Director Greta Oglesby
Berniece Ansa Akyea
Backstage on campus: Meet director, actors from August Wilson's 'The Piano Lesson'
Penumbra Theatre Company Artistic Director Lou Bellamy and actors Ansa Akyea (who plays Boy Willie) and Greta Oglesby (Berniece) will visit St. Thomas to discuss playwright August Wilson and what it's like to direct and perform in "The Piano Lesson," the spring 2008 Common Text.
Dr. Todd Lawrence will moderate the discussion, which will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center, Room 108.
"The Piano Lesson," winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for drama, is the story of a conflict over a family piano. Berniece wants to keep it in her home in Pittsburgh, but her brother, Boy Willie, wants to sell it.
As described by Penumbra, "For Berniece, it holds the spirit of her grandparents, sold away in exchange for it during slavery. For her brother, Boy Willie, it holds the key to his freedom from the burden of sharecropping for a meager wage. The struggle between the siblings over the symbolic and literal value of the piano escalates into a conflict that threatens to tear the family apart."
The play is in performance at Penumbra Theatre Company from Feb. 21 to March 16. Student tickets are $15. For more information and online ticket sales, see the Penumbra Web site.
This event is sponsored by the Department of English and the American Culture and Difference Program.