The Piano Lesson questions

For Tues., be prepared to answer question 2. For Thurs. be prepared to answer question 6.

1. Look at the stage directions for 1.1.1.  “A stillness…” Why set the scene like this?  How appropriate is this setting for the action that will take place?

2. The piano is taken on Independence Day, 1911.  Why does Wilson put this pivotal action on this day?  How does this use of dates resonate with Butler’s in Kindred

3. How does this piano as property resonate with the theme of chattel slavery in the play?  How does the piano reflect the institution of slavery?

4. Why is the play called The Piano Lesson?

5. Why does Ophelia continue to play the piano after it is carved with depictions of the Charles’ family?  What do you think this art means to her?  How does her playing compare to Berniece’s?  What happens when Berneice finally plays the piano?  How do you interpret this scene?  How does her playing compare to Wining Boy’s

6. Compare and contrast the use of the supernatural/ghosts in The Piano Lesson with Beloved.