Trai Byers, Ray Fisher, April Matthis, and Michael Potts have joined the cast of the upcoming Broadway revival of August Wilson's Pulitzer-winning The Piano Lesson, which will begin a 16-week engagement at the St. James Theatre September 19. The cast will be headed by the previously reported Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, and Danielle Brooks.
Best known for starring in the Fox series Empire, Byers will be making his Broadway debut as Avery. Fisher will play Lymon, following his screen performances in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and the limited series Women of the Movement. Fisher's stage credits include Fetch Clay, Make May; Attorney for the Damned; and War and Peace. Matthis, who will play Grace, has previously been seen on stage in leading roles in The Shed's Help and Roundabout's Toni Stone. Potts will play Winning Boy, following performances in The First Lady and the Netflix adaptation of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. He also originated the roles of Mafala Hatimbi in The Book of Mormon and Mr. Hawkins in The Prom.
The play is the fourth in Wilson's Century Cycle, which explores the Black experience in every decade of the 20th century with such works as Fences, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and Jitney, among others. The Piano Lesson is set in Pittsburgh's Hill District in 1936, with a brother and sister embroiled in a battle over a family heirloom piano carved with the faces of their ancestors. The upcoming production will be its first Broadway revival.
Tony nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson, wife to Samuel J., will direct the production, becoming the first woman to direct a Wilson play on the Main Stem in her Broadway directorial debut.
The creative team includes scenic designer Beowulf Boritt, costume designer Toni-Leslie James, lighting designer Japhy Weideman, sound designer Scott Lehrer, and wig designer Cookie Jordan. Casting is by Calleri, Jensen, Davis.