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August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, which is set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District circa 1936, is a story about family and history. In what is the fourth play in August Wilson’s epic Century Cycle, The Piano Lesson provides insights into how each of us sees and connects with our history and those around us.
The Piano Lesson tells the story of the Charles family and investigates what they prize in life, their hopes and ambitions and their strengths and foibles. The piano in this play represents the Charles family itself—its rich history, each member’s individual priorities and the connections they must maintain with the past in order to move with confidence into the future.
Boy Willie comes home after serving time in a Mississippi prison. He has with him his friend Lymon and a truck loaded with watermelons. Lymon wants to buy the land that was worked by his ancestors when they were slaves. But he requires the cash to buy it and he’s sure he can get it by selling the family piano. However his sister Berniece is determined that the piano stay in the family, even though she doesn’t play it. As tension builds, the ghost of Sutter, the man who once owned Charles family when they were slaves, returns to haunt them.
Humor, drama, hardship and truth and are all rolled into this Pulitzer Prize winning play with the ornately carved piano being the central metaphor for the Charles family. The Piano Lesson tells a beautiful tale of hope, family and the ability to endure.
Show Facts
Written by August Wilson
Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Set Designer Michael Carnahan
Costume Designer Karen Perry
Lighting Designer Rui Rita
Sound Designer David Van Tieghem
Wining Boy Chuck Cooper
Avery Eric Lenox Abrams
Boy Willie Brandon J. Dirden
Lymon Jason Dirden
Maretha Alexis Holt
Grace Mandi Masden
Berniece Roslyn Ruff
Doaker James A. Williams
The Pershing Square Signature Center/The Irene Diamond Stage
480 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10019
Preview: Oct. 31, 2012 Open: Nov. 18, 2012 Status: Limited run, closing Jan 20, 2013
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