The Grey's Anatomy star is set to make his Broadway debut as Darren Lemming in Richard Greenberg's Tony Award-winning play, Take Me Out, Second Stage Theater announced on Thursday.
Directed by Scott Ellis, the story follows Lemming, the star center fielder for the Empires who comes out of the closet and must deal with the reception he receives off the field after it reveals a barrage of long-held unspoken prejudices. With Lemming facing some hostile teammates and fraught friendships, he's confronted with the challenges of being a gay person of color within the confines of a classic American institution. As the Empires struggle to rally toward a championship season, the players and their fans begin to question tradition, their loyalties, and the price of victory.
Take Me Out will begin previews April 2, 2020 and officially opens on April 23, 2020 at Second Stage’s Hayes Theater.
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A source close to the production tells ET that Jussie Smollett read for the role in New York back in January before the incident in Chicago, but he was never confirmed to be cast nor was he ever offered the role. Beyond that reading, he had no attachment to the Broadway show.
With Williams now onboard for his Broadway debut, what does this mean for his time on the ABC drama? The season 15 finale left fans with a shocker and questioning the status of Williams' character, Jackson, who, after a devastating fight with Maggie (Kelly McCreary), disappeared into the fog.
A rep for Grey's Anatomy tells ET that, "Jesse will be back next season, but that is all I have to share at this point."
Additionally, executive producer and showrunner Krista Vernoff had told ET after the season finale that Jackson's sudden disappearance at the end of the episode was something they did because they "wanted something a little more dramatic to tag the season."
"Disappearing Jackson into the fog felt really unexpected and it felt like the beginning [of a new journey]. It felt a little bit like in the previous scene, we completed our 'season of love' and in the final scene we teased the beginning of next season," she explained. "The fact that Jackson disappeared at one point this season and the fact that he fell suddenly at the end of one act in the finale, both of those things helped mislead. You didn't expect that Jackson was actually going to disappear when he took that walk into the fog. Whereas when characters walk off into the fog on Grey's Anatomy, traditionally you get really worried. But we didn't expect Jackson to disappear again because we played that beat."
For more on the long-running medical series, watch below.