What is the setting of the piano lesson?
Like most of the plays in Wilson's cycle set in different decades of the 20th century “The Piano Lesson” takes place in Pittsburgh. The year is 1936, and the great migration that brought thousands of African-Americans north is well under way.
Where was the piano lesson filmed?
On September 30, 2020, it was announced that Denzel Washington is planning a new film adaptation for Netflix. Filming is expected to begin Summer 2021 in Pittsburgh.
Where does the piano lesson take place in what city is it set in what location?
The Piano Lesson is set in Pittsburgh in 1936, with all the action taking place in the house of Doaker Charles.
As the act progresses, Doaker tells the story of the piano and we learn why Berniece is so attached to it. The family history was carved into the piano by Berniece and Boy Willie's great grandfather, while he was still in slavery, and their great grandmother and grandfather were traded for it.
Berniece uses the piano to exorcise the ghost and save her brother. Boy Willie decides that the heirloom belongs with the family and returns to Mississippi. In the time of slavery Robert Sutter owned the Charles family.
How does Boy Willie claim Sutter has died? He was later murdered for it in the yellow box train car by whites. They tried burning his house also. Mother of Boy Willie, Mama Ola kept piano and then it was passed down to be shared among Willie and Berniece.
Berniece and Boy Willie's uncle and the owner of the household in which the play takes place. Doaker is tall and thin and forty-seven years old. He spent his life working for the railroad.
Robert Sutter was the original owner of the piano, which he acquired in exchange for “one and a half” slaves—Doaker's grandmother, and his father, who at that time was a child of nine. The two of them were sent off to Georgia, while Doaker's grandfather, Willie Boy, remained at Sutter's farm by himself.
What is Avery's daytime job? He is an elevator man. He is also a pastor for a church.
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|Who does Lymon want to give the bottle of perfume?||Grace|
|Where did the Yellow Dog get its name?||color of the boxcars|
|How long has it been since Boy Willie has seen his sister?||3 years|
|Who murdered Berniece's father?||Robert Sutter|
The ghosts of the Yellow Dog refer to the ghosts of four black hobos and Papa Boy Charles, who are burned to death by the slave owners on a yellow dog train. Subsequently, Boy Charles and the four hobos become known as a collective, supernatural identity, namely the Ghosts of the Yellow Dog.
Doaker tells the piano's story. During slavery, a man named Robert Sutter—the recently deceased Sutter's grandfather—owned the Charles family. Though initially Miss Ophelia, Sutter's wife, loved the piano, she started to miss her slaves and attempted to trade them back. When Nolander refused, she fell desperately ill.
This is because the play's characters represent larger more complex issues. The play can also be called a parable, because it attempts to teach a lesson. It is called The Piano Lesson after all.
The Charles family's piano, which resides in Berniece's house, symbolizes the family's history and identity—both their past sorrows and their hopes for the future.
The piano is more than just a symbol of slavery though. It's also represents the strength and resiliency of the Charles family.
Wining Boy tells a story about a time that Lymon's daddy got put in jail. Wining Boy was playing piano in a bar when Lymon's mother came and borrowed a hundred dollars to get Lymon's daddy out of jail. He gave her the money. She was so grateful that she and Wining Boy spent the night together.
Born Frederick August Kittel in 1945 to a white German-American father and an African American mother, Wilson took his mother's name in the early 1970s.
Currently he works as an elevator operator in town. When asked how he became a preacher, Avery recounts a dream. Sitting in a railroad yard, he comes upon three hobos traveling from Nazareth to Jerusalem. They entrust a lit candle to him.
The three hobos seem to represent the Three Magi or wise men who are said to have witness Jesus birth.
Doaker brings out the whole bottle. Boy Willie starts talking about how he and Lymon were down on Parchman Farm, which is a penitentiary. (It's basically like prison, but you have to work all day.)
Papa Boy Charles was the great-great-grandfather of Berniece and Boy Willie. He was a slave owned by Robert Sutter's family, and his daughter and grandson—Mama Berniece and Boy Walter—were traded for the piano.
Mama Ola was Berniece's and Boy Willie's mother. She died over seven years ago. She constantly polished the piano with her tears and often begged Berniece to play for her in memory of Mama Ola's husband, Boy Charles. Mama Ola's spirit is among those called upon by Berniece for help at the end of the play.
Throughout the play, the family's piano is a central symbol that comes to embody the family legacy with its deep-rooted meaning and connections to the past. The piano initially represents the conflict and suffering that define much of the Charles family's history of enslavement.
Lymon is 29 years old. He is Boy Willie's good friend and has partnered with him in various work ventures. Lymon doesn't talk very much, but when he does, he is disarmingly straightforward.
Maretha is Berniece's 11-year-old daughter. She is a shy, obedient girl. Maretha is getting extra schooling in hopes of becoming a schoolteacher. Berniece devotes most of her energy to raising Maretha well, hoping that her daughter will have opportunities that she herself never had.
Boy Willie wants to sell piano to buy Sutter's land where his family worked as slaves and to start his life and The American Dream.
Sutter's ghost, which plagues the household and is attached to the piano, symbolizes the history of slavery. It is an element that haunts the family's past, which the piano represents.
Berniece is a strong-willed woman, portrayed as levelheaded, serious, and single-mindedly focused on providing for Maretha and herself. However, she can be fiery and emotional when the moment calls for it: for example, she resolutely refuses to sell the family piano when her brother, Boy Willie, asks.
Boy Willie, Berniece's brother and another of the play's protagonists, is 30 years old. He is boyish, impulsive, talkative, and can behave a bit crudely. He comes across as optimistic and a bit naïve.
The young Boy Willie's discovers the "power of death" when he finds himself unable to resurrect his dog through prayer and, as a result, goes out and kills a cat. This power is not only the capacity to kill.
The ghosts of Yellow Dog are a relic of slave superstition; out of tragedy grew hope in the form of vengeful spirits. These are ghosts that are just an accepted part of life, believed by some, less believed by others, but a standard part of the spiritual landscape of the south.
Wining Boy claims to have spoken with the Ghosts of the Yellow Dog. Later on, he says that, after he talked to them, he "had a stroke of luck that run on for three years" (1.2. 59). It seems like Wining Boy drew on the strength from the ghosts, much the way Berniece does at the end of the play.
Set in 1936 Pittsburgh during the aftermath of the Great Depression, The Piano Lesson follows the lives of the Charles family in the Doaker Charles household and an heirloom, the family piano, which is decorated with designs carved by an enslaved ancestor.
Boy Willie arrives from Mississippi with a truck full of watermelons. He tells everybody that the Ghosts of the Yellow Dog pushed Sutter down his well. He declares that he plans to sell the piano so that he can buy Sutter's land; Doaker tells him that Berniece will never agree.