Fences- More Information

A note from Jeremy Dubin, Director of Creative Education at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:

We’re so excited that you’ll be joining us soon for August Wilson’s “Fences”!

August Wilson has been called “the American Shakespeare.” His plays chronicling the African American experience throughout the twentieth century are considered one of the most significant accomplishments in the history of American literature. That history is, of course, a fraught one, and the some of the language used in his plays was and continues to be racially charged. This was not only intentional on Wilson’s part, but he and his estate felt it so integral to the work, that is in fact unlawful to change any of that language. Christopher Edwards, director of the production also wanted to add this comment:

“Fences” is a play set in 1957 and 1965 that deals with a vernacular that was widely accepted by the African American community. August Wilson’s play includes the vernacular of that time. It is important that we do all that is in our power to respect the playwrights intentions. We understand that some people may be offended. Inevitably, the cast and I, are striving to hold a mirror up to nature without apology, in the hopes of creating a moving, honest and respectful interpretation of one of America’s greatest plays.

We wanted to provide a heads up that “Fences” contains some such language (such as the n-word), so that you can forewarn your party and family and perhaps provide some historical and societal context. It is also something that we can discuss during our Thursday Insights talks and Sunday Salon (see more details below). 

Additionally, while there is nothing sexually explicit in the play, please be aware that it does contain mature themes and occasional sexual innuendo.

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and we’ll look forward to seeing you at the theatre!

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August Wilson is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential American playwrights to ever have written. The ten plays that comprise his Pittsburgh Cycle (of which Fences is one) paint a sweeping yet deeply personal portrait of the African American experience during each decade of the  20th Century. Join us before the show on February 7th or February 14th  for a brief discussion about Wilson’s life, times and lasting  literary legacy. Included with your ticket.


August Wilson has been called “the American Shakespeare”. His work chronicled the trials and triumphs, struggle and soul of the African-American experience throughout the 20th Century. Following the matinee on Sunday February 10th, join members of the cast as well as an invited panel of guest speakers for a lively discussion about what has changed since August Wilson penned his iconic plays, and more importantly what has not. Open to any attendee of “Fences”.