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The Piano Lesson

The Piano Lesson
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: August Wilson
Publisher: Plume
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 108
Pub. Date: 1990
ISBN-10: 0452265347
ISBN-13: 9780452265349
Cast Size: 3 female, 5 male

About the Play:

The Piano Lesson has long been a favourite of acting teachers for female/male scenes.

The Piano Lesson is a full-length drama by August Wilson. A family is torn asunder over the need to sell a most prized possession, an antique piano. Berniece Charles wants to sell the family piano to her daughter, while her brother, Boy Willie, wants to sell it to get money to buy the land their forebears once worked as slaves. August Wilson won his second Pulitzer Prize for his most haunting and dramatic work, The Piano Lesson.

The Piano Lesson is a profound, melodic tale set in 1936 Pittsburgh. Boy Willie arrives from the South in a battered truck loaded with watermelons to sell. He wants to sell an old piano that has been in his family for generations, but he shares ownership with his sister Berniece Charles and the heirloom sits in her living room. He has an opportunity to buy the land their family once worked as slaves, but he has to come up with the money right quick. She has already rejected several offers and is planning to bestow the antique piano to her daughter because it is covered with incredible carvings detailing the family's rise from slavery. Boy Willie tries to persuade his stubborn sister that the past is past, but she is more formidable than he anticipated. Full of soaring poetry and shattering intensity, The Piano Lesson is a perfect introduction to the late playwright's Century Cycle, as well as a touching tale of family, history and survival.

The Piano Lesson premiered in 1987 at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven. It premiered on Broadway at Walter Kerr Theatre in 1990 ans won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has become a popular choice for school and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 female, 5 male

What people say:

"It is the music of Mr. Wilson's prose that connects the mundane and the mystical, and allows earthbound men and women to raise voices that fly to heaven." — The New York Times

"A lovely tragi comedy.... Haunting as well as haunted." — New York Newsday

"Wonderful.... A play of magnificent confrontations ." — New York Post

"The Piano Lesson is a theatrical whirlwind with the power to ... reveal the darkest secrets and brightest aspirations dwelling in the human heart." — Backstage

About the Playwright:

August Wilson (1945-2005) was one of America's greatest playwrights. An American icon, he depicted the human condition like no other playwright of his time. His crowning achievement is The Pittsburgh Cycle, his series of ten plays depicting the comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the twentieth century. All of them are set in Pittsburgh's Hill District except for one, which is set in Chicago. The cycle is also known as his Century Cycle. Crafted over nearly 25 years, these works garnered August Wilson a myriad accolades, including eight New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, a Tony Award and two Pulitzer Prizes.

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