August Wilson’s Fences: from playwright to silver screen

Fences premiered this week to crowds of Black families who hit the theaters over the holiday. With a star-studded cast including Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, the film adaption of August Wilson’s original play has already garnered nods for two Golden Globes and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Though based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same title, much less coverage has been cast on the playwright himself. August Wilson, born in 1945, was a Black playwright who wrote a series of plays depicting the comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th century. With each play set in a different decade, Wilson’s stories included complex characters and told the raw truth. This commitment to authenticity remained as he wished only for a Black director to lead the film adaption of Fences in order to remain true to the authentic experiences and reality of Black culture.

Read more about August Wilson’s work and life here. And learn about the Fence’s road from play to the silver screen here.