In a statement Marsalis said, "What a dream come true to be making my 'Broadway debut' composing music for this new production of August Wilson’s Fences. I had the great opportunity to sit-in during rehearsals over the weekend and observe [director] Kenny Leon and these brilliant artists bringing this play to life. I look forward to the challenge of creating music that not only complements their performances, but enhances the experience for those sitting in the theater."
The cast will also feature Chris Chalk as Cory, Stephen McKinley Henderson as Jim Bono, Russell Hornsby as Lyons, Mykelti Williamson as Gabriel, and with Eden Duncan-Smith and SaCha Stewart-Coleman alternating in the role of Raynell.
Fences is the 1987 Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play by Wilson — one play in a cycle of ten about the African-American experience in the 20th century. This will be a strictly limited 13-week engagement.
Fences takes place over eight years from 1957 to 1965. Washington stars as Troy Maxson, a Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues finally admitted black players. According to production notes, "As he faces off against the racial barrier at work and his own disappointments, Troy also grapples with his son, Cory, over the teenager's hope for a football scholarship and with his wife, Rose (Viola Davis), who confronts Troy over a child he has fathered with another woman."
Fences is produced by Carole Shorenstein Hays (who produced the original Broadway production) and Scott Rudin. Visit www.FencesOnBroadway.com.