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The Piano Lesson
Author August Wilson
Type of Work Drama
Time and place written Written in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh in 1986
Date of First Publication 1987; first produced at the Yale Repertory Theater in 1987 and on Broadway in 1990
Publisher Yale University (Yale Theater magazine)
Climax Boy Willie and Berniece confront Sutter's ghost
Protagonists Boy Willie, Berniece
Antagonist Boy Willie
Setting (time) Early 1930s
Setting (place) The kitchen and parlor of Doaker's house, Pittsburgh
Point of View Drama, not applicable
Falling Action Boy Willie's departure; Berniece's giving of thanks
Tense The play unfolds in the time of the present
Foreshadowing Sutter's ghost stirs throughout the play, foreshadowing the final showdown
Themes Memory/historical legacy
Motifs The maternal and paternal line; the mark; music; the call to the dead; ghosts
Symbols The piano
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Piano Lesson!