Classic Theatre tackles a classic stage production at an iconic venue
The play was first staged in New York. James Earl Jones was in the original Broadway play. It has also won a Tony Award.
“[It] is really a cornerstone of the African-American experience in theater onstage in America,” said the Theatre's Jimmy Moore. “It is the story of Troy Maxson, a father and husband who had been a star in theNegro Leagues in the 30s and 40s.”
Only white men were allowed to play in Major League Baseball in those decades. Black players had to play in separate games.
“It’s really the story of what happens when a dream is deferred. And the entire plot revolves around whether Troy is going to be able to overcome the trauma that he experiences in his early life in order to keep and support his wife and son,” Moore added.
The 1986 production is set in the 1950s, and while the drama is about a Black baseball player, Moore felt its themes speak to everyone.
“The play has been very, very popular from the beginning, and I think it’s because it speaks directly to the themes of the Black experience in America, but these are absolutely universal. It is about a father and a son, a husband and his wife," he explained.
The production itself is historic.
“This show features an entirely Black cast. It has a Black director, Antoinette Winstead, who is a major force in our theatrical community,” he said. “And she was saying last night during a talk-back during DreamWeekthat she feels that this show is even more relevant today than it was 20 years ago.”
Even the venue is historic.
“We’re partnering with the Carver Community Cultural Center to do this show in their small black box space, which is a really wonderful intimate venue to be able to experience this story,” Moore said. “It’s also an extremely culturally rich and historically important campus for San Antonio.”
Moore said that Fences is one of the standout theatrical productions for the last several decades.
“I think its popularity has resulted from the fact that everybody can see themselves in this show, and everybody will understand what these characters are going through,” he said.
Performances begin on Feb. 9. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, the Carver box office, or at classictheatre.org.