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August Wilson’s THE PIANO LESSON
April 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Alliance of the Arts’ Fifth Play of August Wilson’s AMERICAN CENTURY CYCLE
The Piano Lesson, set in 1936 Pittsburgh, focuses on the conflicting wills of brother and sister, Boy Willie and Berniece, regarding their family’s most important heirloom, a piano. But this is no ordinary piano as it contains intricate carvings by their great-grandfather depicting the many struggles in their family history. The piano was originally owned by the slave owners of their family, with carvings of their great-grandmother, grandfather, and the likeness of their whole family tree.
Boy Willie wants to sell the piano to purchase a parcel of land in Mississippi, a piece of the very land on which his ancestors had been slaves. This would allow him to finally achieve his dream of making a living farming his own property. But Berniece holds strong, viewing the piano as an integral reminder of where they came from, who they are now, and as a legacy for their future generations.
This complex play filled with subplots conveys tremendous significance as it examines slavery and the difficulty of Black Americans seeking economic and social equality.
The production is directed by Sonya McCarter and generously sponsored by Noreen Raney.