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Words From The Wings: April Matthis of THE PIANO LESSON Shares Her Backstage Routine

Words From The Wings: April Matthis of THE PIANO LESSON Shares Her Backstage Routine

Matthis told us all about her backstage must-haves, and more!

BroadwayWorld is bringing you Words From the Wings, a new series of interviews that take fans behind the scenes of some of their favorite Broadway stars' backstage routines!

Today we're chatting with April Matthis of The Piano Lesson! She told us all about her backstage routine, must-haves, and more! Check out her answers, along with photos taken by BroadwayWorld's Jennifer Broski, below!

The Piano Lesson


What's the first thing you do when you arrive to the theatre?

Greet the Barrymore staff at the stage door, check the mailbox

What's the last thing you do before you go on stage?

Physicalize for myself the moment/state of being I'm about to enter the scene with

What's your must-have backstage snack?

Bjorn Corn

Pre-show ritual that others may think is weird?

Listening to Marketplace while I put on my show makeup

The Piano Lesson

What are five must-haves in your dressing room?

Toiletry kit, magnifying mirror, sleeping bag, robe, personal steam inhaler

What's your favorite moment from the show to watch from the wings?

Everyone onstage reacting to Wining Boy's song towards the end of the play

What has been your favorite backstage moment in your time with this show so far?

The dance-offs!

The Piano Lesson


About April Matthis

April Matthis is an Obie Award-winning actor and company member of Elevator Repair Service. Off-Broadway: HELP (The Shed); Toni Stone (Roundabout); Fairview, LEAR (Soho Rep); Signature Plays-Funnyhouse of a Negro (Signature Theatre); IOWA, Antlia Pneumatica (Playwrights Horizons); On the Levee (LCT3). With ERS: The Sound & the Fury; Fondly, Collette Richland (NYTW); Measure for Measure (The Public); Everyone's Fine with Virginia Woolf (Abrons Art Center); GATZ (Perth Festival)., Regional: A Streetcar Named Desire (Yale Rep). TV: "The Blacklist", "New Amsterdam" (NBC), "EVIL", "The Good Fight" (Paramount Plus). Film: Black Card (HBO, Showtime), Fugitive Dreams (FantasiaFest, Cinequest).

About The Piano Lesson

The Piano Lesson is directed by Tony Award® nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson - who is making her Broadway directorial debut and is the first woman to ever direct an August Wilson play on Broadway - and stars Samuel L. Jackson as Doaker Charles, John David Washington as Boy Willie, and Danielle Brooks as Berniece. The cast also features Trai Byers as Avery, Ray Fisher as Lymon, April Matthis as Grace, Michael Potts as Wining Boy, and Nadia Daniel and Jurnee Swan as Maretha at alternating performances.

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. The Piano Lesson, wrote Frank Rich in The New York Times, "has its own spacious poetry, its own sharp angle on a nation's history, its own metaphorical idea of drama and its own palpable ghosts that roar right through the upstairs window of the household where the action unfolds. Like other Wilson plays, The Piano Lesson seems to sing even when it is talking."

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