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The Music Lesson MD8000

The Music Lesson

By Tammy Ryan.

Product Code: MD8000

  • Full-length Play
  • Drama
  • Cast size: 2m., 4w.
  • Awards: AATE Distinguished Play Award | Bonderman National Youth Theatre Playwriting Award

Rights and availability
This title can be licensed and sold throughout Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States.

* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

$10.95 /script

Min. Royalty Rate: $90/perf

In stock


Weaving together the music of Bach, with memories of the Bosnian War and the universal conflicts between teacher and student, The Music Lesson tells the story of Irena and her husband Ivan, two musicians who escaped the war in Sarajevo to start a new life in Pittsburgh. When Ivan meets Mrs. Johnson, a recently divorced single mother, at the local grocery store, he brings home two new students: 10-year-old Eddie, a talented violin student, and the unwilling Kat, his 14-year-old sister. While her passion for music and the students she taught helped Irena survive the war, she now stands torn between Maja, the 12-year-old piano prodigy she left behind in Sarajevo, and Kat, the bright but angry American teenager who wants to learn, but resists her teaching. Shifting elegantly from past to present and resonating with powerful music, this is the tale of two countries, two families, two generations and the ways they teach and heal each other. A winner of the IUPUI Bonderman Award and a Carbonell Award for Best Production. "First-rate family drama… We hear what it's like to be a teenager in a civil war…" (Philadelphia City Paper) "…a play of vital theatricality, rich in vivid and resonant images." (Arcade Suburban Publications, Pennsylvania) "…a beautifully told story about healing and hope." (Main Line Times, Pennsylvania)


  • Status

    In stock

  • Type of Show Full-length Play
  • Product Code MD8000
  • Cast Size 6
  • Min. Royalty Rate $90/perf
  • Cost $10.95
  • Approx. Run Time 100 min


  • Target Audience Young Audiences | High School | College and Adult | Family (all ages)
  • Performing Group High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre
  • Genre Drama
  • ISBN(13) 9781583422076
* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

Customer Reviews

"The knowledge gained in this play ... is to celebrate and cherish the arts in spite of the troubles in our world, specifically the extreme stresses caused by the war in Bosnia and its effect on the survivors. The play does not dwell on the sadness of war or the loss of children who may have been music prodigies, but does shift from that awful past to help heal and renew a passion for music that may mend broken lives. The music of Bach provides a powerful blending and mending in the memories and internal conflicts of the characters. Survival is the objective, the survival of everyday life through music instruction that unlocks a passion, a gift, a necessity of the living... This production sets free the creativity of the musicians, the actors, the artists, the dancers, the technicians and the directors and allows them to express their visions beautifully and artistically. What really does explode on the stage is the musical and acting talents of our students who have learned the lesson well."
Review by LuAnne Richardt, D. C. Everest Senior High School, Weston, Wis.

Media Reviews

"The Music Lesson will prove to be one of the year’s most important, thought-provoking and heartfelt new plays...[an] impressive drama." -Sun-Sentinel

"Impressive ... [an] impassioned new play … a tale of teachers and students educating each other, reaching across a gulf of cultures and generations for a common understanding through music." -Palm Beach Post

"Sensational...Don’t miss this music lesson. You'll be the richer for it." -Daily News