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Actors Wanted for Powerful Theatre Piece About the Deaf Community

Actors Wanted for Powerful Theatre Piece About the Deaf Community

Victoria, Australia
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It is rare that a play that is truly different and has the potential to affect the way that people view an entire community comes along. This is one of those times.

Hartwell Players is proud to be presenting Tribes by Nina Raine in October 2021.

The play will be presented in both AUSLAN and English. All performances will be interpreted and we are anticipating excellent audiences across the 3 week (13 performances) season.

It will be directed by Paul Wanis - a NAATI qualified AUSLAN interpreter and an award winning actor and director whose recent productions include Tennessee Williams - A Streetcar Named Desire performed to critical acclaim at Northcote Town Hall in November 2019.

Tribes is the story of Billy, the only deaf member of a loving yet comically dysfunctional British-Jewish family living in London. Along with Daniel, his depressive older brother and Ruth, his cosmically adrift older sister, Billy lives with his parents, Christopher and Beth, in their cluttered and yet comfortingly worn-in home.

None of the family’s (Generation Y) children seem to be certain of the next step: Daniel attempts to write his thesis, Ruth half-heartedly tries to procure opera gigs, and Billy makes frustrating attempts to reintegrate himself into family life after having been away at University.

Billy’s world is opened up, however, when he encounters Sylvia, a young woman who has grown up as the only hearing member of a deaf family. He quickly realises how sheltered from the deaf world he has been by his family, and how, in their attempts to avoid making him feel like an “other,” they have actually made it impossible for him to take pride in his deafness. Much to his father’s chagrin, Sylvia begins teaching Billy sign language and introducing him to the deaf community. As he grapples with his own identity, we, too, are forced to ask questions about the meaning of belonging, community, and family.

This play has not been performed in Melbourne since 2012 and it is sure to be memorable piece of theatre. It is our plan that we will market this play heavily via social media, Deaf and Jewish Community publications and mainstream media. It will also be Hartwell Player's entry for the 2021 Victorian Drama League Awards held in December 2021.

We are looking for expressions of interest in: Acting roles, AUSLAN Interpreters for rehearsals and performances and also for production assistants.

***Please note: We are a not-for-profit community theatre company. Therefore, we are all volunteers and these roles are all unpaid.***

Audition / Rehearsal / Production dates

Auditions - June 27 & 28 (Call-backs - 1/7)

Rehearsals - 4/7-5/10, 2021 in Melbourne (Ashwood 3147)

Performances at the Performing Arts Centre - Ashwood High School:
October 7-30, 2021

Job payment

Unpaid – this is a collaboration opportunity - We are a registered not-for-profit community theatre organisation run by volunteers.

Fee details - In order to be covered by our Public Liability insurance all participants must be financial members of our Theatre Company. This is a nominal fee of $25.

Collaborations should create mutual benefit and are usually amateur, student or 'Time for Print' projects.


The youngest child and lead role. This role is for a male Deaf Actor (20s) who is fluent in AUSLAN.

Male, aged 18 to 30

  • Languages: Sign Language

Applications closed 3 July 2021.


SYLVIA (20s) – Hearing girl going deaf To be portrayed by a AUSLAN proficient Hearing Actress (ideally a CODA - Child of Deaf Adult) OR a Deaf actress with excellent English speech skills). Sylvia is Billy's love interest.

Female, aged 18 to 30

  • Languages: Sign Language

Applications closed 3 July 2021.

DANIEL (20s/30s)

Billy’s brother. The oldest child. A year or two older than Ruth. UK Northern accent (not essential)

Male, aged 25 to 35

  • Accents: UK English

Applications closed 3 July 2021.


Billy’s father UK Northern accent preferred (not essential) University educated academic - Jewish - swears like a sailor Trying to learn Chinese.

Male, aged 50 to 75

  • Accents: UK English

Applications closed 3 July 2021.

BETH (50s/60s)

Billy’s mother UK Northern Accent preferred (not essential) University Educated Academic - Jewish

Female, aged 50 to 70

  • Accents: UK English

Applications closed 3 July 2021.

RUTH (20s)

Billy’s sister. The middle child. A year or two older than Billy. UK Northern accent preferred (not essential) An aspiring Opera singer.

Female, aged 20 to 30

  • Accents: UK English

Applications closed 3 July 2021.


We are looking for up to 6 interpreters to assist with the production. We are willing to accept Interpreting students however AUSLAN language skills must be of a very high standard. We will provide training in theatre interpreting.

Anyone, aged 18 and over

  • Languages: Sign Language

Applications closed 3 July 2021.

Previous audition:
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Next audition:
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Listing created: 2 June 2021
Applications closed: 3 July 2021
Casting #1128644