Fences

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Fences is a play by August Wilson that premiered in 1985. Performed in various theaters throughout the country, the first production in Broadway in 1987 starred James Earl Jones and received the Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play (James Earl Jones), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (Mary Alice), and Best Direction of a Play (Lloyd Richards). The play won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Troy Maxson used to play baseball, but now he's a garbageman along with his good friend Jim Bono. Troy has two sons, one from one mother and the other from another mother, his current wife Rose. However, what Rose doesn't know is that Troy's off having an affair with another woman named Alberta.

Over the course of the play, tensions rise within the Maxson family as the physical fence around the house is slowly built up and metaphorical fences are quickly established between each of the family members and Troy himself.

A film adaptation was released in 2016, directed by and starring Denzel Washington and written by the original author. It won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis).

Tropes used in Fences include:
  • Always Someone Better: Cory assumes his father is scared of his son being better at baseball than he is. Troy's dickish move is preventing his son from ever playing baseball in the leagues.
  • Batter Up: During the second-to-last scene, Cory tries to fend off Troy with his own bat. It doesn't work.
  • Betty and Veronica: Rose, Troy's wife of 18 years is the Betty, and his never-seen mistress Alberta is the Veronica. He ends up losing them both, in a sense: Alberta dies giving birth to Troy's daughter Raynell, and Rose loses her trust in, and respect for Troy after learning about the affair, though she's compassionate enough to take Raynell in and raise her like one of her own. Rose even tells Troy that he's "a womanless man."
  • Calling the Old Man Out: While he doesn't really call him out, call him out, Cory does come to physical confrontation with Troy. Twice. Once to help Rose and another when he's trying to pass him on the porch.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Gabriel. The guy thinks he's the similarly named archangel. If YOU had part of your head blown off by a bomb in World War II, you'd be a little loopy too.
    • Troy to some extent. Why, Death is a wrestler and they wrestled to death for three days.
  • The Ghost: Alberta. She dies before we get to even see her.
  • Minor Major Character: Raynell, Alberta's daughter. She makes an appearance towards the middle of the second act and gets speaking parts during the final scene, at age 7.
  • Missing Mom: Troy's mother, and also Troy's first wife, Lyons's mother. Technically, Alberta is this to Raynell later on in the play.
  • Parents as People: Parents as main characters, actually, in terms of Troy and Rose.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Part of the reason Troy was put into jail was because he killed someone. The rest of it was him stealing to provide for his family, and that was for a while.
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue: The final scene. Note that "now" in the context of this play is used pretty loosely.