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LSCT will take on 'Fences'

The includes (from left, back row) Gabriel Mayfield (Troy Maxson), Carl Crawford (Jim Bono), Joe DuPree (Gabriel Maxson), (from left, middle row) Julian Williams (Cory Maxson), Kyliah Thompson (Rose Maxson), (from left, front row) Matthew Thompson (Lyons Maxson) and Season Edwards (Raynell Maxson). (Lake Superior Community Theatre photo)

Lake Superior Community Theatre will present an historic production of August Wilson's Fences this coming spring in Duluth, Two Harbors and Silver Bay.

Auditorium performances are slated for March 27-29 at Duluth's Lincoln Park Middle School; April 6-8 at Two Harbors High School and April 13-15 at William Kelley High School in Silver Bay.

The drama Fences will be presented by an all African-American cast, the first time an area African-American cast has performed a main stage play production in Duluth and on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

It will also mark the first time the 15 year-old Silver Bay-based community theatre will present its yearly production in Duluth and stage an all black cast.

"This is thrilling... the art of this script and to work with the soulful African-American energy," said community theatre executive director Paul Deaner. "The cast is so fired up, this has never happened around here."

Deaner recruited the cast with the help of Duluth area individuals, neighborhood agencies and social media.

"I initially conducted information sessions followed a few weeks later by auditions in the Central Hillside, Lincoln Park and West Duluth neighborhoods," he said.

The show was cast by July 30 and will feature six adults and one child.

Fences is the story of a 1957 Pittsburgh, Pa., working class, lower income family. The drama swirls around protagonist Troy Maxson (father of the family) and his relationships with his son, wife, family, friend and employer. Issues include the value of hard work, responsibility, Troy's past and the current ironies of love, loyalty and infidelity.

Fences is one of August Wilson's 10-play "Century Cycle" about the 20th century African-American experience dealing with universal human and specific black cultural issues and themes.

Set construction is already underway in the WKHS Scene Shop. Rehearsals begin in January, although the cast had its first meeting on Oct. 9 in Duluth. Ticket sales will be announced in the weeks ahead.