The Piano Lesson
August Wilson has already given the American theater such spell-binding plays about the black experience in 20th-century America as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom , Joe Turner's Come and Gone , and the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Fences . In his second Pulitzer Prize-winner, The Piano Lesson , Wilson has fashioned his most haunting and dramatic work yet. At the heart of the play stands the ornately carved upright piano which, as the Charles family's prized, hard-won possession, has been gathering dust in the parlor of Berniece Charles's Pittsburgh home. When Boy Willie, Berniece's exuberant brother, bursts into her life with his dream of buying the same Mississippi land that his family had worked as slaves, he plans to sell their antique piano for the hard cash he needs to stake his future. But Berniece refuses to sell, clinging to the piano as a reminder of the history that is their family legacy. This dilemma is the real "piano lesson," reminding us that blacks are often deprived both of the symbols of their past and of opportunity in the present.
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ain't gonna sell ain't never ain't thinking August Wilson Avery believe Berniece ain't gonna Berniece say Berniece's Berta Bible bless the house Boy Willie say Boy Willie's Carl Gordon Christopher Akerlind Cleotha Crawley daddy Doaker enters Doaker say door drink everything five dollars give go back Go on back gonna go gonna take grace heard hundred John Lahr leave Lloyd Richards look Lord Lou Myers married move the piano nigger Nolander oh-ah Parchman Parchman Farm Piano Lesson picture show preacher Radio Golf railroad real nice Rocky Carroll sack of money sell that piano sell them watermelons Seven Guitars sheriff sleep stairs Starletta DuPois stay Stovall suit Sutter Sutter's ghost Sutter's land take that piano talking tell thing told Tommy Hollis truck trying upstairs wait walk wanna Willie and Lymon woman women Yale Repertory Theatre Yeah Yellow Dog