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Piano Lessons

a (sketch of a) musical in three acts


ACT ONE

In the dim, hazy light, a blue sheet of music rests on the rack of a black concert grand piano, which sits center stage with its keyboard facing downstage.

A pianist descends slowly into view, gently swinging left and right in a shallow arc, upright and somewhat limp. They always face upstage.

They are dressed in a white shirt and black three piece suit.

A breeze from their swinging whisks the blue sheet onto the floor.

Eventually, the pianist comes to rest in the bench before the piano.

By little tests, they tiptoe into a song that is like a primitive Gnossiennes No. 1.

 

ACT TWO

The pianist is on the floor and chained to the piano—their legs to its legs, right arm to the lyre and the backstays. They can play only with their left hand on the keys and their right hand on the pedals.

The blue sheet is buried under a pile of white sheet music, just out of reach.

The pianist pounds out études along the lines of Moszkowski's 12 Études de Piano pour la Main Gauche Seule, Op. 92, Nos. 8 & 12.

Periodically, the lights go out for several seconds. During those times, the music stops. When the lights come back on, the song changes, and the pile of sheet music is smaller than before.

 

ACT THREE

The pianist clings to the keyboard, dangling high above the stage, spotlit, the rest in total darkness.

They strain to read the blue sheet on the rack and play what is written there, without losing their grip.

The lights go out when they fall.

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