The Grand Theatre presents August Wilson's Fences on the Spriet Stage

Directed by Djanet Sears
Starring Nigel Shawn Williams

On the Spriet Stage March 19 to April 6, 2019

LONDON, ONTARIO, MARCH 8, 2019 - The Grand Theatre is pleased to bring to the Spriet Stage a contemporary classic, AUGUST WILSON’S FENCES.  One of the most honoured plays in American theatre, winning the Pulitzer Prize along with Tony and Drama Desk awards for best new play, AUGUST WILSON’S FENCES will take the Spriet Stage from March 19 to April 6. The Title Sponsor is Tricar.

August Wilson’s Fences is a play that is grounded in gritty realism, while sailing into lyrical inspiration at the same time,” said Dennis Garnhum, Grand Theatre Artistic Director.  “This production leaves me both uplifted and devastated – it is truly brilliant writing.”

Directed by DJANET SEARS and starring NIGEL SHAWN WILLIAMS as Troy, AUGUST WILSON’S FENCES is a play about family. Set in Pittsburgh in the 1950s, this play tells the story of a former Negro League baseball star that now supports his family by working as a trash collector. This modern classic from legendary playwright August Wilson sits at the crossroads of cultural change in America, set during the 50s and 60s Civil Rights Movement.

Fences by August Wilson is arguably the second most commercially successful African American play,” said Djanet Sears, Director. “This production examines the experiences of a family who is the progeny of Africans abducted to the Americas, and enslaved for 400 years.”

DJANET SEARS is a renowned Canadian director, actor, and playwright of great distinction and her production will debut here at the Grand.

AUGUST WILSON’S FENCES is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc and was originally produced on Broadway by Carole Shorenstein Hays, in association with Yale Repertory Theatre. AUGUST WILSON’S FENCES had its world premiere at Yale Repertory (Lloyd Richards, Artistic Director; Benjamin Mordecai, Managing Director), second production at The Goodman Theatre (Robert Falls, Artistic Director; Roche Schufler, Managing Director), and was initially given a staged reading at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Playwrights Conference.

Get Up Close with On Stage Seating

We welcome our patrons to get up close with on stage seating. Tickets for on stage seating are $20 and are available at, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street.


The Grand Theatre continues its commitment to accessibility initiatives for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing theatre patrons. Open Caption performances have been announced for AUGUST WILSON’S FENCES on the following dates: Friday, April 5 at 8:00 pm and Saturday, April 6 at 2:00 pm.

To book tickets, please email boxoffice [at] (boxoffice[at]grandtheatre[dot]com) or call 519 672 8800


The Wednesday Speakeasy Series

Following each Wednesday evening performance, patrons are invited to extend their theatre experience and get closer to the artists with exclusive talks, casual conversations, and spontaneous happenings in the relaxed atmosphere of the Poster Lounge.

Wednesday Speakeasy: Marc 20 & 27 and April 3.

Pre-Show Theatre Talks

Arrive a little early to the Wednesday matinee and join host James Stewart Reaney as he sparks creative conversations about the production.

Pre-Show Theatre Talks with James Stewart Reaney: Wednesday, April 3 at 12pm.


The Grand Theatre gratefully acknowledges Season Sponsor BMO Financial Group.

AUGUST WILSON’S FENCES is on the Spriet Stage from March 19 thru April 6.  Tickets range from $29.95 to $86 and are available at, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street. Prices include HST and are subject to change.

About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director
Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through COMPASS New Play Development program. The Grand supports educational programming with The High School Project, the only program of its kind in North America. The Grand’s season runs from September to May.


WHEN: Tuesday, March 19 at 1:00 pm (cameras, please arrive at 12:45pm to set up)
WHERE: Grand Theatre, Spriet Stage, 471 Richmond Street
WHAT: AUGUST WILSON’S FENCES - photo, video, and interview opportunities for media

For more information please contact:
Ashley Roberts, Communications Consultant, Grand Theatre
aroberts [at] (aroberts[at]grandtheatre[dot]com)

Cell: 937-554-1894

August Wilson's Fences

Directed by Djanet Sears
Starring Nigel Shawn Williams


Jim Bono E.B. SMITH


Set & Projection Designer ASTRID JANSON
Costume Designer RACHEL FORBES
Lighting Designer JASON HAND
Projection Designer ADAM BARRETT
Sound Designer VERNE GOOD
Fight Director ANITA NITTOLY
Assistant Stage Manager SUZANNE MCARTHUR
Apprentice Stage Manager TARYN DOUGALL


Peter N. Bailey  Gabriel
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Debut. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): Other Side of the Game (Cahoots Theatre Co./Obsidian Theatre); To Kill a Mockingbird, An Ideal Husband (Stratford Festival); A Raisin in the Sun (Black Theatre Workshop); The Wilberforce Hotel (The Blyth Festival); Gas Girls (New Harlem Productions). FILM & TV CREDITS: Saving Hope (ICF Films); Killjoys (Temple Street Productions); The Detail (The Lead One Productions).

Christopher Bautista  Lyons
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Timothy Findley’s The Wars. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): What I Haven't Said (Toronto Fringe Festival); Othello 83’ (Repertory East Playhouse); Vieux Carré, Flyin’ West, In the Blood. OTHER: Studied Theatre, English, and Film at the University of Southern California.

Dylan Hough  Raynell
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Debut. OTHER: Performing Arts student, Gr 6, St Mary Choir & Orchestra School. Member of Absolute Dance Competitive Troupe, 2018/19.

Ngabo Nabea  Cory
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Debut. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): Twisted (Factory Theatre); I and You (Globe); As You Like It (Driftwood); The Number’s Game (Storefront); Romeo and Juliet (Classical Theatre Project). FILM AND TV CREDITS (SELECTED): The Expanse (Syfy); The Strain (FX); In the Dark (CW). OTHER: Graduate of Ryerson University’s Theatre Program (BFA).

E. B. Smith  Jim Bono
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Art, The Mountaintop. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): All My Sons, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, The Bakkhai, Mother Courage, King John, Mary Stuart, Measure for Measure, Cymbeline, Elektra, Richard III, Titus Andronicus (Stratford Festival); Gone With the Wind (Manitoba Theatre Centre); Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Macbeth (First Folio Theatre); King Hedley II, Dream on Monkey Mountain, Before It Hits Home (Karamu House Theatre). Credits at the Cleveland Play House, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Theater Wit, and the Great Lakes Theater Festival. FILM AND TV CREDITS: The Beast (Sony Pictures Television); Ask Gilby, Maybe By Then, Thunder Bay (PBS).

Ordena Stephens-Thompson  Rose
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Debut. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): Risky Phil (YPT); Other Side of the Game (Cahoots/Obsidian Theatre); for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf  (Soulpepper Theatre); How Black Mothers Say I Love You (Factory Theatre). FILM & TV CREDITS (SELECTED): Umbrella Academy (Netflix); The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu); Designated Survivor (ABC); ‘da kink in my hair (Global). OTHER: Ordena is a graduate of George Brown Theatre.

Nigel Shawn Williams  Troy Maxson
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Director: Art, The Mountaintop. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): 6 seasons at Stratford including directing To Kill a Mockingbird; 4 seasons at the Shaw Festival; Canadian premieres of Six Degrees of Separation, Angels in America, Harlem Duet, Two Words for Snow, Belle, among others. DIRECTOR CREDITS INCLUDE: The Invisible Hand (Theatre Aquarius); Merchant of Venice (Bard on the Beach); Brothel #9 (Factory Theatre); The Monument (Obsidian Theatre). FILM AND TV CREDITS (SELECTED): Brown Girl Begins, Suits, The Famous Jett Jackson, John Q. OTHER: Former Co-Artistic Director of Factory Theatre. Four-time Dora Mavor Moore Award winner.

Djanet Sears  Director
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Debut. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf  (Soulpepper); The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God (National Arts Centre, Centaur Theatre/Mirvish Productions/ Obsidian Theatre Co./Nightwood Theatre); Harlem Duet (Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, Nightwood Theatre/Tarragon Theatre); The Penelopiad (Royal Shakespeare Company; National Arts Centre); Charming and Rose (Nightwood Theatre); The Mother Project (Crossroads Theatre). OTHER: Governor General’s literary award, Canadian Screenwriting Award, Dora Mavor Moore Award for Writing and Directing; Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award; The Harry Jerome Award, Phenomenal Women of the Arts Award. The Timothy Findley Award and the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award.

Astrid Janson  Set & Projection Designer
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE (SELECTED): The Dining Room, Woman in Mind, Farther West, Oleanna. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): Harlem Duet (Tarragon); Confederation (Videocabaret); A Delicate Balance, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (Soulpepper). UPCOMING: Hamlet (Opera Cologne, Germany). FILM/TV (SELECTED): Nureyev, Shadow Pleasures. OTHER: Honorary Doctorate, Wilfrid Laurier University 2016.

Rachel Forbes  Costume Designer
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Debut. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): School Girls (Obsidian Theatre); The Bridge (Neptune Theatre/2b Theatre); Choir Boy (Centaur Theatre); Risky Phil (Young People's Theatre); Speaking of Sneaking (Riser Project); Other Side of the Game (Obsidian Theatre/Cahoots); Lukumi: a dub opera, Bleeders, Bloodclaat, Esu Crossing the Middle Passage (Watah Theatre); The Dream Catchers (Charlottetown Festival); 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt (Shaw Festival); Black Boys (Saga Collectif/Buddies in Bad Times); How Black Mothers Say I Love You (Factory Theatre/Trey Anthony Productions). OTHER:

Jason Hand  Lighting Designer
FOR THE GRAND: Joni Mitchell: River, Blind Date. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): Productions for Centaur, Drayton Entertainment, Young People’s Theatre, Tarragon, Theatre Calgary, the Charlottetown Festival, the NAC, Soulpepper, Canadian Stage, Shaw and Stratford Festivals. Opera credits include productions for the Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Lyra, Tapestry Opera, Banff Centre, Against the Grain, Edmonton Opera, Royal Conservatory, and Rockport Music Festival. UPCOMING: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Stratford); Kopernikus (Against the Grain). OTHER: Five Dora Award nominations; 2011 European Opera-Directing Third Prize; 2012 protégé recipient of the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre.

Adam Barrett  Projection Designer
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Debut. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): Producer: Two Birds One Stone (Tarragon Workspace); Temple of the Divine Queer (Rhubarb Festival/ Buddies in Bad Times); Production Stage Manager: We Keep Coming Back (selfconcious productions); Video Designer: The Confederaton Plays, The Great War, Trudeau & The FLQ, Trudeau & Levesque (VideoCabaret). FILM AND TV CREDITS (SELECTED): Production Manager: Trigger (dir Bruce Macdonald); In Return (dir Chris Dymond); Liar (dir Adam Garnet Jones).

Verne Good  Sound Designer
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: Art, The Mountaintop, A Thousand Splendid Suns. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): To Kill a Mockingbird, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Romeo and Juliet, Pericles, Hirsch (Stratford Festival); Escaped Alone (Necessary Angel); The Virgin Trial (GCTC); The 39 Steps [Dora Nomination], The Heidi Chronicles (Soulpepper); Breathing Corpses, Superior Donuts (Coalmine); Up The Garden Path (Obsidian); Outside (Roseneath Theatre); Was Spring (Tarragon); Stockholm (Seventh Stage Theatre); The Atomic Weight of Happiness (StandUp Dance); Normal Heart (Studio 180). UPCOMING: Stratford, and Blyth Festivals. OTHER: Graduate of Humber College, National Theatre School, and Bishop’s University.

Anita Nittoly Fight Director
FORTHEGRANDTHEATRE: Debut. THEATRECREDITS(SELECTED): Fight Director: Stratford Festival (2019 season); The Last Wife, Successions, The 39 Steps; (Centaur Theatre, 2017–2019); Whole World (Carousel Players, 2019); Blyth Festival (2018 season), Jerusalem (Outside the March/The Company Theatre, 2018); Canadian Opera Company (2014–2016). FILM& TV CREDITS(SELECTED): Enhanced, Teen Titans, The Boys, Dark Matter, KIN, Designated Survivor, 12 Monkeys, Murdoch Mysteries. OTHER: Stage combat instructor at the National Theatre School in Montréal and teaches workshops across southern Ontario. Stunt performer in the film and TV industry.

Beatrice Campbell Stage Manager
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: The Penelopiad, The Foursome, North, The Gin Game. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): 15 seasons at The Shaw Festival (most recently: Henry V, The Hound of the Baskervilles); 2 Pianos 4 Hands (Tarragon Theatre/Mirvish Productions/Marquis Entertainment); The Drowsy Chaperone (Mirvish Productions); Cinderella (Ross Petty Productions); Venus In Fur, Red (Theatre Kingston); Wide Awake Hearts, True West, Gravity Calling, The Faraway Nearby, Possible Maps, Pants on Fire (Tarragon Theatre); My Name is Rachel Corrie (neworldtheatre); The Fantasticks, Tango (Piggery Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, Present Laughter (Citadel Theatre); The Winter’s Tale (Oracle Theatre).

Suzanne McArthur  Assistant Stage Manager
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE (SELECTED): Timothy Findley’s The Wars, Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Joni Mitchell: River, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Intimate Apparel, Ring of Fire, Dance Legends. High School Projects: Evita, Hello, Dolly!, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oklahoma!. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): The Birds and the Bees, Aladdin: The Panto, Snow White: The Panto, Weekend Comedy, Perfect Wedding (Drayton Entertainment); The Normal Heart (Studio 180 Theatre); Buying the Farm, Birds of a Feather, Storm Warning, Wrong for Each Other, Knickers! A Brief Comedy (Port Stanley Festival Theatre); Hosanna, The Tempest (Stratford Shakespeare Festival).

Taryn Dougall  Apprentice Stage Manager
FOR THE GRAND THEATRE: A Christmas Carol. THEATRE CREDITS (SELECTED): Hadrian, Anna Bolena, Arabella (Canadian Opera Company); Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage); Of Thee I Sing, Handel’s Imeneo (UofT Opera Division); Candide (Toronto Operetta Theatre); Marriage of Figaro (Vancouver Opera). OTHER: Received an Advanced Diploma in Music Theatre Performance from St. Clair College and Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree from Capilano University. UPCOMING: Shakespeare in High Park (Canadian Stage).