Not the Movie: The play ‘Fences' opens this weekend at PMT

I’ve recently read a lot about August Wilson’s Pulitzer-Prize winning play Fences. Most of it, however, concerns the now-playing film adaptation starting Denzel Washington and Viola Davis (reprising their stage roles). And mainly, I’ve read a lot of reviews from critics who said the movie was better left alone as a play.

Guess what? Pioneer Memorial Theater is going to give you the opportunity test the critics when it opens its theatrical production of the acclaimed play on Jan. 6.

Fences is a mid-century tale about the lives of a black family in Pittsburgh. Troy (Michael Anthony Williams) is the patriarch struggling with making ends meet and his unrealized dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. Troy, who played in the Negro Leagues before Major League Baseball was integrated, is a garbage man who lives with his wife Rose (Gayle Samuels), his son Corey (Jimmie JJ Peter) and brother, a disabled veteran named Gabriel (Jefferson A. Russell). The tale is about how Troy’s bitterness at the world affects his loved ones. It is a little sad.

Fences won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1983 and has seen several Broadway and international productions.

The folks at PMT have pointed out that the overlap between their production and the film’s release is entirely coincidental. Regardless, it is a pretty rare thing to have a film and theater production running concurrently.

Why not check them both out and see what you think?

Fences (the play) runs Jan. 6–Jan. 21 at Pioneer Memorial Theater. Buy tickets here.

Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh is Salt Lake magazine's Editor. He covers culture, history, the outdoors and whatever needs a look. Jeremy is also the author of the book "100 Things to Do in Salt Lake City Before You Die" and the co-author of the history, culture and urban legend guidebook "Secret Salt Lake."

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