Joburg Theatre Announces August Wilson’s Fences

Following the successful appointment of Mr James Ngcobo as Artistic Director, Joburg Theatre is delighted to announce the August Wilson’s Fences that will be under the stewardship of Ngcobo.
James’s appointment was effective from July 2022, with a responsibility of developing and implementing an artistic vision for JCT’s 10 spaces at Joburg Theatre, Roodepoort Theatre and Soweto Theatre, including the newly refurbished Jabulani Amphitheatre as well as contributing to the City of Joburg’s most vibrant cultural city.

The Artistic Director is delighted to bring Fences to Joburg to enable the city to tell stories from Pittsburgh.

August Wilson, the African American playwright referred to as the “theatre’s poet of Black America”, best known for his astonishing plays like Fences, Piano Lesson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Pittsburgh Cycle, which chronicles the experiences and heritage of the African-American community in the 20th century. He won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for his play ‘Fences’ and earned a second Pulitzer Prize for ‘The Piano Lesson. Audiences, all around the world have been blessed with moments to feast on palatable text from pieces like Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Seven Guitars, and Jitney, just to mention a few of his works.

Fences is a 1985 play, set in the 1950s, it is the sixth in Wilson’s ten-part “Pittsburgh Cycle. Like all of the “Pittsburgh” plays, Fences explores the evolving African-American experience and examines race relations, among other themes.

At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, August Wilson penned the most astonishing stories of the everyday man and woman. He weaved intricate narratives that told the stories of dreamers and dreams deferred.

The Joburg City Theatres’ Artistic Director has started the mammoth task of curating the spaces, he ushers the storytelling and edutainment through this exciting linkage of the narrative from the diaspora. Opening 2023, with Fences as part of Black History Month. This iconic work will feature the world–renowned Dr John Kani, who was part of the 60th Celebration and contributed immensely to the theatre spaces and the evolution of storytelling in our country. In this piece, he will be leading an ensemble of some of the finest talents on offer in Joburg, on the Nelson Mandela stage. The soon-to-be-announced cast will be the supporting company that will help the audience gain access to this emotional tale about a family and the hurdles that surround them.

Fences will be directed by the American playwright and theatre director, Ricardo Khan an acclaimed director on both American and International stages. Khan co-founded the Tony Award-winning and highly influential Crossroads Theatre Company of New Jersey.

Joburg Theatre looks forward to celebrating Black History month with activities that will be programmed around this work; the theatre will be welcoming patrons in the New Year with this seminal production to outline the pinnacle success of the 60 years of connecting stars in the City of Gold.
Watch the below video of James Ngcobo talking about the August Wilson Season, programmed for Joburg Theatre for 2023\24.

Joburg Theatre website


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