The fate of a treasured heirloom threatens to destroy a Pittsburgh family struggling through the Depression. Boy Willie wants to sell the family's hand-carved piano to buy the Mississippi land on which he once worked as a sharecropper. His sister Bernice refuses, arguing that the piano is a memorial to their grandmother, a slave who was sold to another as "payment" for the instrument, and theri grandfather, whose grief inspired the piano's enigmatic carvings. The ghosts of their enslaved ancestors are not the only spirits who haunt this household. Charged with humor, song and mystery, this Pulitzer Prize-winning play asks just what the living owe the dead...and themselves.