August Wilson's FENCES Plays South Coast Repertory's Segerstrom Stage, 1/22-2/21

August Wilson’s FENCES Plays South Coast Repertory’s Segerstrom Stage, 1/22-2/21

Fences, August Wilson's powerful story of a fractured African-American family in 1950s Pittsburgh, comes to South Coast Repertory's Segerstrom Stage January 22 through February 21.

Charlie Robinson (Night Court) will play Troy Maxson, the fierce, flawed patriarch - a garbage collector who once played baseball in the Negro League. Rejected by his own parents and mistreated by the white community, Troy is determined to protect his children from the disappointments he has suffered. Juanita Jennings (Meet the Browns) will play Troy's long-suffering wife, Rose. Seret Scott will direct.

Rounding out the cast is Larry Bates (Cory), Gregg Daniel (Bono), Brandon J. Dirden (Lyons), Baron Kelly (Gabe) and, in alternating performances, Skye Whitebear and Sofya Ogunseitan (Raynell).

Fences is the most popular of Wilson's 10-play Century Cycle, each of which depicts African-American life in a different decade of the 1900s. It won the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony and the Drama Desk Award in 1987.

Fences' creative team includes Seret Scott (director), Shaun Motley (set design), Dana Rebecca Woods (costume design), Peter Maradudin (lighting design), Jim Ragland (sound design), Chrissy Church (assistant stage manager) and Jamie Tucker (stage manager).

Barbara and Bill Roberts are the Honorary Producers. Bank of America is the Corporate Honorary Producer. The Segerstrom Stage season media partner is KOCE-TV; media partners for Fences are Orange Coast Magazine and KCRW 89.9.

TICKETS: Can be purchased online at, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances begin on Jan. 22 and continue through Feb. 21. Ticket prices range from $20 to $65. Low-priced preview performances are available Jan. 22-28. Opening night is Friday, Jan. 29, and press night is Saturday, Jan. 30, at 8 p.m.

TIMES: Previews are Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22 - 23, at 8 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 26 - 27, at 7:30 p.m., and Thursday, Jan. 28, at 8 p.m. Regular performances are Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m., and Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more. There will be an ASL-interpreted performance on Saturday, Feb. 20, at 2:30 p.m.

POST-SHOW DISCUSSIONS: Wednesday, Feb. 3 & Tuesday, Feb. 9
Discuss the play with members of the Fences cast during free post-show discussions led by South Coast Repertory's literary team.

INSIDE THE SEASON: Saturday, Feb. 6, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. $12
Inside the Season is a series of interactive classes that provide a comprehensive inside look at the theatrical production process. Each two-hour class features creative personnel from South Coast Repertory's current production. Inside the Season is offered on select Saturday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (714) 708-5555. (Tickets to Fences are sold separately.)

South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Folino Theater Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available off Anton Blvd. on Park Center Drive.

ABOUT SCR: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, under the artistic direction of David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theaters in the United States. Founded in 1964, SCR is committed to theater that illuminates the compelling personal and social issues of our time, not only on its stages but through its education and outreach programs. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theater, SCR is renowned for its extensive new play development program, including the Pacific Playwrights Festival. Of SCR's more than 440 productions, 112 have been world premieres with subsequent stagings achieving enormous success across America and around the world. SCR-developed works have garnered eight Pulitzer Prize nominations with Margaret Edson's Wit winning the prize in 1999 and David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole in 2007. Located in Costa Mesa, California, in 2002 SCR opened the Folino Theater Center, an expanded three-theater complex that includes the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.

Seret Scott (Director) directed Crumbs From the Table of Joy and The Piano Lesson for SCR, as well as Tough Titty and Eye to Eye for the Pacific Playwrights Festival. She is an Associate Artist at The Old Globe, where she has directed productions of The Constant Wife, Two Trains Running, I Just Stopped By To See The Man, Faith Healer and the world premiere of Knowing Cairo, among others. For L.A. Theatre Works she directed Crumbs From the Table of Joy. NYC Off-Broadway credits include the premiere of Mujeres Y Hombres at New Victory Theatre and Birdie Blue and Zooman and the Sign for Second Stage Theatre. Regionally Ms. Scott directed world premieres of Starving at Woolly Mammoth Theatre and Leaving the Summer Land for Tribute Productions in DC. Other directing credits include A.C.T. Theatre, Arena Stage, The Studio Theatre, Ford's Theatre, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Geva Theatre Center, Indiana Repertory, Long Wharf Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, ALLIANCE THEATRE, Alley Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Philadelphia Theatre Co, George Street Playhouse, McCarter Theatre Center (outreach), and New Mexico Repertory among many others. Ms. Scott received the 3Graces Award from NYC's Three Graces Theatre Company and a Lloyd Richards Director's Award from the National Black Theatre Conference. Her directing nominations include the Connecticut Critics Circle, DC's Helen Hayes and the Beverly Hills' NAACP Image Awards. She authored the play Second Line, which premiered at Passage Theatre, NJ, and was later produced by Atlas Theatre, DC.

Charlie Robinson (Troy) was last seen at SCR in the world premiere of My Wandering Boy, and prior to that in The Piano Lesson. Now in Fences, he plays Troy, for which he previously won the 2006 Ovation Award for Best Actor in a Play, and which was the role he portrayed for six months at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is best known for his television credits, especially as Mac in "Night Court," as well as regulars in "Buffalo Bill," "Love & War," "Ink" and "Buddy Faro;" recurring roles in "Home Improvement," and now to recur in "The Secret Life of an American Teenager." Robinson has performed countless guest roles in shows such as "House," "Big Love" and "Cold Case." He also is a Cammie Award Winner for the made-for-television movie Miss Lettie and Me and Secret Santa. Other television movies include Roots: The Next Generation, King and Buffalo Soldiers. Features, to name a few, include Apocalypse Now, The River, Gray Lady Down, Beowulf, Set it Off, Antwone Fisher, Even Money, Jackson, Steam, Natural Disasters, Sweet Kandy and House Bunny.

Juanita Jennings (Rose) appeared at SCR previously in Jar the Floor (NAACP Theatre Award for Best Actress), Twelfth Night and the Pacific Playwrights Festival reading of Tough Titty. Other theatre credits include the national tour of Home; Don't Bother Me I Can't Cope at Charles Playhouse; A Midsummer Night's Dream at New York Shakespeare Festival; Colored People's Time and Home at the Negro Ensemble Company; S.R.O. at The Production Company; Antigone, The Death of Boogie Woogie and Their Eyes Were Watching God at the Richard Allen Center; King Hedley II, Dutch Landscape, Whole Hearted and Kia Cothron's Slide Glide the Slippery Slope at Mark Taper Forum; A Thimble of Smoke at 24th Street Theatre; Talented Tenth at Hudson Theatre; Old Settler at The Old Globe; The Ninth Wave at Lillian Theatre; Ladies at Westwood Playhouse; Mississippi Delta and Gem of the Ocean at Fountain Theatre; and Eyes of the American and Sarcophagus at The Los Angeles Theatre Center. Film credits include The Runaway Jury, Baby Boy, Dancing in September, What Women Want, Spirit Lost, Color of Night, Basic Instinct, Marla Hanson Story, Running Against Time, Rachel & Maria and Love Child. On television, she is presently a series regular on Tyler Perry's "Meet the Browns." Other television appearances include recurring roles on "Lincoln Heights" and "City of Angels" and guest-starring roles on "Without a Trace," "The Practice," "The Division," "Frasier," "The Guardian," "That's My Bush," "Raising Kate," "Judging Amy," "Felicity," "The Practice," "7th Heaven," "Touched by an Angel," "ER," "Brooklyn South," "The Pretender," "Chicago Hope," "Suddenly Susan" and "Ellen." Recent voice-over work includes "Family Guy" and "American Dad." She is also a Cable Ace winner for her portrayal in the HBO mini-series Laurel Avenue.

Gregg Daniel (Bono) returns to the SCR stage after having appeared in the Theatre for Young Audiences production of James and the Giant Peach and in the NewSCRipts readings of Tanya Barfield's Blue Door, Steven Drukman's The Bullet Round, Lynn Nottage's Crumbs from the Table of Joy and the Hispanic Playwrights Project reading of Octavio Solis' La Romy Takes a Dive. His other regional theatre credits include The Merry Wives of Windsor at Shakespeare Festival/LA, Joe Louis Blues at the Tiffany Theatre, Peer Gynt at Hartford Stage, Mojo and the Sayso at Crossroads Theatre Company, Master Harold and the Boys at Cape May Stage and Actors Theatre of Louisville, A Soldier's Play at Negro Ensemble Company, Hamlet at Nevada Shakespeare Co and Julius Caesar and Mother Courage and Her Children at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Film credits include Hancock, Spiderman 3, Hollywood Homicide, Dark Blue, Van Wilder, Gun Shy, Mars Attacks!, White Men Can't Jump, Sibling Rivalry and Pump Up the Volume. On television he has had recurring roles in "Desperate Housewives," "General Hospital," "Any Day Now," "City of Angels," "Mike Hammer, Private Eye," "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Port Charles;" and guest-starring appearances on "The Sarah Silverman Show," "True Blood," "Nip/Tuck," "Threat Matrix," "The Division," "Crossing Jordan," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The George Lopez Show," "Bernie Mac," "Boston Public," "NYPD Blue," "Ally McBeal," "The West Wing," "Star Trek: Voyager," "7th Heaven" and "ER."

Baron Kelly (Gabe) is happy to return to SCR, where was previously seen in Cold Sweat, Search and Destroy and Custer's Last Band (NewSCRipts). He recently returned from Florence, where he appeared with an international Acting Company in Macbeth at The Bargello. He has performed internationally at Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada, Edinburgh Theatre Festival, Academy Theatre (Ireland), National Theatre of Norway and Yermelova Theatre in Moscow. Broadway appearances include Salome and Electra. He has appeared with more than 30 of America's regional theatres, including the Oregon, Utah, Dallas/Fort Worth and California Shakespeare festivals; Yale Repertory Theatre; Guthrie Theater; The Old Globe; Mark Taper Forum, The Shakespeare Theatre Company; and Actors Theatre of Louisville. He also appeared in The Cider House Rules Part 2 (Polly Warfield Award) and the Kentucky Cycle Part 2 (nominee, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award). DR. Kelly holds a Diploma in Acting from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In addition, he holds a doctorate in Theatre History, Criticism, Literature & Theory from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a two-time Fulbright Scholar and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard. He has published, taught and lectured on the theatre in Russia, Poland, Ghana, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Finland and Italy. In addition, he serves on the 2010 Theatre Advisory Panel for the NEA in Washington, D.C. He is currently under contract to Focus Publishing for his forthcoming book, The Act of Acting. DR. Kelly is a Professor of Theatre at Chapman University.

Brandon J. Dirden (Lyons) is honored to be making his SCR debut. On Broadway, he appeared in Prelude To A Kiss (Roundabout Theatre Company, dir. Daniel Sullivan), and will be in the upcoming ENRON (dir. Rupert Goold). Off-Broadway he was seen in The First Breeze of Summer and Day of Absence (Signature Theatre). His regional credits include the world premiere of Magnolia (Goodman Theatre, dir. Anna Shapiro); Fences (Huntington Theatre Company, dir. Kenny Leon); Topdog/Underdog (Playmakers Repertory Co); Ceremonies in Dark Old Men (True Colors Theatre Co, dir. Kenny Leon); Othello, Twelfth Night, Metamorphoses, Comedy of Errors and others (Georgia Shakespeare); A Death in the House..., A Christmas Carol and The Breach (ALLIANCE THEATRE); Take Me Out (Theatre In The Square); Come On in My Kitchen (7 Stages); Miss Dessa (Ensemble Theatre Company); Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Alley Theatre); Harvey (Utah Shakespearean Festival); and Julius Caesar and As You Like It (North Carolina Shakespeare Festival). He received a BA from Morehouse College and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Larry Bates (Cory) previously appeared at SCR in the world premiere of Mr. Marmalade, the Theatre for Young Audiences productions of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), The Only Child, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, the NewSCRipts readings of BOB and Incendiary, Hispanic Playwrights Project readings of The Cry of the Bronx and Welcome to Arroyo's and the Pacific Playwrights Festival reading of Eye to Eye. He also spent three seasons in A Christmas Carol at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Film and television credits include Lions for Lambs, Sick Puppy, "The Unit," "Lincoln Heights," "Bones," "CSI: Miami," "Numb3rs," "Huff," "The District," "NYPD Blue," "Boston Public," "JAG," "18 Wheels of Justice" and Expecting Mary, starring Linda Gray, Cybill Shepherd, Elliott Gould, Della Reese and Cloris Leachman. Mr. Bates is a graduate of the Theatre School, DePaul University.

Photo: Rose (Juanita Jennings) and Troy (Charlie Robinson) share a joyful moment in August Wilson's Fences, at South Coast Repertory January 22-February 21, 2010.  Credit:  Ed Kreiger/SCR.

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