to the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 2, at 8 p.m. and on Saturday, May 3, at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets ($20 to $40) can be had by calling 505-988-1234 or visiting www.ticketssantafe.org

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