The Pulitzer Prize winner Fences, perhaps the best-loved chapter in August Wilson's 10-play cycle exploring African-American life in 20th Century America, will open Virginia Stage Company's (VSC) 34th Season. Fencesruns September 25 – October 14, 2012 at downtown Norfolk's Wells Theatre.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as multiple Tony Awards including Best Play and Best Revival, Fences tells the story of a family trying to stay together while reaching for their dreams in the 1950s. Troy Maxson, former sports hero, leans on his son to realize his own unfulfilled sports career while his wife Rose struggles to keep them all close. VSC's production is being directed by Newport News native Derrick Sanders, August Wilson protégé and founder of Chicago's critically acclaimed Congo Square Theatre Company.
Tonye Patano is portraying Troy's steadfast wife, Rose, in the VSC production. Tonye has earned raves as Heylia James in the Showtime series Weeds, which concluded its eighth and final season last week. Portraying Troy, Keith Randolph Smith was a member of the Broadway cast of Fences during its revival in 2010 as standby for Denzel Washington as Troy. Other VSC Fences cast members include Hampton Roads radio personality/actor Rodney Suiter, as well as Charlie Hudson, III, Jameiah Jones, Jonathan Majors and Geoffrey D. Williams. For complete cast bios as well as show designers and bios, visithttp://www.vastage.com/the-plays/fences.
Dress Rehearsal is open to the public on Sunday, September 23 at 7:00 pm with a donation of $15. Area teachers and educators are invited to attend Sunday evening's dress rehearsal free, with ID and advanced reservation, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, based on availability. Preview performances are at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 25 and at 8:00 pm on Wednesday & Thursday, September 26 & 27 with all seats just $25. Opening Night will be Friday, September 28 at 8 pm, with complimentary champagne toast and light dessert. Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 800-982-2787, at any Ticketmaster outlet, at the VSC box office, or online at www.vastage.com. Group discounts for 10 or more are available by calling 757-627-6988 ext. 358. Regular performances run Tuesdays at 7:00 pm, Wed./Thur./Fri. at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm through October 14, 2012. Tickets range $25 to $50.
August Wilson is the author of Jitney, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, King Hedley II, Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of African-Americans over the course of the twentieth century. Wilson's work has been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes, multiple Tony Awards, Britain's Olivier Award, seven NY Drama Critics Circle Awards, and an Emmy nomination and is the first African-American to have a Broadway theater named for him.
Now in its 34th season, Virginia Stage Company is the region's only fully professional resident theater company, serving an annual audience close to 80,000. Since its founding, Virginia Stage Company has made significant contributions to the quality of life in Hampton Roads: presenting more than 200 plays through more than 4,400 performances; revitalizing and renovating the historic Wells Theatre; providing educational programs for students of all ages; and preserving the legacy of live theatre for future generations. Support for VSC's 34th Season is provided by Norfolk Southern Corporation.