William Jackson Harper & April Matthis to Star in PRIMARY TRUST World Premiere at Roundabout Theatre Company

Primary Trust begins preview performances on Thursday, May 4, 2023 and opens officially on Thursday, May 25, 2023 at the Laura Pels Theater.

By: Sep. 29, 2022
William Jackson Harper & April Matthis to Star in PRIMARY TRUST World Premiere at Roundabout Theatre Company
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Roundabout Theatre Company's world premiere of Primary Trust by playwright Eboni Booth, directed by Knud Adams, will star Emmy Award nominee William Jackson Harper ("The Underground Railroad") and Obie and Outer Critics Circle Award winner April Matthis (The Piano Lesson).

An Emmy Award nominee for "The Good Place," Harper was last seen on stage in 2017 in Zoe Kazan's After the Blast opposite Cristin Milioti. Matthis returns to Roundabout following her Obie Award-winning turn in Toni Stone; she makes her Broadway debut in The Piano Lesson this fall.

Primary Trust begins preview performances on Thursday, May 4, 2023 and opens officially on Thursday, May 25, 2023 at the Laura Pels Theater in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). This is a limited engagement through Monday, July 10, 2023.

William Jackson Harper ("The Resort") returns to the stage as Kenneth, a 36-year-old bookstore worker who spends his evenings sipping mai tais with his best friend Bert at a local tiki bar. When he's suddenly laid off, Kenneth is encouraged by a quirky waiter, played by Obie Award winner April Matthis (Toni Stone), to face a world he's long avoided - with transformative and even comical results. Directed by Knud Adams, Eboni Booth's Primary Trust is a touching and inventive world-premiere play about new beginnings, old friends, and seeing the world for the first time.

The remaining cast members and design team will be announced soon.


Tickets for Primary Trust are currently available as part of the Roundabout subscription series by calling 212.719.1300, online at roundabouttheatre.org, or in person at a Roundabout box office. Individual tickets will go on sale at a later date.


Primary Trust plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30PM with Saturday matinees at 2:00PM and Sunday matinees at 3:00PM.


William Jackson Harper

(Kenneth). Emmy nominee William Jackson Harper currently stars as the lead of Peacock's comedic thriller series "The Resort," opposite Cristin Milioti. In 2021, he starred in HBO Max's romcom anthology series "Love Life," for which he also executive produced, and received Critics' Choice Award and NAACP Image Award nominations. He portrayed "Marcus Watkins," a man plunged back into the search for romantic fulfillment after coming out of a years-long relationship with the woman he thought was going to be his person. Harper recently completed production on MGM's "Landscape With Invisible Hand," produced by Plan B and directed by Cory Finley, and is currently working on the new animated film "Jodie" for MTV, alongside Tracee Ellis Ross. He is also in production on the Netflix limited series "A Man In Full," executive produced by David E. Kelley and Regina King.

In 2021, Harper starred alongside Aya Cash in the indie rom com "We Broke Up" and in Barry Jenkins' Emmy nominated Amazon limited series "The Underground Railroad." He portrayed the character of Royal, a freeborn Black man who is dedicated to the pursuit of freedom for himself and all Black people, and received a Critics' Choice Award nomination for his role.

From 2016-2020, Harper portrayed "Chidi" in NBC's award-winning comedy series "The Good Place." For his role, he earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and two consecutive Critics' Choice Award nominations for 'Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.' In 2020, Harper narrated the Marvel audiobook series Black Panther: Sins of the King. He also starred in the Williamstown Theatre Festival's Audible presentation of Animals by Stacy Osei-Kuffour.

In 2019, Harper starred in the Focus Features' legal drama "Dark Waters," which centered on the scandal revolving around the DuPont chemical company. Directed by Todd Haynes, Harper starred alongside Mark Ruffalo and Tim Robbins. Harper also starred in A24's thriller "Midsommar" with Florence Pugh and directed by Ari Aster. His additional feature film credits include "Lost Holiday," "Paterson," "True Story," "All Good Things" and "How to Tell You're a Douchebag."

On television, Harper co-starred as the character Xander opposite John Krasinski in the second season of Amazon's "Jack Ryan." Additionally, he has made guest appearances on numerous acclaimed television series 3 including "30 Rock," "The Blacklist," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: CI," Hulu's "Deadbeat," "High Maintenance," "Unforgettable" and the PBS children's series "The Electric Company." His credits also include the telefilms "The Breaks" and "The Share."

Born in Dallas, Harper has an extensive background in theater, co-starring alongside Cristin Milioti in "After The Blast" at Lincoln Center, as well as on Broadway in the Tony Award winning play "All The Way," with Bryan Cranston. In 2018, Harper made his playwriting debut with the drama "Travisville," which centers on a Texas church community untouched by the tumult of the civil rights movement. The play opened at New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre to critical praise, with The New York Times noting Harper's "serious writing chops." Additional stage performances include "A Family for All Occasions" at the Labyrinth, "Modern Terrorism" at Second Stage, "The Total Bent," "Titus Andronicus" and "Measure for Measure" at the Public, "Placebo" and "A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick" at Playwrights Horizons and "Queens Boulevard" and "Paradise Park" at the Signature. Harper also has numerous regional theater credits, including "Ruined," "Hamlet," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Romeo and Juliet."

Harper currently resides in Brooklyn with his dog Chico.

April Matthis

(Wally's Waiter / Corrina / Bank Customers) is an award-winning performer and collaborator best known for her presence in the New York theater world. She is currently making her on Broadway debut as "Grace" in August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington and Danielle Brooks, directed by LaTanya Richardson-Jackson.

Matthis was last seen at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Most Happy in Concert, a re-imagining of Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella directed by Daniel Fish. Fish's work was recently seen on Broadway in the Tonywinning remount of Oklahoma! The New Yorker called Matthis' performance "electrifying." Matthis last appeared to raves at Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre in her Obie-winning portrayal of the titular Toni Stone, written by Tony nominee Lydia Diamond and directed by Tony winner Pam McKinnon. The play was inspired by Martha Ackmann's Curveball, the definitive biography on Marcenia Lyle "Toni" Stone, the first woman to play professional baseball as part of the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Leagues. Matthis also narrated the audiobook. This last spring, Matthis starred in Claudia Rankine's unflinching reflection on whiteness: Help at The Shed. Other notable off-Broadway credits include Iowa and Antlia Pneumatica at Playwrights Horizons; Hollow Roots, written by Christina Anderson and directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz at The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival; Signature Plays/Funnyhouse of a Negro, directed by Lila Neugebauer at The Signature Theater; The Insurgents at The LAByrinth Theater; Young Jean Lee's Lear, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury at Soho Rep, as well as performances at Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, and Ma-Yi Theater.

April Matthis is a member of the groundbreaking experimental theater collective Elevator Repair Service. The company's Baldwin & Buckley at Cambridge (BBAC) premieres this fall at The Public Theater, with an epilogue co-written by Matthis and fellow company member Greig Sargeant. Other productions with ERS include BBAC at de Singel in Antwerp and at Philadelphia Fringe; as Jordan Baker in ERS' epic 8-hour stage adaptation of The Great Gatsby, GATZ at The McCarter Theater and Perth Festival, Everyone's Fine with Virginia Woolf at Abrons Art Center and the Dublin Theatre Festival, Mariana in Measure for Measure at The Public Theater, the title character in Fondly, Collette Richland, and the stage adaptation of The Sound and the Fury at New York Theater Workshop.

In addition to theater, Matthis has also held a presence in the dance/performance world. Her original work has been commissioned and shown at Dixon Place, Movement Research, PLATFORM at Danspace, and 651 Arts. Other appearances include The Blues with Judson Church pioneer Deborah Hay at The MoMA and Scaffold Room, a 'lecture-musical' with MacArthur Genius Ralph Lemon at Walker Art Center.

In television, April Matthis has guest starred on the hit shows "Evil" and "The Good Fight" on Paramount+, and on NBC's "The Blacklist" and as Kaye Henry in the "Righteous Right Hand" episode of "New Amsterdam," which 4 received a Sentinel Award for its thoughtful treatment of discrepancies in the US healthcare system for Black citizens. Film credits include a starring role in Fugitive Dreams, an allegorical road movie about the unlikely friendship between two people on the margins of society-Mary (played by Matthis) and John (Robbie Tann) navigate homelessness, mental illness, trauma and addiction, across a Southern American dreamscape. The film has screened at FantasiaFest, Austin Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF), Manchester Film Festival, and Cinequest. Amadi Comes Home, a short about a dinner party where two unpartnered women disclose the news of their platonic transracial adoption with their closest girlfriends, in which Matthis starred and co-wrote, recently screened at Atlanta's Bronzefest as well as the Greenpoint Film Festival. Her next film, Ramona at Midlife, which also stars Alicia Reiner and Joel de la Fuente, is currently in post-production.

Eboni Booth

(Playwright) is a writer and actor from New York City. Her play Paris had its premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company. Her work has been developed with Victory Gardens Theater, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Cape Cod Theater Project, WP Theater, Two River Theater, Clubbed Thumb, and Northern Stage. Eboni is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and a recipient of a Steinberg Playwright Award, a Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, and a John Gassner award. She is a graduate of Juilliard's playwriting program and the University of Vermont.

Knud Adams

(Director) is a director of artful, innovative new plays. His world-premiere productions include: I'm Revolting (Atlantic), Bodies They Ritual (Clubbed Thumb), Private (Mosaic), English (Atlantic/Roundabout - Drama League and Drama Desk nominations), The Headlands (LCT3), Paris (Atlantic), Notes on My Mother's Decline (Play Co.), The Workshop (Soft Focus), Tin Cat Shoes (Clubbed Thumb), and Asshole (JACK). This year, he also directed the radio play Vapor Trail (Tribeca Film Festival, Playwrights). Knud is an alumnus of the Drama League directing fellowship, Soho Rep writer/director lab, Playwrights Horizons directing residency, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and Kenyon College. knudadams.com.

The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre

The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre opened in March 2004 with an acclaimed premiere of Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel starring Viola Davis, directed by Dan Sullivan. Since that landmark production, the center has expanded beyond the Laura Pels Theatre to include the Black Box Theatre and now a new education center. The Steinberg Center continues to reflect Roundabout's commitment to produce new works by established and emerging writers as well as revivals of classic plays. This state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre and education complex is made possible by a major gift from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg to promote and advance American Theatre as a vital part of our culture by supporting playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new work, and providing financial assistance to not-for-profit theatre companies across the country. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded over $70 million to more than 125 theatre organizations.

Roundabout Theatre Company

Roundabout Theatre Company has been working to prioritize and actively incorporate anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion and accountability throughout the institution. Read more about the company's social justice progress and timeline at www.roundabouttheatre.org/socialjustice.

Roundabout Theatre Company celebrates the power of theatre by spotlighting classics from the past, cultivating new works of the present, and educating minds for the future. A not-for-profit company, Roundabout fulfills that mission by producing familiar and lesser-known plays and musicals; discovering and supporting talented playwrights; reducing the barriers that can inhibit theatergoing; collaborating with a diverse team of artists; building educational experiences; and archiving over five decades of production history

Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays and musicals on its five stages: Broadway's American Airlines Theatre, Studio 54 and Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and Off-Broadway's Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre.

Roundabout's current and upcoming productions include: 1776 by Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone, directed by Jeffrey L. Page and Diane Paulus; You Will Get Sick by Noah Diaz, directed by Sam Pinkleton; the bandaged place by Harrison David Rivers, directed by David Mendizábal; The Wanderers by Anna Ziegler, directed by Barry Edelstein; and Primary Trust by Eboni Booth, directed by Knud Adams. www.roundabouttheatre.org