The first Broadway revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson begins previews tonight, September 19, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre for its 17-week engagement.
The Piano Lesson will be directed by Tony Award® nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson - who is making her Broadway directorial debut and will be the first woman to ever direct an August Wilson play on Broadway. August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, which premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1987 and starred a then-39-year-old Samuel L. Jackson as Boy Willie, is the fourth play in the American Century Cycle.
Three years later, a new production, starring Carl Gordon, Charles S. Dutton and S. Epatha Merkerson, opened at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, and soon transferred to Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre. In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize for drama, The Piano Lesson won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, the Peabody Award and was nominated for the 1990 Tony Award for Best Play.
Meet the cast bringing this play back to Broadway below!
is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the seventies, he joined the Negro Ensemble Company (together with Morgan Freeman). In the eighties, he became well-known after three movies made by Spike Lee: Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990) and Jungle Fever (1991). He achieved prominence and critical acclaim in the early 1990s with films such as Patriot Games (1992), Amos & Andrew (1993), True Romance (1993), Jurassic Park (1993), and his collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino, including Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), and later Django Unchained (2012). Going from supporting player to leading man, his performance in Pulp Fiction (1994) gave him an Oscar nomination for his character Jules Winnfield, and he received a Silver Berlin Bear for his part as Ordell Robbi in Jackie Brown (1997). Jackson usually played bad guys and drug addicts before becoming an action hero, co-starring with Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) and Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996). With Jackson's permission, his likeness was used for the Ultimate version of the Marvel Comics character, Nick Fury. He later did a cameo as the character in a post-credits scene from Iron Man (2008), and went on to sign a nine-film commitment to reprise this role in future films, including major roles in Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and minor roles in Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). He has also portrayed the character in the second and final episodes of the first season of the TV show, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013). He has provided his voice to several animated films, television series and video games, including the roles of Lucius Best / Frozone in Pixar's film The Incredibles (2004), Mace Windu in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), Afro Samurai in the anime television series Afro Samurai (2007), and Frank Tenpenny in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004).
starred as "Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson" in Netflix's Emmy nominated series "Orange is the New Black," a role that garnered her two NAACP Image Award nominations for "Best Actress in a Comedy Series." She also received the Young Hollywood Award for "Breakthrough Actress." Next up, Brooks will star opposite John Cena in the HBO Max series "Peacemaker," the spinoff series to James Gunn's upcoming The Suicide Squad movie. Brooks starred as the legendary Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson in director Kenny Leon's "Mahalia" which premiered on Lifetime in April. For her performance, Brooks earned the "Actress Award for Television" from the Critics Choice Association Celebration of Black Cinema & Television. Additionally, Brooks was nominated for a Critics Choice TV "Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television" Award and received a Primetime Emmy Award Nomination as a producer on "Mahalia." On stage, Brooks starred as "Beatrice" in The Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Kenny Leon. For her performance, she received the AUDELCO Award for "Lead Actress in a Musical," the ANTONYO Award for "Best Actor in a Play, Off-Broadway," and a Drama League Award nomination for "Distinguished Performance." Brooks made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning revival of The Color Purple, which earned her a Tony Award nomination, a Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award. She also received a Grammy Award and a Theatre World Award for "Significant Broadway Debut." Other feature work includes a leading role opposite Anna Kendrick in Chris Morris' The Day Shall Come, produced by See Saw and released by IFC, and a role opposite Alfre Woodard, Wendell Pierce, and Aldis Hodge in Clemency, which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and was released by Neon. Other television work includes a recurring role on Aziz Ansari's Emmy Award-winning Netflix comedy series "Master of None," and guest lead roles on HBO's "High Maintenance" and "Girls." Brooks' voice work includes Sony's animated feature Angry Birds, HBO Max's Close Enough, and Netflix's Karma's World. Danielle released her four track EP entitled FOUR. Brooks co-wrote the songs including "Seasons," which is featured in the series finale of "Orange if the New Black." Danielle is the co-founder of "Black Women on Broadway," which honors the legacy of Black Women's contributions to the theatre. She serves on the Artistic Board of Urban Arts Partnership, which advances the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs to close the achievement gap. Danielle grew up in South Carolina and is a graduate of The Juilliard School.
produced and starred alongside Zendaya in the Sam Levinson directed film Malcolm & Marie. The film's production set the example for others on how to safely film during COVID-19. The film was released on February 5th, 2021 on Netflix. He stared as "The Protagonist" in Christopher Nolan's blockbuster film Tenet which released internationally on August 27, 2020 and domestically on Sept 3, 2020. He was also recently seen in the Luca Guadagnino produced film Beckett released on Netflix in 2021. John David played the lead in Blackkklansman, directed by Spike Lee and produced by Jason Blum and Jordan Peele. He appeared alongside Adam Driver and Laura Harrier. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to a standing ovation and won the Grand Prix. John David received multiple nominations for his portrayal of Ron Stallworth during the 2019 awards season including a Best Actor nomination for both a Golden Globe and SAG Award. Up next John David will be seen in the upcoming untitled David O. Russel movie where he stars alongside Christian Bale and Margot Robbie. It was also recently announced that he will star in the latest sci-fi story from director Gareth Edwards titled True Love. John David was previously seen in Monsters and Men directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, where he played the role of 'Dennis' alongside up-and-comers Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Chante Adams. The script was selected and developed as part of the 2017 Sundance Directors Lab. John David received a nomination from the Independent Spirit Awards for Best Supporting Male for his performance. He can also be seen in the Anthony Mandler helmed All Rise, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, starring Jeffrey Wright, ASAP Rocky, & Jennifer Hudson. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. In the fall of 2018, he appeared in Fox Searchlight's Old Man and the Gun, directed by David Lowery playing opposite Casey Affleck, Elisabeth Moss, and Robert Redford. John David got his film debut as a child in Spike Lee's Malcolm X in 1992. He returned to the big screen in 2017 in Lionsgate's Love Beats Thymes, directed by RZA, opposite Common and Jill Scott. Prior to acting, John David spent six years playing professional football. Shortly after, he booked his first-ever audition to play 'Ricky Jerret' in the HBO series "Ballers" with Dwayne Johnson. His performance as 'Ricky' generated rave reviews.
starred on the FOX's hit show "Empire" as Andre Lyon. In 2014, he portrayed James Foreman in the Ava DuVernay directed Selma. Most recently, Byers starred in, co-wrote and produced The 24th; the true story of the largest murder trial in US History. He holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama and is now making his Broadway debut.
is best known for his breakout role as 'Victor Stone/Cyborg' in Warner Brothers' DC Cinematic Universe. 'Cyborg' is first introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and was last seen in Zack Snyder's Justice League, where Fisher starred alongside Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, and Ezra Miller. Ray can currently be seen starring in the limited series Women of the Movement, from creator-writer Marissa Jo Cerar and a producing team that includes Jay-Z, Will Smith and Aaron Kaplan. The six-episode series, set to premiere in 2021, centers on Mamie Till-Mobley (Adrienne Warren), who devoted her life to seeking justice for her son Emmett Till (Cedric Joe), following his brutal killing in the Jim Crow South. Fisher will play Gene Mobley, the man who would have been Emmett Till's stepfather, if not for his murder. A devoted partner to Emmett's mother, Mamie, Gene was considered the love of her life. They later married. On the small screen, Fisher recently starred in the third installment of HBO's Emmy Award winning series "True Detective" opposite Mahershala Ali, Carmen Ejogo and Stephen Dorff. A seasoned theater actor as well, Ray made his mark on stage earning rave reviews for his portrayal of Muhammed Ali in the Off-Broadway production, "Fetch Clay, Make Man" from Tony-Award winning director, Des McAnuff. Ray will next be seen starring in Zach Snyder's upcoming film Rebel Moon for Netflix, opposite Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam and Djimon Hounsou.
is an Obie Award-winning actor and company member of Elevator Repair Service. Off-Broadway: HELP (The Shed); Toni Stone (Roundabout); Fairview, LEAR (Soho Rep); Signature Plays-Funnyhouse of a Negro (Signature Theatre); IOWA, Antlia Pneumatica (Playwrights Horizons); On the Levee (LCT3). With ERS: The Sound & the Fury; Fondly, Collette Richland (NYTW); Measure for Measure (The Public); Everyone's Fine with Virginia Woolf (Abrons Art Center); GATZ (Perth Festival)., Regional: A Streetcar Named Desire (Yale Rep). TV: "The Blacklist", "New Amsterdam" (NBC), "EVIL", "The Good Fight" (Paramount Plus). Film: Black Card (HBO, Showtime), Fugitive Dreams (FantasiaFest, Cinequest).
is an accomplished actor of stage and screen. In March, he'll portray Michelle Obama's father "Frasier C. Robinson III" alongside Viola Davis in Showtime's critically acclaimed limited series, "The First Lady" and star opposite Melissa Leo in the psychological thriller "Measure For Revenge." Later this year, Potts takes on the role of civil rights activist "Cleveland Lowellyn "Cleve" Robinson" in Netflix's historical drama 'RUSTIN." In 2020, his portrayal of "Slow Drag" earned him critical acclaim in Netflix's award-winning, feature adaptation of August Wilson's play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. The film served as Chadwick Bosman's final acting portrayal. On the stage, he is known for originating the roles of "Mafala Hatimbi" in the 2011 Tony® award winning musical comedy The Book Of Mormon from Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone as well as the heartwarming "Mr. Hawkins" in the Tony® nominated Broadway musical The Prom. He received critical praise for his role as "Joe Mott" alongside Denzel Washington in the Tony® nominated Eugene O'Neill revival The Iceman Cometh. For his role in Iceman - Potts received the distinguished "Richard Seff Award," which is presented to veteran actors for their performances in supporting roles both on and off Broadway. Additionally, he was appointed as the 2018 Denzel Washington Endowed Chair in Theatre for Fordham University. In 2017, he starred as the notorious gossip "Turnbo" in the Tony® award winning production of August Wilson's Jitney, under the direction of Ruben Santiago-Hudson's. That same year, Potts appeared alongside Olivia Wilde and Tom Sturridge in the stage adaptation of George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece 1984. Potts is widely recognized for his role opposite Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as "Detective Maynard Gilbough" in the Emmy® Award winning HBO anthology series "True Detective." Well versed in producer David Simon's work, Potts starred opposite Idris Elba as the well-mannered yet feared assassin, "Brother Mouzone" on HBO's critically acclaimed series "The Wire." He starred in the HBO six-hour miniseries, "Show Me a Hero," co-created by David Simon ("The Wire") and directed by Oscar winner Paul Haggis. Recurring television roles also include CBS' "Madam Secretary" and FOX's "Gotham." As a graduate the Yale School of Drama, Potts' extensive theater background has afforded him several performances on New York's theater stages. Roles in Rent, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and Richard III garnered him the Falstaff Award for best 'Male Supporting Performance' and The Village Voice's Obie Award for his portrayal in the off-Broadway production of The American Play. Potts originated the role of "Brooks, Sr." in the Tony® Award winning play Grey Gardens and additionally the role of "Paul Pierce" in Tony Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures at the Guthrie Theatre. In the regions, Michael has starred in Oedipus, Highway Ulysses, Romeo and Juliet, The Hostage, The Rivals and was in the original Broadway company of Lennon. He is an active supporter and contributor of the 52nd Street Project, dedicated to the creation and production of new plays for, and often by, kids between the ages of 9-18 that reside in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood in New York City. The organization achieves this goal through a series of unique mentoring programs that match kids with professional theater artists. Potts was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Wisacky, South Carolina. He resides in New York City.
is delighted to make her Broadway debut at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, in an August Wilson play, and with such a talented cast and creative team. She has appeared locally as Lucy in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and collaborated with Yonder Window Theatre Company. On television, she can be seen as 9-yr old Amira in "The Last O.G." She thanks her family for their constant support of her interests and Mara Entertainment for this wonderful opportunity.
Jurnee, is a native NYC girl, who began her acting career at a very early age after attending an after-school theatre camp. At that moment, is when she decided that she wanted to do this forever. Being from NYC, Jurnee enriched her passion by submerging herself in plays. She has been cast in many theatre shows throughout NY. Cinderella, Peter Pan and Aladdin were most memorable to her. Jurnee also can be seen in national commercials and "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah."
Broadway: Macbeth (Lincoln Center), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Original Broadway Cast). Off-Broadway (select): TFANA: Timon of Athens, Merchant of Venice; Roundabout Theatre Company: Napoli, Brooklyn; Bedlam's The Crucible; Bedlam's Mary Stuart; WP Theatre: Aliens with Extraordinary Skills. Regional (select): Shakespeare Theatre Co.: Timon of Athens, Merchant of Venice; Kennedy Center: Measure + Dido; Roundhouse Theatre: School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play (Helen Hayes Award); Shakespeare Festival St. Louis: Antony and Cleopatra (2015 Theatre Circle Award nomination); Folger Theatre: Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra; Huntington Theatre Company/Long Wharf Theatre: Disgraced (2015 Critics Circle Award nomination); Old Globe Shakespeare Festival: 2010/2011 seasons. International: Arcola Theatre (London): Widows. Television: upcoming new projects for Apple TV, "Iron Fist," "I Love You...But I Lied," "Blue Bloods," "Madam Secretary." Education/Training: East 15 Acting Conservatory UK: MA; USD/Old Globe PTAP: MFA.
Broadway: How I Learned to Drive. Off-Broadway: In The Southern Breeze (Rattlestick, 2019 Pulitzer Prize), Fairview (Soho Rep, TFANA, Berkeley Rep; Drama Desk nomination), Classical Theater of Harlem, Classic Stage Company, Gallery Players. Regional: LaJolla Playhouse (Here There Are Blueberries), Virginia Stage Company, Arrow Rock Lyceum, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare. Television: Hulu's "Monsterland." Education: Columbia University (MFA), DePaul University.
Peter has enjoyed a long and multi-faceted career as an actor and educator. Broadway: All the Way, Cyrano DeBergerac, Henry IV, Julius Caesar, Jelly's Last Jam, The Merchant of Venice. Off Broadway: Socrates, Red Speedo, Father Comes Home from the Wars, Seven Spots on the Sun, Othello, The Pain and the Itch, Macbeth, Thunder Knocking on the Door, The Winter's Tale, Checkmates, As You Like It, and many more. Televison/Film: "The Equalizer," "New Amsterdam," "For Life," "Luke Cage," "Shades of Blue," "Elementary," "Blue Bloods," "Law and Order(s)," "Royal Pains," "House of Cards," "The Good Wife," The Irishman, Brawl on Cellblock 99, "Gotham," and much more. Other August Wilson: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Audelco Award), Gem of the Ocean (Original cast, Black Theatre Alliance Nomination). Peter currently serves as Co-Head of Acting in Columbia University's School of the Arts, Graduate Division. God is Good.
Off Broadway: Confederates (Signature Theatre/US), Round Table (59E59), The Talk, Showtime Blues, The Extinctionist (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Manhood, Untamed (National Black Theatre), The Beautiful Beautiful Sea Next Door (ArsNova). Regional credits include: Black Moon Lilith (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Doubt (Westport Playhouse; CT Critics Circle Award Best Featured Actress); Everybody Black (Humana Festival); Familiar (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co); A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre); Dracula (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Metamorphoses (Arden Theatre Company); All's Well that Ends Well, Major Barbara (American Players Theater); Black Diamond, Fedra (Lookingglass Theatre); The Voysey Inheritance (Remy Bumpoo); Macbeth (Lady M, greasyjoan & co.). Other credits: Richard III (Boomerang Theatre Co), Heartbreaker (Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center). Film: Queen of Glory, Blind, Requited, Nowheresville, Happily After. Television: "Dear Edward" (Apple)," Z: The Beginning of Everything" (Amazon), "The Outs," "Redrum" (Discovery ID), "In Between Men." BTA Award Nomination, Best Actress. Training: Northwestern University, Steppenwolf Theatre, LAByrinth, Esper. Sharina is a proud member of Ensemble Studio Theatre.
is a professional film, television and stage actor having appeared in numerous heaters across the country, including Off-Broadway and most recently in the Tony Award winning revival of Charles Fuller's A Soldier's Play starring Blair Underwood and David Alan Grier. Recent television credits include the Netflix (formerly NBC) sci-fi drama, "Manifest" and the Amazon Prime dramedy, "Harlem," starring Meagan Good. Other notable appearances include the Netflix series, "Marvel's: Luke Cage" and HBO's "Boardwalk Empire." Other television shows include "Chicago, P.D.," "Law & Order" and "CSI:NY". On the big screen, he's appeared alongside Denzel Washington and Chiwetel Ejiofor in the film American Gangster.
is an actor and writer. He made his Broadway debut in Aaron Sorkin's critically acclaimed adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, alongside Jeff Daniels, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Latanya Richardson-Jackson and directed by Bartlett Sher. His works have included the Lincoln Center's One Night Only Benefit Concert of Camelot featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda. He's been featured in Good Men Wanted (NYSAF), soft (The New Black Fest), and The Fortress of Solitude. His film credits include Off-Broadway Award winning feature Testament (Best Featured Actor Nominee) Concrete Rose, Getaway (BET CRE8 Finalist), Night (Huffington Post Award film). Most recently, Doron can next be seen portraying African American inventor Lewis H. Latimer in film entitled, Let There Be Light. Writing credits include A Letter To... (playwright; world premiere, The National Black Theatre) and A History By: An upcoming anthology series (Level Forward Company). Doron has developed and cultivated film, plays and new works with New York Stage and Film, New York Theatre Workshop, The Lark, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Wheelhouse, BMI, Less Than Rent Theatre and Playwrights Horizons to name a few. All in all, Doron strives to never be tied down to one artistic medium, constantly pushing to inspire those around him to embrace all their gifts. He holds an MFA from NYU Graduate Acting Program. IG: @doronjepaul
Mr. Sullivan has performed in all ten of the August Wilson plays. This marks the fifth production of The Piano Lesson. He has played Avery, Doaker and Wining Boy twice before. His most recent production was Gem of the Ocean, where he played Solly Two Kings at Theatreworks Silicon Valley in April and May of 2022. Since 2019 he has been touring in Switzerland, Portugal and France in Silence and Fear, the story of Nina Simone, playing her father, John Divine. Mr. Sullivan is honored to be a member of this company.
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