EXCLUSIVE: Trai Byers, Ray Fisher, April Matthis and Michael Potts have joined Samuel L. Jackson, Danielle Brooks and John David Washington in the cast of Broadway’s upcoming revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson.
The production, to be directed by LaTanya Richardson Jackson, will begin performances on Monday, Sept. 19, for a 16-week engagement at the St. James Theatre. The staging will mark the first Broadway revival of the Pulitzer-winning Piano Lesson in more than 30 years.
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Byers starred on Fox’s Empire as Andre Lyon. In 2014, he portrayed James Foreman in the Ava DuVernay-directed Selma, and most recently starred in, co-wrote and produced feature film The 24th. The Piano Lesson will mark his Broadway debut.
Fisher, cast as Lymon, is best known for his breakout role as Victor Stone/Cyborg in Warner Brothers’ DC Cinematic Universe. Cyborg was first introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and was last seen in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, with Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, and Ezra Miller. Fisher’s other credits include the limited series Women of the Movement, in which he played Emmett Till’s stepfather Gene Mobley. He also appeared in the third installment of HBO’s Emmy Award winning series True Detective opposite Mahershala Ali, Carmen Ejogo and Stephen Dorff. On stage, Fisher played Muhammed Ali in the Off Broadway production Fetch Clay, Make Man. He will next be seen in Zach Snyder’s film Rebel Moon for Netflix, opposite Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam and Djimon Hounsou.
Matthis, who will play Grace, is an Obie Award-winning actor and company member of Elevator Repair Service, with stage credits including Off Broadway’s Help, Toni Stone, Fairview, Funnyhouse of a Negro, Measure for Measure and Gatz, among many others. TV and film credits include The Blacklist, New Amsterdam, The Good Fight, Black Card and Fugitive Dreams.
Potts, who will play Wining Boy, has appeared in Showtime’s limited series The First Lady, and the psychological thriller Measure For Revenge. He’ll play civil rights activist Cleve Robinson in Netflix’s historical drama Rustin. He portrayed Slow Drag Netflix’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and on stage originated the roles of Mafala Hatimbi in The Book Of Mormon and Mr. Hawkins in The Prom. He starred opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh, and has also appeared in August Wilson’s Jitney, the stage adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. TV credits include True Detective, The Wire, Show Me a Hero, Madam Secretary and Gotham.
The castings were announced today by producers Brian Anthony Moreland, Sonia Friedman and Tom Kirdahy. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
The Piano Lesson is set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1936. A brother and sister are locked in a war over the fate of a family heirloom: a piano carved with the faces of their ancestors. Only by revisiting history can the siblings endeavor to move forward.
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