Thespians' Performance of Fences is a Thoughtful Smash Hit
By Kianni Johnson, Senior Writer
Photos by Bacilio Bencosme, Photography Editor
The magnificent Thespians of the Theatre Institute participated in a play called Fences, written by August Wilson and directed by our very own Mr. Blader on January 7th and January 9th. This play shined the light on black people and discusses black experiences in the 1950s.
Fences is a play portraying its main character, Troy Maxson, as a tragic character who shines the light on issues that black people faced during the 20th century time period around not having the same opportunities as everyone else. Troy Maxson tries to guide others into having opportunities that he unfortunately did not have. However, while doing this, he can’t seem to get past the idea of sacrificing since he is too old to have the talent he once had.
The play discusses an act of when one allows their past to affect one’s own or someone else’s future. Troy had to deal with the disappointment of not becoming a professional sports player in the Major League due to the color of his skin. With that, he wouldn’t allow his son, Corey, to depict his future because he did not want him to go through the disappointment he did. However, times have changed. At least, that is what Corey thought. Corey felt that a professional sports team will include them and not exclude them like they did Troy. But, the act of Troy getting passed that times have changed and allowing Corey to play football would mean having to deal with and accept the lack of luck of being apart of the Major Leagues. Attempting to insure Cory of a harmless future, Troy stifles his son's potential and prevents Cory from having a promising future. Thus, leading to a break in the relationship of father and son.
In my opinion, the message the author, August Wilson, was trying to convey definitely was clear. Much of the conflict in the play arises because the characters are at odds with the way they see the past and what they want to do with the future. The main character Troy uses his past of growing up with a damaged childhood and unsuccessfulness affect how he portrays the world now in his time period even though time has changed. In addition, it nonetheless affects the future of others such as his son Corey by not allowing them to follow their dreams because of the hardships that took place in the past. It is in fact a struggle to move on and let the future run its course all while hanging on to your past. Also, it is very hard to have a relationship with someone and put restrictions on their future because of what you went through especially if its a new day. Simply, accept the past for what it is and let yourself and others move forward in life.
This production performed definitely had the audience left in a state of mind in which they had no other words or choice but to stand up, applaud, and cheer our wonderful Thespian cast members on. So far this year, it seems as though our Thespians of the Theatre Institute are off to a good start. A few months prior they put on a West Indian comedy called Uncle Joe's Patty Shop. The play provided the audience with laughter and a relation to their cultural background. However, this play provided a deep message of one trying to cope with their misfortune can get in the way of them moving on and affect the future of those around them. All in all the play Fences was a hit and deserves 5 stars.
Fences provides a message that can be taken as advice when one does not accomplish a goal they once had. One cannot just face being mad at the world or decide to not have others be happy. One must simply let fate run its course and allow those to do what they want despite what may have happened to an individual in the past when they tried to do something. Not allowing one to have what can be a great future and living their hopes and dreams can leave you with regret, bitterness, and a broken relationship with someone you care about.
August Wilson portrayed Troy Maxson as someone who had a different view between right and wrong. He may have thought he was doing a good deed and living up to the responsibility of not allowing his son Corey to make the same mistake of not being accepted in a position he deserved. However, all he did was restrict Corey from being happy and allowed himself not to be happy. He accepted the world for what it was back then and later took it to his grave when he later died of a heart attack. “Some people build fences to keep people out and others build fences to keep people in” said the character Bono in the play. This quote empathizes one’s behavior of shutting out their love ones and the reason for why they act the way they do. Moral of this play, do not allow your past to hold you back from a happy future. Stay tuned! This play was excellent and surely there is more to come from our fellow Thespians.