Virginia Repertory Theatre presents August Wilson’s Fences

By | February 1, 2020

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 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.

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


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

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

Ticket Information

Box Office: 804-282-2620
Full Price Tickets: $36 – $54
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.

Performance Schedule
Evening performances at 7:00 p.m. on select Wednesdays and every Thursday
Evening performances at 8:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday
Matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. on select Wednesdays and Saturdays and every Sunday

Accessibility Programs
Audio Described Performances

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.

Induction Loop

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.

Community Tickets Grant
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:

Valet parking is available for $8 at all performances and free self-parking is available for patrons within blocks of the theatre. Valet is complimentary for patrons who dine at Max’s on Broad before the show. Valet is no longer located in front of the theatre, and has been moved less than one block away to Jefferson Street.

About Virginia Repertory Theatre
Virginia Repertory Theatre is a regional professional theatre in Richmond, Virginia. With a budget of $5.5 million, four distinct venues, an educational touring arm, and an annual audience over 530,000, Virginia Rep is one of the largest performing arts organizations in Central Virginia. Virginia Rep stages four seasons annually: the Signature Season at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, Theatre Gym Season in partnership with Cadence Theatre Company, Virginia Rep’s Children’s Season at Willow Lawn, and the Hanover Tavern Season.

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