For its second installment of the 2015-16 season, University of Louisville’s Theatre Arts Department presents August Wilson’s Pulitzer-Prize winning play, “The Piano Lesson,” Nov. 18-22 in the historic Playhouse theater.
The fourth play of Wilson’s epic Pittsburgh Cycle, “The Piano Lesson” is a moving drama of family, heritage and survival. It follows Berniece and her brother, Boy Willie, in depression-era Pittsburgh as they argue about their family’s piano and its tumultuous history. Boy Willie, a sharecropper, wants to sell the piano to buy the land where his ancestors toiled as slaves. Berniece, however, remains emphatic about keeping the piano, which shows the carved faces of their great-grandfather’s wife and son during the days of their enslavement. “The Piano Lesson” ultimately seems to ask: “What do you do with your legacy and how do you best put it to use?”
Baron Kelly, director of UofL’s African American Theatre Program, is directing the production. Kelly has acted in half of Wilson’s 10-play cycle in major regional theaters in Oregon, San Francisco and Los Angeles and will draw heavily from those experiences.
“I am always striving to give people what Wilson intended in his work,” Kelly said. “Now that we can look at the whole cycle of his plays, we can glean clues for how to do something in terms of the arc of his overall thinking.”
The Playhouse is at 1911 South Third St. Shows are 8 p.m., Nov 18-22, and 3 p.m., Nov. 22. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for faculty, alumni, seniors and non-UofL students and $8 for UofL students. Season tickets are $60. To order tickets or for more information, call the box office at (502) 852-6814 or visit www.louisville.edu/theatrearts.