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August Wilson’s Fences

A moving study of emotional depth and the human condition, August Wilson’s Fences follows the story of Troy Maxson – a working-class Black man struggling to provide for his family. His past includes the low of a prison sentence and the high of a promising career with the Negro Baseball League, but it’s Troy’s unrealized dream to play for Major League Baseball that fills his days with resentment and regret.

August Wilson’s Fences, winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play in 1987, is set in the 1950s and is part of the playwright’s acclaimed American Century Cycle.

This production has been generously sponsored by Natalie and Howard Shawn.

Cast & Crew

August Wilson
August Wilson

Playwright

Wilson authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of African-Americans, decade by decade, over the course of the twentieth century. His plays have been professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Mr. Wilson’s works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987); and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as eight New York Drama Critics Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, Jitney, and Radio Golf. Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works include the one-acts The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming, and the musical satire Black Bard and the Sacred Hills. Mr. Wilson Received many fellowships and awards, including Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, the 2003 Heinz Award, was awarded a 1999 National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street – The August Wilson Theatre. Additionally, Mr. Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2007. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of death. He is immediately survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero.

Christopher V. Edwards
Christopher V. Edwards

Director

Edwards is excited to be back at Shakespeare & Company. He is the Artistic Director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project (ASP) in Boston. Recent directing credits include: How I Learned What I Learned at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; ART at Shakespeare & Company; Let the Right One In, The Bomb-itty of Errors, Pride & Prejudice, Equivocation, Much Ado About Nothing at ASP in Boston; How to Break at the National Theatre of Norway; Hamlet at Gloucester Stage in MA; Fences, A Raisin in the Sun, Othello at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; Venus in Fur, Water by the Spoonful, As You Like It at Nevada Conservatory Theatre in Las Vegas; Othello, The Three Musketeers, Romeo and Juliet at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in NY. Chris has performed in London’s West End, Off-Broadway, in Regional Theatres and Internationally. He is a Senior Lecturer at the BU School of Theatre and has been a distinguished artist and consultant with The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and a consultant with the Madison Park Development Corporation in Boston. He lives in Jamaica Plain with his wife and daughter, Jennifer and Anya.

Brian D. Coats
Brian D. Coats

Gabriel

Broadway: August Wilson’s Jitney (National Tour). Off-Broadway includes: The Best We Could (Manhattan Theatre Club), La Ruta (Working Theater), The First Noel (Classical Theatre of Harlem /The Apollo), On the Levee (Lincoln Center), The Merry Wives of Windsor, Two Gentlemen of Verona (Public/ NYSF). Regional includes: The West End (Cincinnati Playhouse), Two Trains Running (Pittsburgh Public), Ghosts of the Diaspora (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Royale (Cleveland Play House), The Nest (Denver Center Theatre), The Bluest Eye (Huntington), Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (Huntington Theater, Studio Theatre DC), King Hedley II, Seven Guitars, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Two River Theater), Fences, A Raisin in the Sun (Geva Theater), Distant Fires (People's Light and Theater), Clybourne Park (Caldwell Theatre), The Wedding Gift, pen/man/ship (Contemporary American Theatre Fest), Count (PlayMakers Rep). TV includes: “Queens”, “FBI", “Law & Order”, "Law & Order: SVU”, “JAG”, “Blue Bloods”, “The Sopranos", "Boardwalk Empire”, “Luke Cage", and "The Blacklist".

L. James
L. James

Lyons

Pronouns he / him S&Co Art. TV/Film Credits include: Law & Order, Zombie Wedding, FBI. Theater Credits: Backwards Forwards KCAB, The Agitators, Sender, Intimate Apparel, Hamlet, Sweat, The MotherF@cker with the Hat, ThreePenny Opera, and Angels in America.@picjames

JāQuan Malik Jones
JāQuan Malik Jones

Corey

Pronouns he / him Roles: Trinity Rep: By The Queen Brown/Trinity Rep: Siya, Soul Tapes, Somebody 1/Kinship/Strength/All The Shitty Evil Things You’ve Done to the World and Other People, Everybody. Other Theaters: Booth, TopDog/UnderDog; Citizen Barlow, August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean; Norfolk State University. JāQuan Malik Jones is an artist who is passionate about the black diaspora, which is entrenched in his coastal southeastern culture. Quan was born and reared in the city of Chesapeake in South Norfolk, Virginia. Quan is all about telling stories that are deeply founded in his own lived experiences, whether he is on stage, in front of the camera, or behind the camera. Quan is completely committed to passing it on and helping people through his art. JāQuan is an actor, writer, and creator who is currently pursuing his M.F.A. in acting at Brown University's Trinity Repertory M.F.A. programs in Acting and Directing. Quan is the co-creator, writer, and producer of BILLIARDS, his signature body of work. IG @jaquanmalikjones | @billiardsvmsoa 

Ella Joyce
Ella Joyce

Rose

Regional Theatre has earned her many awards and citations for her work. Credits include: Having Our Say (Goodman Theatre), August Wilson’s King Hedley II at The Matrix (Los Angeles Ovation Award; LA Drama Critics Circle Nomination for the role of Ruby). Ella also played Tonya in the original production of King Hedley II at the opening of the O’Reilly Pittsburg Public Theater, with Tony Todd. Ella originated the role of Risa in Two Trains Running directed by Lloyd Richards at Yale Rep. She also originated the role of Lily Ann Green in Lynne Nottage’s Crumbs From the Table Of Joy at Second Stage Theater (NYC) directed by Joe Morton, at South Coast Rep (CA), and at The Goodman Theater (Chicago) earning both a JEFFERSON AWARD and a BLACK THEATER ALLIANCE Award for the role. As a Beinecke Fellow at Yale Rep School Of Drama, Ella performed in Bossa Nova by Kirsten Greenidge which she also originated at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in Utah, and at Yale Rep. She is an original founding member of The National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, NC, and has performed as a favorite at that festival for years. She performed with Ruby Dee at the Bermuda Arts Festival in Ron Milner’s Checkmates, directed by Woodie King, Jr. Last season, Ella performed in Fences at The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival alongside Tony Todd. Ella recently closed at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles to wonderful reviews in The First Deep Breath. Her love of theater has taken her to many regional theaters across the country, and overseas. Ella is affectionately known for her role of “Eleanor” in the family sitcom Roc. Other select TV and film roles include My Wife and Kids, The Jamie Foxx Show, Seinfeld, Eve, Being Mary Jane, Tyler Perry‘s Temptation, Preacher’s Kid, Lucky Girl, Bubba Ho-Tep, Set It Off, Selma, Lord Selma, Nina, Catfish Christmas, Holiday Hideaway, Haus Of Vicious, and the MTV Award winning TLC Waterfalls video. As a talented voiceover artist, she is heard on Audible Books-on-tape: Ron Milner’s Ruby McCollum Story, portraying the voice of Zora Neal Hurston produced by Susan Lowenberg’s Los Angeles Theater Works, and BET’s Storyporch children reading series. More info available at www.EllaJoyce.com.

Ashley McCauley Moore
Ashley McCauley Moore

Raynell

she / her Ashley McCauley Moore is a union actor originally from North Carolina, by way of Los Angeles CA. She is currently a second-year student at the FSU/Asolo Acting Conservatory obtaining her master’s in fine arts. Ashley has performed in a variety of stage plays and television shows. She has recently appeared in plays such as Three Musketeers Constance, Chicken & Biscuits Latrice (U/S). Ashley has worked for television networks such as Disney, ABC, and Netflix just to name a few. She is set to perform in the conservatory season productions of Three Sisters, Clyde’s, and Romeo & Juliet. Ashley is committed to the craft of acting and truthful storytelling, her mission with every role is to have a human experience that gives the viewer a chance to live again.

"ranney"

Troy

"ranney" has five decades in the performing arts as a multi-disciplinarian. Acting credits include Doaker (The Piano Lesson, A Public Fit Theatre Company); Brucie (Sweat, Ensemble Theatre Company); Benny, Mark (Hymn, Art, Shakespeare & Company); Polonius/Gravedigger, Toledo, Troy Maxson (Hamlet; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Fences. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company); Hambone, Sterling (Two Trains Running; Radio Golf. American Stage Company.); King Hedley, Chutes & Ladders (Seven Guitars; Water By the Spoonful. Nevada Conservatory Theatre); Boy Willie (The Piano Lesson. Center Theatre Co.); Adriana/Antipholis/others (The Bomb-itty of Errors. American Stage, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Helix in Dublin, Ireland, and Ambassadors Theatre in London’s West End). As a comedian, he has headlined internationally and shared billing with Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock, and Paul Mooney. Nine one man shows include And the Horse You Rode In On (Projects Arts Centre, Dublin), Whatever (People’s Improv Theater, NY), Incendiary (The Straz Center, Tampa), and Cufflinks and Jolly Ranchers for Dummies (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland). itsranney.com

Kenneth Ransom
Kenneth Ransom

Bono

Pronouns he / him Kenneth Ransom is an international actor and teacher with over 30 years of experience in theatre, film, television and streaming platforms. He is delighted to return to Shakespeare & Company, where he trained with eminent teachers, including co-founders Kristin Linklater and Tina Packer, and where he performed in some of his first professional productions, including: As You Like It with Karen Allen, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors. Film credits include: his critically acclaimed turn in Gods of Egypt (as the Sphinx) with the late Chadwick Boseman; Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course with Steve Irwin; Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles with Paul Hogan and several Australian television dramas, including The Heights, Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End and the Secret Life of Us. On Stage, Kenneth collaborated with Mary Zimmerman on her Australian production of Metamorphoses and Dr. Wang Xiaoying of the National Theatre of China on his production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle. He has worked for The Mark Taper Forum, Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare (Sydney) and every major festival in Australia, as well as the Daegu International Music Festival in Korea. Kenneth is a proud member of Actors Equity, SAG/AFTRA and Australian Equity.

Nia Safarr Banks
Nia Safarr Banks

Costume Designer

Nia Safarr Banks is a Costume Designer from Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and is currently studying to receive her Master of Fine Arts at Boston University. She was nominated in 2019 for Richmond Critic Award for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design in a Play An Octoroon (TheatreLab), and Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design in a Play A Christmas Kaddish (Richmond Triangle Player) Her credits include: August Wilson's Seven Guitars (Actors' Shakespeare Project), and Passover (American Shakespeare Center), and The Barber of Seville (The Santa Fe Opera).

Maegan A. Conroy
Maegan A. Conroy

Stage Manager

Pronouns she / her Maegan is thrilled to be returning to Shakespeare & Company! Selected previous credits include Much Ado about Nothing, Creditors, Ugly Lies the Bone (Shakespeare & Company); Fairview (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches, The Chinese Lady, Guards at the Taj (Central Square Theater); The Legend of Georgia McBride (Greater Boston Stage Company); The Effect, A Measure of Normalcy (Gloucester Stage Company); Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, The Rise and Fall of Holly Fudge, Wild Horses, Until the Flood, Nina Simone: Four Women, The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, Tiny Beautiful Things, Cry It Out, The Heath, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Native Gardens, The Royale (Merrimack Repertory Theatre). Maegan received her BFA in Stage Management from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. Maegan and her husband live with their dog in Lowell, MA. Maegan is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Caroline Eng
Caroline Eng

Sound Designer

Pronouns she / her Caroline Eng is a sound designer and podcast engineer based in New York. Selected Sound Design credits: Little Women (Theaterworks, UCCS), Three Sisters (Two River Theatre), Belfast Girls (Irish Rep), A Christmas Carol (Trinity Rep), The Late Wedding (Brown University/Trinity Rep), Popcorn Falls (Greater Boston Stage Company), Twelfth Night (Theatreworks, UCCS) Selected Assistant Design credits: Bring Down The House (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Fefu and Her Friends (Theatre For A New Audience) Selected Training: Fordham College At Lincoln Center (NY). Connect at carolineengdesign.com

Aja M. Jackson
Aja M. Jackson

Lighting Designer

Pronouns she / her [OFF-BROADWAY]: Rock and Roll Man (upcoming), A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet. Regional: Huntington: The Art Of Burning. Hartford Stage: The Art of Burning, Lost in Yonkers. Everyman Theater: Behold, A Negress. American Repertory Theater: Hear Word. The Public Theater Under-The Radar Festival: Hear Word. John W. Engeman Theatre: On Your Feet. Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival: Fences. Virginia Repertory Theatre: Chicken and Biscuits (Easter Regional Premiere) North Carolina Black Rep: Freedom Summer. Speakeasy Stage: Once on This Island. Lyric Stage Company of Boston: The Cake, Breath and Imagination. Actor’s Shakespeare Project: Nat Turner in Jerusalem. Moonbox Productions: Passing Strange. Boston Early Music Festival: Pimpinone and Ino. Dance: Modern Connections: Hot water over Raised Fists. HoldTight: Resident Lighting Designer and Company member. [TEACHING]: Boston University. Board Chair of Brighter Boston. Proud member of USA 829. IG: @ajamjackson | ajajacksonlighting.com

Alex Magallanes
Alex Magallanes

Assistant Stage Manager

Pronouns they / them Alex is excited to be joining Shakespeare & Company for their 2023 season. They first fell in love with Stage Management working as a Production Assistant at From Broadway with Love: A Benefit Concert for Parkland and is about to begin their final year as a Stage Management BFA Candidate at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Favorite recent credits include Ragtime at Piedmont Opera Company and A Chorus Line at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Lots of love to my family, friends, and cat! @alexmag2 

Jon Savage
Jon Savage

Set Designer

Pronouns he / him Jon Savage is a set designer based in Boston, MA. Past New England credits include work with Actors Shakespeare Project, Gloucester Stage, New Rep Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Front Porch Arts Collective, Central Square Theatre to name a few. Some Regional credits include work at Olney Theatre Center, DC Area; Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia; ACT Theatre, Honolulu, HI; Bay Street Theatre, NY; Bucks County Playhouse, PA. He has also worked on tv and film productions for Max, HBO, Discovery Channel and Normandy Films. He is currently on faculty at Boston University.

Key details

Dates

July 22 – August 27, 2023

Location

Tina Packer Playhouse

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