Kudos to Ron OJ Parson, Fences and APT
Thank you for the interview with Ron OJ Parsons in the July 29 edition of The Capital
City Hues. After seeing the excellent production of August Wilson’s Fences last week
at American Players Theatre (APT), we wanted to know more about Parsons, the
director. I look forward to reading Part 2 in the next Hues.
Everything about the Fences production was memorable. The cast was uniformly
great from the father and mother — Troy and Rose (actors David Alan Anderson and
Karen Aldridge) — through the entire family. Characters of the family accurately
reflected universal difficulties faced by all of us, as well as the added burden of
racism. The brother, Gabriel, played perfectly by APT core member Gavin Lawrence,
clearly pointed out the horrors of Vietnam … and all wars. The sons, Cory (Yao
Dogbe) and Lyons (Jamal James), and Troy’s friend Bobo (Bryant Louis Bentley),
were real and true.
The director, Mr. Parson, pulled this wonderful cast together in an outdoor setting at
APT where a beautiful and believable stage set seemed consistently new in every
scene. The music perfectly suited the play. The director’s comments in your story
rang very true and were obvious in the production of Fences. You quoyed Ron OJ
Parson saying that he preferred not to tell the actors exactly what to do, how to stand.
“Do to others what you would have them do to you,” he said.
The actors heard the director and gave great performances as an acting ensemble in
Fences. Since Fences was the first August Wilson play produced at APT, we hope
the company will produce more of his classic plays in the future. The all-African
American cast was a delight. Congratulations to everyone involved, and to the Hues
for telling us about the director.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR