Dueling Critics: The Piano Lesson | WBEZ
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Eight Forty-Eight

Dueling Critics: The Piano Lesson

What's more important, the past or the future? Are we tied to or tied down by our ancestors? Those are some of the questions at the heart of August Wilson's play, The Piano Lesson.

It's 1936. Boy Willie Charles has gone north to his sister's house to make enough money to buy the land their family once worked as slaves. Tensions boil over when Willie wants to sell the family heirloom, a piano. But this is no ordinary piano. In the mid-nineteenth century, two members of the Charles family were sold for that piano. Another relative then carved the entire Charles family history into the piano, and years later Willie and Berniece's father stole the piano and was killed because of it. Knowing that history, Bernice doesn't want the instrument moved. And neither does the instrument itself! 

The Piano Lesson plays at Court Theatre until June 7.

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