Denzel Washington in Fences.
April 26, 2010
Fences explores the relationships of the Maxsons, an African-American family living in Pittsburgh in 1957. The story centers on Troy, an embittered garbage collector and former athlete. His wife, Rose, runs the household on Troy’s meager pay. Their teen son Cory is being recruited to play college football, a source of tension with his father. Also on the scene are Troy’s older son Lyons, brain-damaged brother Gabriel and drinking buddy Bono. The main action of the play takes places over a two-month period that changes the nature of the Maxsons’ marriage and Cory’s path in life forever.
The sixth play in August Wilson’s 10-part cycle of plays examining the African-American experience, Fences is his most widely known and commercially successful work. Initially presented as a staged reading at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s 1983 National Playwrights Conference, the play premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in April 1985. It debuted on Broadway in March 1987 at the 46th Street Theatre (now called the Richard Rodgers Theatre), where it ran for 525 performances. The play won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, four 1987 Tony Awards (it was nominated for six), the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and the John Gassner Outer Critics' Circle Award.
Produced by Carole Shorenstein Hays and Scott Rudin
Other Honors for this Production:
—Broadway.com Audience Award nomination for Favorite Broadway Play Revival
—Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Play
—Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play
—Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Revival of a Play
The character of Troy Maxson is said to be loosely based on August Wilson’s stepfather, David Bedford.