1930's Pittsburgh, a brother comes home to claim "my half of the piano", a family heirloom; but his sister is not wanting to part with it. This is a glimpse of the conditions for ... See full summary »
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John Kent Harrison
1930's Pittsburgh, a brother comes home to claim "my half of the piano", a family heirloom; but his sister is not wanting to part with it. This is a glimpse of the conditions for African-Americans as well as some of the attitudes and influences on their lives. But whether he is able to sell the piano so that he can get enough money to buy some property and "no longer have to work for someone else" involves the story (or lesson) that the piano has to show him. Written by
BOB STEBBINS <email@example.com>
A family's past or its future - which is more important?
This play is not as simple as it first appears. There is great complexity in all of the major characters, especially in Bernice. And the use of the 'jazz set' model instead of the traditional Aristotelian'plot graph' makes all the difference! The language of the play is music itself, and eventually erupts into song. This is a wonderful debate on the importance of the past and the future in the lives of these characters, symbolized by the piano which has been passed down through the family. A cast full of excellent actors brings it to life. Loved it! I hope 'The Piano Lesson' and the other plays in Wilson's ten-play cycle will soon be available on film.
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