Theater: Righteous In His Own Backyard FENCES

FENCES by August Wilson

August Wilson's first commercially produced work, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, ran more than eight months on Broadway, won the 1985 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best play and marked the emergence of a substantial new voice for the American theater. A self-taught man who dropped out of school in the ninth grade, Wilson, 41, announced ambitions for a cycle of ten plays meant to reveal black life in each decade of this century. Ma Rainey depicted the self- imposed racial isolation of a 1920s blues singer. His second play to reach Broadway, Fences, which opened last week, portrays the...

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