ARTS Pick: The Piano Lesson

The Piano Lesson follows the legacy of a piano and its various owners, causing an African American family to struggle with how to best put their past to use. Cara Walton Photography. The Piano Lesson follows the legacy of a piano and its various owners, causing an African American family to struggle with how to best put their past to use. Cara Walton Photography.

Key players: When relaunching the Charlottesville Players Guild at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, Executive Director Andrea Douglas told C-VILLE: “If you’re going to announce yourself as an institution that addresses the 20th-century African American experience in the most interdisciplinary way, there is no other artist that does it as completely and thoroughly as August Wilson does.” Set in the 1930s, The Piano Lesson is part of Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, and his second play to win a Pulitzer Prize. Directed by David Vaughn Straughn and produced by Edwina Herring, it centers around a piano that’s entangled in a family’s history of slavery.  As relatives quarrel over whether to keep the piano, they reflect on their own cultural heritage, and are challenged to embrace where they’ve come from in order to truly move forward.

Through 12/15. $10-15, times vary. Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, 233 Fourth St., NW. 260-8720.

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