KSU presents August Wilson's "Fences"
KENNESAW, Ga.—The KSU Department of Theatre and Performance Studies presents August
(Apr 2, 2010) —
The KSU Department of Theatre and Performance Studies
presents August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Fences”
at the Howard Logan Stillwell Theater April 13-18, during the same week that Kenny
Leon’s revival of the same play, starring Denzel Washington, begins previews on Broadway.
The play focuses on a family living in Pittsburgh during the early days of the civil
In the play, Troy Maxson, husband to Rose, father to Cory and provider for his family,
struggles to reconcile his present identity as a garbage collector with his past potential
as a negro-league baseball player before Jackie Robinson broke the major league color
line. When a recruiter offers Cory a scholarship to play college football, Troy rejects
the opportunity as an impractical dream, and the ensuing father-son conflict tears
the family apart. “Fences” is a play about relationships: father-son, mother-son and
Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies Karen Robinson
, who directs the KSU production, describes Troy as “a deeply conflicted character
who is committed to fufilling his responsibilities as father and provider for his
family, yet he falls into a situation where he betrays his wife. Thanks to Wilson's
writing, audiences can’t help but feel empathy even though he has acted wrongly toward
“Fences” interweaves poetry, humor and unforgettable characters to create a drama
that has become a highlight of American theatre. “Fences” is one of the most beloved
plays in Wilson’s 10-play cycle chronicling African American life in the 20th century.
Each play in this cycle represents a particular decade. “Fences” takes place during
the 1950s and represents family struggles, particularly an African American father
trying to give his son a better life. As Robinson explains, “Wilson captures this
struggle with detail, clarity and great insight. The characters are really richly
developed, fully realized human beings.”
August Wilson passed away prematurely of cancer at age 60 but not without seeing his
10-play cycle materialized. Actor James Earl Jones played Troy Maxson in the 1980s
Broadway production. The premiere of KSU’s production coincides with Atlanta director
Kenny Leon’s Broadway premiere of “Fences” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.
The entire cast of the KSU play had the opportunity to meet Leon in person for additional
insight into the play.
Robinson says, “August Wilson's objective was to commemorate the African American
experience and to illuminate African American culture for all audiences; in doing
so he has bequeathed an invaluable gift to American theatre."
Tickets are $18 for general admission and $12 for KSU students. Performance times
are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For more information, click
the box office
link at www.kennesaw.edu/arts
or call 770-423-6650.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.