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What's a family heirloom worth? Pulitzer-winner August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson" explores that question

KazooCivic - The Piano Lesson (Boy Willie and Maretha) - 2.JPG
Laura M. Zervic
/
Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
Delanti Hall (Boy Willie) and Mahalia Reign (Maretha)

The old piano isn't played much, but it's been in the family for generations — and it has family history carved into it, literally. Now, brother and sister Boy Willie and Berniece have very different ideas about whether to keep it or sell it. It's the 1930s, and many Black Americans want to re-write their own stories, build wealth, and leave painful memories behind. Other know it's not so easy to avoid being haunted by the past.

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre's production of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson will run Feb 25 - Mar 6. Cara Lieurance spoke with director Anthony J. Hamilton and actor Delanti Hall, who plays Boy Willie. They introduce the themes of the play, add inside details, and explain why August Wilson is considered to be one of the greatest playwrights of of the 20th century.