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FENCES star Denzel Washington featured in USA Today

April 7, 2010
Denzel Washington rebuilds ‘Fences’ on Broadway stage

NEW YORK — When Denzel Washington saw the original Broadway production of Fences back in 1987, it struck him as “a classic American play.” But it never occurred to him that he would inherit the lead role in August Wilson’s Pulitzer-winning drama.

“I didn’t think, ‘Oh, one day I should play that part,’ “ says Washington, 55, chatting in a restaurant near the Cort Theatre, where he’ll star in the first Broadway revival of Fences, beginning previews April 14 in preparation for an April 26 opening.
But the character of Troy Maxson, a middle-aged sanitation worker and sharecropper’s son living in 1950s Pittsburgh, immediately resonated with the actor — and not because Washington himself worked as a garbageman one summer, years ago.
“My father was raised on a farm in Virginia, and he was uneducated like Troy,” he says. “I remember him talking about not having enough money.”
Born the year the Supreme Court declared school segregation unconstitutional, Washington “was in the first group of kids bused across town. My mother made sure that my sister and brothers and I got a good education, that we graduated college. But my father couldn’t see that far. He told me I could get a job working for the water department, just like Troy tells his son he can get him on a garbage truck.”

Read the full article from today’s USA TODAY at


FENCES begins performances on Wednesday, April 14th and opens on Monday, April 26th at the Cort Theatre (138 West 48th Street).

Follow FENCES on Twitter: @FencesBroadway 

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