Washington will portray Troy Maxson, patriarch of a 1950s Pittsburgh family in the era before the civil rights movement edged to the fore. 'Fences' is the sixth in Wilson's epic, extraordinary 10-play cycle chronicling the African-American experience during the 20th century, with one play set in each decade. The role of Troy was originally created by James Earl Jones, who earned his second Tony award for his work.
Variety is reporting that Kenny Leon, who staged the Sean Combs-starring revival of 'A Raisin in the Sun' on Broadway several years ago, is in talks to direct. Scott Rudin, a frequent angel on Broadway shows on top of his Hollywood producing duties, will be joined by Carole Shorenstein Hays in mounting the play, which will have a limited run of 14 weeks, opening in mid-April.
'Fences' marks only Washington's third Great White Way credit: Before 'Julius Caesar,' he was featured in the short-lived 1988 play 'Checkmates.' While the Shakespeare play did well at the box office, it's well known that Washington craves a critical success to complement his established box-office appeal.