Long Wharf Theatre to Present Fences, Featuring Portia; Phylicia Rashad to Direct
By Carey Purcell
Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad will direct August Wilson's Fences at Long Wharf Theatre.
Performances begin Nov. 27, prior to an official opening Dec. 4. Fences will continue through Dec. 22 on The Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck III Theatre.
The cast includes Taylor Dior (Annie Jr.) as Raynell, Phil McGlaston (The Orphans Home Cycle, Good People) as Jim Bono, Jared McNeil (The Suit, The Valley of Astonishment) as Lyons, Chris Myers (Honky, A Midsummer Night's Dream) as Corey, Portia (Ruined, "30 Rock") as Rose, Esau Pritchett (A Free Man of Color) as Troy Maxson and G. Alvarez Reid (Broke-Ology, Seven Guitars) as Gabriel.
Here's how the production is billed: "Troy Maxson found glory in the Negro Leagues battling fastballs on the outside corner, the pitches that meant life or death for a baseball player. But it’s the 1950s, and his opportunity to play in the major leagues has passed. Now he’s a garbage man struggling to provide for his family, trying to contain his bitterness as he seeks solace from spinning tales on his front porch. Because of his race, Troy is left in a world where life’s daily battles take on the scope of epic conflict. This Pulitzer Prize-winning classic by August Wilson, part of his renowned Century Cycle, introduces one of the truly unforgettable characters of the American stage to Long Wharf Theatre audiences."
“It is a nostalgia piece looking at a moment when African Americans were breaking into sports," artistic director Gordon Edelstein said in a statement. "The play is, in some ways, about frustrated ambitions, talented black athletes who realized that it is too late for them. Troy Maxton realized what he could have been instead of what he was. I think audiences will be extremely moved by his story."
Fences will feature sets by John Iacovelli, costumes by ESOSA, lighting by Xavier Pierce and sound by John Gromada. The stage manager is David Blackwell.
Rashad's acting credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Gem of the Ocean, A Raisin in the Sun and Jelly's Last Jam. The three-time Emmy nominee's screen work includes "The Cosby Show," "For Colored Girls" and "A Raisin in the Sun."
Tickets and more information are available by calling (203) 787-4282 or visiting longwharf.org.
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