The announcement is something of a surprise. When it comes to directors, Wilson has shown loyalty. Lloyd Richards directed the New York premieres of his first six plays, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running and Seven Guitars. With the 2000 Off-Broadway production of Jitney, however, he turned to Marian McClinton, and used him again on King Hedley II, a revival of Ma Rainey and the current Gem of the Ocean. McClinton fell sick during rehearsals of the latter two, with Kenny Leon stepping in on Gem.
Douglas is an associate artistic director at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he staged two Wilson works.
The 1990s-set work involves real estate developers who look to tear down the home of recurring Wilson character Aunt Esther.
Playwright Wilson is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fences (1987) and The Piano Lesson (1990). The scribe made his acting debut in May 2003 performing an autobiographical one-man show How I Learned What I Learned at Seattle Repertory Theatre.