Derrick Weeden

Derrick Lee Weeden is starring in PCPA's production of "Fences."

PCPA -- Pacific Conservatory Theatre was awarded a $10,000 Arts Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Selected from among performing arts companies across the country, PCPA was one of 133 organizations to receive national recognition for its work from the NEA.

The grant will provide support for PCPA’s production of "Fences" (Sept. 15 to Oct. 1) through residencies for actor Derrick Lee Weeden, as Troy Maxson, and director Timothy Bond. The grant also funds both Bond and Weeden to instruct master classes for PCPA’s Conservatory programs, YPP Fall Intensives, to lead workshops in partnership with local high schools and to participate in public talk-back sessions and preshow interviews.

Weeden, who appeared as a guest artist earlier this year in PCPA’s production of "The Whipping Man," also appeared in the title role of PCPA’s 2013 production of Cyrano de Bergerac. He has spent 22 seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, playing iconic roles such as Antony in "Antony and Cleopatra," Prospero in "The Tempest" and Brutus in "Julius Caesar."

Bond is currently a professor at University of Washington School of Drama and was recently the producing artistic director of Syracuse Stage and the Syracuse University Department of Drama. While in Syracuse, Bond directed 15 productions and created partnerships with 11 prestigious theater companies. He has directed and served in artistic leadership roles across the nation, including at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Seattle Group Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, Arena Stage and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

“We are thrilled to be presenting August Wilson’s masterpiece 'Fences' with two of America’s most illustrious artists," said PCPA Artistic Director Mark Booher. “Support from the NEA will allow our students and community to have access to Mr. Weeden and Mr. Bond -- to see their transformative work and to engage with them as artists both at the play and in the classroom. PCPA’s terrific resident company and long standing relationship with the diverse communities of the Central Coast, together with the special support from this venerable federal agency, will enable many to have access to these nationally recognized artists.”

For 53 years, PCPA –-- Pacific Conservatory Theatre, has brought professional theater to its stages on the California Central Coast and infused the national theater scene with thousands of trained actors and technicians. PCPA produces seven to nine shows each year in two theaters in Santa Maria and the Solvang Festival Theater.

For tickets and more information, visit www.pcpa.org.

This report was compiled by Mary Ann Norbom. You can reach her at mnorbom@leecentralcoastnews.com. Follow her on Twitter @MANorbomSYVNews

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