Virginia Repertory Theatre Presents August Wilson's FENCES

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Virginia Repertory Theatre Presents August Wilson's FENCES

This Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama will be presented at Virginia Rep's November Theatre (114 West Broad Street) beginning February 7th, 2020 with two preview performances on Wednesday, February 5th and Thursday, February 6th. August Wilson's powerful masterwork will be onstage through March 1st. Fences is presented as part of the Acts of Faith Festival.

Fences tells the story of Troy Maxson, a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Once a star in the Negro leagues, Troy's dream of playing in the majors was denied due to the color of his skin. Years later, Troy's bitterness takes its toll on his relationship with his son, who now wants his own chance to play ball. "Few playwrights have approached [Wilson's] genius for turning workaday vernacular into poetry." - New York Times

Virginia Rep is delighted to welcome back Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates to direct Fences. Pettiford-Wates is a Professor of Graduate Pedagogy in Acting and Directing at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Artistic Director and Founder of The Conciliation Project, a nonprofit social justice theatre company. Pettiford-Wates also directed Virginia Rep's production of A Raisin in the Sun and the Virginia Rep/Cadence Theatre Company co-production of Between Riverside and Crazy.

Making his Richmond debut, Virginia Rep is thrilled to welcome James Craven, who will star as Troy Maxson. Craven's Broadway and Touring credits include The Gospel at Colonus European Tour with Morgan Freeman, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Film and television credits include D3: The Mighty Ducks (Disney); Sneakers (Universal); Downtown (FOX); Twin Peaks, and Fire! (ABC). At Penumbra Theatre, James performed in all ten of August Wilson's best known plays.

Also making her Virginia Rep debut, Lisa Strum joins the company as Rose Maxson. Theatre credits include Fences (Resident Ensemble Players, BroadwayWorld Regional Theatre Best Actress Award); Sweat (People's Light); and Pipeline (Detroit Public Theatre). Television credits include Law & Order: SVU, Citizen Baines and The Blacklist. Jamar Jones returns to Virginia Rep to play Cory Maxson, after appearing in Akeelah and the Bee at The Children's Theatre in 2017. Jones recently was seen in Passing Strange (Firehouse Theatre); An Octoroon (TheatreLAB, RTCC Award for Best Actor); and Red Velvet (Quill Theatre, RTCC Nomination for Best Actor).

Josafath Reynoso makes his Virginia Rep debut as Scenic Designer, having recently designed Pure Confidence at University of Richmond. Also making their Virginia Rep debuts, Nia Safarr Banks (An Octaroon, RTCC Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design for a Play) will Costume Design, and Andrew Bonniwell (In My Chair, co-production with Cadence Theatre) will Lighting Design. Virginia Rep Audio Visual Apprentice Nicholas Seaver will Sound Design.

The full creative team and cast list is below.

The Direction & Design team includes Direction by Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Scenic Design by Josafath Reynoso, Costume Design by Nia Safarr Banks, Lighting Design by Andrew Bonniwell, Sound Design by Nicholas Seaver, Dramaturgy by Vanessa Jackson, Fight Direction by Melissa Freilich, Production Stage Management by Jocelyn A. Thompson* and Assistant Stage Management by Luke Robinson*.

The Cast includes James Craven* as Troy Maxson, Lisa Strum* as Rose, Jamar Jones as Cory, Horace E. Smith* as Gabriel, Joe Marshall as Lyons, J. Ron Fleming, Jr. as Jim Bono, and Milani Hopkins as Raynell. Patricia Alli will be the Rose understudy, Tevin Davis will be the Lyons/Cory understudy and Walter Riddle will be the Gabriel/Bono understudy.

* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the U.S.A.

For Ticket Information, call the Box Office at 804-282-2620 or visit online at www.virginiarep.org. Full Price Tickets cost $36 - $54 with Discounted Group Rates and Rush tickets available. U-Tix for college and high school students $15 are available by phone or in person on the day of show only. Valid Student ID required.

The Performance Schedule includes evening performances at 7:00 p.m. on select Wednesdays and every Thursday, evening performances at 8:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, and matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. on select Wednesdays and Saturdays and every Sunday.

In collaboration with Virginia Voice, Virginia Rep is pleased to offer Audio Described Performances, in which actions, expressions and gestures are described during gaps between dialogue throughout the performance for patrons with low vision or blindness. In addition to live audio description during performances, patrons are also invited to participate in a tactile tour before the performance. The Audio Described performances for Fences will be on Saturday, February 15 at 2 p.m. and Saturday February 29 at 2 p.m.

The Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre is equipped with a state-of the-art induction loop hearing system that is compatible with all telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants. A handheld receiver and headphone system is also available free of charge for anyone who is hearing impaired.

Virginia Rep is thrilled to offer a free Community Tickets Grant for nonprofit organizations. We encourage all organizations who have a demonstrated need for complimentary tickets to fill out a short application on our website: bit.ly/CommunityTix



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