The 1983 play “Fences” by African-American playwright August Wilson won a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award. Wilson earned a second Pulitzer Prize for “The Piano Lesson.”
“Fences” is set in the 1950s and is the sixth in Wilson’s ten-part “Pittsburgh Cycle.” Like all of the “Pittsburgh” plays, “Fences” explores the evolving African-American experience and examines race, class, social structure/relationships among other themes. The play won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play. Now “Fences” comes to life on the big screen with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. I got lost in the movie because it was so real life for me. I saw my dad and his buddy in Troy & Bono with all their comical to near ridiculous stories. I heard my mom’s voice in Rose, a “stand by your man” strong black woman. This movie took me back in time when things were not all about technology and social media; but about people helping each other get through the rough times. “Fences” has a full bodied joyful feeling to it with hints of past sadness and struggle. It seemed like no matter how Troy and Bono worked, they weren’t getting ahead. No matter how much Rose loved Troy, he needed more to feel like a man. Despite how Cory wanted to make his father proud, it was not ever enough for his approval. “Fences” is a sober summer’s day stroll through a familiar time in the past but not long gone. Look forward to thoroughly enjoying this classic today.
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