Sign of the Times: Performers challenged with deafness in Ensemble Theatre's 'Tribes'

Performances of family drama run through Feb. 16

CINCINNATI - Deaf culture is rarely depicted on stage, let alone as the centerpiece of a plotline. It's the foundation of "Tribes," the newest undertaking at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati.

Kelly Mengelkoch, who moved here 10 years ago to join the resident ensemble of Cincinnati Shakespeare, considers her role in "Tribes" among the most challenging of her career. To prepare for portraying a woman losing her hearing through the show's progression, she received coaching in American Sign Language, British inflection and playing the piano. 

In this video from rehearsal, we meet Mengelkoch and co-lead Dale Dymkoski, who was diagnosed at 3 years old with a "moderately severe bilateral sensorineural hearing loss."


WHAT: Ensemble Theatre's "Tribes."

WHEN: 14 performances from Jan. 29 through Feb. 16

WHERE: 1127 Vine St., Cincinnati

COST: $39-$43, with half-priced and $15 student rush tickets available starting two hours before each performance. 

INFO: (513) 421-3555 or

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