As illustrative of the kind of analysis I would bring to Fences, by August Wilson, if my bid to direct is successful, O prose to take direction for a part of Act 1, Scene 3 of the play. This will include possible blocking, camera work, music, and what the actor should be feeling and experiencing while acting the part. I will examine how crucial it is that the actors portray their characters effectively, and I will offer commentary to assure just that.
On the basis of these findings I will determine the function of this scene in the whole play and how the characters and ensuing events of play are necessarily different because of the presence of this scene and the manner in which its conflicts are resolved. To set the scene, Troy and Cory are debating with one another Cory’s goals and aspirations in life. It is Cory’s dream to play football, to receive a scholarship to play at North Carolina. In Troy’s eyes, his son is wasting his time.
Using his experience and his past ventures in the sports world when he was younger, Troy has created this illusion that black men would never thrive and succeed in professional sports. He says, “The colored guy got to be as twice as good before he get on the team. That’s why I don’t want you to get all tied up in them sports”. Instead of pursuing a failed career, Troy wants Cory to work in the A&P and learn a trade such as fixing cars or building homes. Cory is in disbelief that his dad would deny his dreams and aspirations. TROY. You damn right you are!
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And ain’t no need for nobody coming around here to talk to me about singing nothing. *distraught, the feeling one should feel when a football game should have been won, when victory was imminent, but with seconds left the opposing team somehow pulls of a miracle play to win the game themselves. Cory should feel that his dreams are so close to beginning but in fact over because his dad refuses to support him* -camera zooms in on a distraught and shocked cory- CORY. (softly) Hey, Pop … you can’t do that. He’s coming all the way from North Carolina. TROY. (almost chuckling, firm) I don’t care where he coming from. walks up to Cory and gets in his face, almost asserting himself directly, as to make a crucial point) The white man ain’t gonna let you get nowhere with that football no way. You go on and get your book-learning so you can work yourself up in that A&P or lean how to fix cars or build houses or something, get you a trade. That way you have something can’t nobody take away from you. You go on and learn how to put your hands to some good use. Besides hauling people’s garbage. -camera focuses right back to Cory’s face- CORY. (almost pleading) I get good grades, Pop. That’s why the recruiter wants to talk to with you.
You got to keep up your grades to get recruited. This way I’ll be going to college. I’ll get a chance … -camera zooms out to capture Troy turning his back on Cory, doing something entirely irrelevant- *at this point the actor playing Troy should almost be done with arguing with Cory, so sure on his stance that any word coming out of Cory could never convince him letting his son play football. The actor should feel annoyed that the argument is still going, because he should feel that no more talking is necessary. What’s decided has been decided* TROY. (interrupting) First you gonna get your butt down there to the A&P and get your job back.
CORY. (annoyed that his father is not understanding him) Mr. Stawicki done already hired somebody else cause I told him I was playing football. TROY. (stunned turns back around and confronts Cory) You a bigger fool that I thought … to let somebody take away your job so you can play football. Where you gonna get your money to take out your girlfriend and whatnot? What kind of foolishness is that to let somebody take away your job? *Troy should feel almost hopeless for Cory, that he feels like a bad father for letting his son think that it was okay for him to give up his job.
For Troy, a job meant a steady income, the crucial number determining the future of life. For example, taking care of the family and girlfriend. Losing a job to someone else means to lose the meaning of life to Troy, and he feels disgusted his son has done this* CORY. (a bit naive) I’m still gonna be working weekends. TROY. (not having any of his son’s foolishness) Naw … naw. You getting your butt out of here and finding you another job. CORY. (again, pleading) Come on, Pop! I got to practice. I can’t work after school and play football too. The team needs me. That’s what Coach Zellman say … TROY. yelling, declaring himself the alpha male, making himself heard) –camera captures takes of Rose in the house, hearing him yelling- I don’t care what nobody else say. I’m the boss … you understand? I’m the boss around here. I do the only saying what counts. CORY. Come on Pop! (throws hands up in extreme frustration) TROY. I asked you … did you understand? CORY. Yeah … TROY. What?! CORY. (a little defeated) Yessir. TROY. You go on down there to that A&P and see if you can get your job back. If you can’t do both … then you quit the football team. You’ve go to take the crookeds with the straights. CORY. hurt) –camera holds still on Troy and Cory in the shot- *at this point, a full 5 second pause should be experienced, to set up Cory’s loaded question. He doesn’t understand why his father is treating him in this way, denying his hopes and dreams* Can I ask you a question? TROY. What the hell you wanna ask me? Mr. Stawicki the one you got the question for. CORY. (3 second pause, looks at Troy and scans him for attention) How come you ain’t never liked me? *Troy is a little taken back from this loaded question his son has proposed to him, but instead of feeling compassion, he starts to rant and start an outburst*
TROY. (after another pause) Liked you? Who the hell say I got to like you? What law is there say I got to like you? Wanna stand up in my face and ask a damn fool-ass question like that. Talking about liking somebody. Come here, boy, when I talk to you. -camera shifts as Cory has begun to distance himself from his father, but snaps back into his father’s grip as he gravitates back toward Troy to listen to his rant. Cory should seem as he is starting to regret asking this question- TROY. Straighten up, god dammit! I asked you a question … what law is there say I go to like you? CORY. coldly, as if one is responding to a monotonous interactive children’s TV show ) None. TROY. Well, all right then! Don’t you eat every day? (short pause, Troy does not mean to pose a rhetorical question, wants Cory to answer, but he does not) Answer me when I talk to you! Don’t you eat every day? CORY. (coldly, this time almost bitter and blunt) Yeah. TROY. (fed up with Cory’s disrespect and tone) Nigger, as long as you in my house, you put that sir on the end of it when you talk to me. CORY. (this time, a little mockingly) Yes… sir. TROY. (hammering his point across into Cory’s head) You eat every day.
CORY. (now in a marine like tone, but still mockingly, Troy does not pick up on it) Yessir! TROY. Got a roof over your head. CORY. Yessir! TROY. Got clothes on your back. CORY. (no marine tone, tired of the answering) Yessir. TROY. Why you think that is? CORY. Cause of you. TROY. Aw, hell I know it’s cause of me … but why do you think that is? -camera views shot of a Troy ready to go off, almost guaranteeing explosion but still giving Cory a chance to answer a question with no correct answer. CORY. (knowing this, answers hesitantly) Cause you like me. *at this point, Troy has gone mad.
He has had enough of his son’s foolishness and starts an outburst, ranting, but ranting with no real direction—ranting on emotion and impulse. The point the actor should send across to the audience is that Troy does not have any interest in his son other than assuring he lives with the right essentials—almost as if Cory was a burden, rather than a son. It should not be apparent that Troy actually knows and is processing the words that are coming out of his mouth. Any normal, levelheaded, morally sound father would and should never say what Troy would say next in his rant.
In Troy’s mind, Cory is just a responsibility and a nuisance that he needs to take care of. * TROY. Like you? I go out of here every morning… bust my butt.. putting up with them crackers every day… cause I like you? You about the biggest fool I ever saw. (pause) It’s my job. It’s my responsibility! You understand that? A man goes to take care of his family... Don’t you try and go through life worrying about if somebody like you or not. You best be making sure they doing right by you. You understand what I’m saying boy? CORY. *Cory is stunned.
His own father, has just told him that he does not love him or like him, or have to, for that matter. Cory, usually with something to say or argue with against his father, after this rant, has nothing left to say. Troy’s words has pierced him through his heart, and he realizes now that he no longer can convince his father to support him in his dreams. He can only respond with one word* Yessir. TROY. (adding insult to injury, giving no remorse for the words he has just spoken to towards his son) Then get the hell out of my face, and get on down to that A&P. end direction- On the basis of my findings and examinations of the scene, I believe the function of this scene shows the relationship of Troy and Cory, and how Cory begins to resent and reject his father more and more. Troy is visibly different, changing from the casual, joking, and laid-back drinking man on Friday nights, to a heartless and stout individual. It shows how his lack of love for his son may reflect on the lack of love for his wife Rose, as we find out later in the play Troy has in fact cheated on his wife.
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