KC Rep announces ‘Fences’ as next play

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Pulitzer, Oscar, and Tony Award-Winning Classic FENCES Hits Copaken Stage This Fall

Noted Director Ron OJ Parson Takes the Helm Oct. 13 thru Nov. 12

 Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Repertory Theatre continues its 2017/18 season with August Wilson’s beloved play, FENCES, the winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play that same year.

FENCES, perhaps the most highly-regarded and well-known of August Wilson’s soaring ten-play ‘Pittsburgh Cycle,’ tells the gripping story of an African-American father and son and the hopes and dreams to which they desperately cling. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh against the backdrop of a rapidly changing America, FENCES is as powerful, timely and poetic a story today as it was when it was written in 1985.

Wilson’s play was first developed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center‘s 1983 National Playwrights Conference and premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1985. This American theatre classic will be produced by Kansas City Repertory Theatre and directed by long-time Wilson collaborator and friend Ron OJ Parson. FENCES runs from October 13, 2017 to November 12, 2017, at Copaken Stage in the H& R Block Building in Kansas City’s Power and Light District.

“In the American theatre cannon, there is no question that August Wilson has his rightful place beside Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams and Lorraine Hansberry,” said KCRep Artistic Director Eric Rosen, “this seems like the perfect time and the perfect place to remind us of Wilson’s powerful voice and revisit the themes of his plays, right here in the heartland of America.  It should also be noted that Wilson finished his iconic play, RADIO GOLF, right here while living in Kansas City briefly before his death in 2005.”

 

The protagonist of FENCES is Troy Maxson, a 53-year-old working-class African American man who lives with his wife, Rose, and son, Corey, in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. He works for the Sanitation Department as a garbage collector and is a quintessential tragic American hero. Once a great player in the Negro Baseball Leagues, he was too old to join the Majors once they were integrated. His past mistakes and failures greatly influence his outlook on life and his relationships with his family, friends and sons.

Under the direction of Ron OJ Parson, the cast for the KCRep production features AC Smith as Troy Maxson, Greta Oglesby as Rose Maxson, Rufus Burns as Cory Maxson, Walter Coppage as Gabriel Maxson and Alfred Wilson as Jim Bono. Rachel Laritz (Costumes), Jack Magaw (Sets) and Andre Pluess (Sound) make up the design team.

August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) was an American playwright who received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Each work in his Pittsburgh Cycle series is set in a different decade and depicts both comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th Century. Wilson’s best-known plays are Fences (1985) which won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony AwardThe Piano Lesson (1990) won a Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, both winners of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award.

Major sponsors for the KCRep production of FENCES are Steve Joss, William T. Kemper Fund for Classic Theatre, C. Stephen Metzler and the Brian D. Williams Fund.

 

Tickets for FENCES may be purchased by visiting http://kcrep.org/show/fences or by calling the KCRep box office at 816-235-2700.

 

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