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Some people build fences to keep people out… and other people build fences to keep people in.

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Fences Student Production by Vpstart Crow
October 16, 2017
By Kate Williams '16
Outreach Manager

“A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything” – Malcolm X.

Inequality. A word that carries the weight of a million lost souls. A word that has invoked the true nature of thousands of Americans. A word that has haunted the spirit of mankind for hundreds of years. How, as individuals do we defy a word that has defined so much pain for our friends, family, and ancestors? By allowing ourselves to believe that a word as strong as inequality can be defeated by something as simple as an opportunity. An opportunity to do right. An opportunity to show that all life is of value. An opportunity to allow those who don’t have the proper circumstances to achieve their dreams, a chance to shine. In this so called “land of opportunity” we have a chance to do something that matters. To take a stand against all that is evil and crush the word known as inequality.

Fences is a story about Troy Maxson making his living as a sanitation worker in 1950’s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but was deemed too old when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. Bitter over his missed opportunity, Troy creates further tension in his family when he squashes his son’s chance to meet a college football recruiter.

Fences, along with many other great shows, is an opportunity for people of color to finally have their chance in the limelight and to share the story of their people. For the first time in the history of Vpstart Crow, Fences was produced with an all black cast. Student director, Josh Wallace made this decision “to level the playing field and show that inequality is something that can be defeated with the right amount of hard work, dedication, and patience.”

Vpstart Crow is a student-created organization that provides support to Theatre majors interested in producing and/or directing challenging, minimalist pieces of theatre. Vpstart Crow events supplement the productions sponsored by the PLU Theatre Program and Alpha Psi Omega; as a result, they usually take place in “found” or alternative spaces.