The Piano Lesson will return to Broadway next season and the new production will star Samuel L. Jackson as Doaker Charles, John David Washington as Boy Willie, and Danielle Brooks as Berniece.
This revival marks 30 years since the play’s Main Stem premiere in 1990. The play will be directed by Tony Award nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson, in her Broadway directorial debut. She will be the first woman to ever direct an August Wilson play on Broadway.
August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 'The Piano Lesson' premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1987, starring a then-39-year-old Samuel L. Jackson as Boy Willie.
The play won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, the Peabody Award, and it received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play.
Here is the official synopsis of the upcoming Broadway production:
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.
'The Piano Lesson' director LaTanya Richardson Jackson on 'The Piano Lesson':
“August Wilson dedicated his life and devoted his talent to dramatizing our stories and our experience. In doing so, he forever changed what it means to be Black in America,” she said. “His plays built empathy, created community, and showed us the power of representation. The Piano Lesson is one of his most enduring, profound and consequential masterpieces, and I am reveling in this opportunity to present it to Broadway audiences for the first time since its premiere.”
Producers Moreland ('Thoughts of a Colored Man'), Friedman ('Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'), and Kirdahy ('Hadestown') said of the production:
“We are humbled and honored to return Mr. Wilson’s work to the Broadway stage under the inspirational LaTanya Richardson Jackson. After more than 30 years, The Piano Lesson is still adding to the ever-evolving conversation about family legacy. This production is coming back to Broadway at such an exciting time for our industry as we work to rebuild – and who better than Mr. Wilson to help us.”
The Piano Lesson will begin performances on Monday, September 19, 2022 at the St. James Theatre.