Trash on stage

by

fences.jpg The Times reviewed August Wilson’s play Seven Guitars this weekend, which reminded me that my introduction to Wilson’s epic project of writing one play for every decade of the African American experience was sort of trash-related. Fences—which I first read at 18 and which solidified my love for the series—is Wilson’s 1950’s installment. The action revolves around Troy, a garbage collector who asks why black men are allowed to collect the trash, but not drive the trucks. He becomes the first black dump truck driver in Pittsburg and maybe even America, an ironic promotion since he doesn’t have a driver’s license.

And while fundamentally, Fences is a play about fatherhood, marriage, family and baseball, it’s yet another reminder that this world is divided into two distinct categories: those who throw things away and never have to think about them again and those who pick up after them.

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