Be a part of moving NLT performance

Published 12:05 am Thursday, November 6, 2014

Greetings, Natchez and the Miss-Lou.

Natchez Little Theatre, Mississippi’s oldest community theatre and a charitable non-profit volunteer organization, is proud to present as its November production “Fences” by August Wilson. “Fences” opened on April 30, 1985, at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Conn. Its Broadway opening was on March 26, 1987, at the 46th Street Theatre in NYC.

Winner of the New York Drama Critic’s and Tony Awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize, this sensational drama starred James Earl Jones as Troy Maxson, a former star of the Negro baseball leagues who now works as a garbage man in 1957 Pittsburgh. Excluded as a negro from the major leagues during his prime, Troy’s bitterness takes its toll on his relationships with both his wife and son, who now wants his own chance to play.

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This incredible two-act play is brilliantly written and a part of Wilson’s series of 10 plays known as the Pittsburgh Cycle for which Wilson won two Pulitzer Prizes. The second Pulitzer was for “The Piano.” Wilson’s other big Broadway hit was “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

The brilliance of “Fences” is the comedy that will have you rolling in the aisles with only hints of the conflict that comes to a dramatic climax in act two. The extraordinary cast of local talent is headed by NLT award-winning actor, Terrence Robinson, who won the Best Actor Standing Ovation Award last season as Mister in “The Color Purple.”  Robinson plays Troy Maxson and his wife Rose is portrayed by NLT newcomer Carmetha Cotton, who is making her stage debut.

The remainder of this talented cast are Michael Ware, as Troy and Rose’s son, Cory; Lyons, Troy’s son from a previous relationship, played by NLT award winning actor, Damien Henderson; Troy’s brother, Gabriel, a World War II veteran who suffered severe head trauma in the war, portrayed brilliantly by NLT award winning actor, Benta’ Thomas; Chrishaun Cotton makes his NLT and stage debut as Troy’s childhood best friend, Bono; and NLT award winning and veteran actress at 12 years of age, Patricia Ware, plays Troy’s young daughter, Raynell.

“Fences” is powerful entertainment and has been a pure joy for me to direct.  The power of the show is its story that transcends race. Don Vesterse has built another beautiful set for the production. Michael Ware has served as my assistant director and Karlyn Ritchie as the stage manager for the show.  If you loved our sold out production of “The Color Purple,” you will be blown away by “Fences.”

“Fences” runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday Nov. 13  to 15 and closes with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16. Tickets are $15 for non-members of NLT. There is a $12 per ticket benefit/preview performance for NLT’s 2015 Summer Youth Workshop Scholarship Program at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12. NLT has two student matinees at 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 11 and 12. These performances are near sell outs.

For reservations or further information, please call Natchez Little Theatre at 601-442-2233 or visit to pre-purchase tickets online. “Fences” will be a highlight of NLT’s 67 Season of eleven productions and should not be missed.

I hope to see you at “Fences.”


Layne Taylor is the artistic and executive director of NLT and director of “Fences.”