By : August Wilson
Directed by : Timothy Bond
Co-produced with : Seattle Repertory Theatre
Haunted and haunting. August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece. The past threatens to pull apart brother and sister. Bernice treasures a one-of-a-kind piano, an heirloom with carved figures of their enslaved ancestors. Boy Willie suddenly arrives from the South determined to sell the piano and buy the land his family worked on. When the ghost of the piano’s original owner appears, family conflicts escalate to a dramatic confrontation. With lyrical language rolling from the rowdy to the tender, this is one of Wilson’s finest.
The setting is 1936 Pittsburgh during the aftermath of the Great Depression.
The Piano Lesson is the fourth play in Wilson's 20th Century Cycle, which includes 10 plays—one for each decade.
Wilson was inspired by Romare Bearden’s painting The Piano Lesson, featuring a strong female figure.
The first production, in 1987 at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, featured Samuel L. Jackson in the role of Boy Willie.
Panel Discussion – “Perspective/Audience: Matters of Race in Viewing the Plays of August Wilson” sponsored by the 2014 Syracuse Symposium on Perspective. At 4:45 p.m. following the 2 p.m. matinee performance.
Christian DuComb, Assistant Professor of English and Theater at Colgate University
Timothy Bond, Producing Artistic Director, Syracuse Stage
Beth Broadway, Executive Director, InterFaith Works
Wynetta Devore, Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work in Falk College at Syracuse University
George Kilpatrick, Executive Producer and Host New Inspiration for the Nation
Recommended for ages 12 and up
Approximately 2 hours 45 minutes
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