Governor General’s Literary Awards

Book cover for The Piano Teacher: A Healing Key, by Dorothy Dittrich

The Piano Teacher: A Healing Key

By Dorothy Dittrich

Talonbooks

“Moving and compelling. With this gorgeously written play, Dittrich has accomplished the remarkable. She brilliantly delves into a multi-layered exploration of love, loss, isolation and friendship, reaching beyond words to reveal the healing and redemptive power of music. She holds our hand on an unexpected journey through grief towards hope.”

—Peer assessment committee: Keith Barker, Marie Leofeli Romero Barlizo and Alex Poch Goldin

Synopsis

The Piano Teacher is a play about loss, love, friendship, and the healing power of music. When Erin, a classical pianist, experiences the loss of the life she knew, she finds herself dealing with the departure of her own musical expression. Navigating her way through this change, she meets an unconventional piano teacher who gives her new hope for the future. As Elaine gently reacquaints Erin with her instrument, other life changes naturally follow—not just for Erin, but for Elaine as well. The Piano Teacher is replete with lessons about moving through grief, friendships, music as a healing art, the temptation of self-deception, compassion, and love.

Headshot of a smiling Dorothy Dittrich.

Biography

Dorothy Dittrich is a playwright, composer, sound designer and musical director. Her play, The Piano Teacher, an Arts Club Theatre Silver Commission, went on to win the Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script. Other plays include The Dissociates, Lesser Demons, Two Part Invention and If the Moon Falls. Her musical, When We Were Singing, has been produced across Canada and in the US, including a workshop with the Manhattan Theatre Company, in New York City. Dorothy’s work has garnered her a number of Jessie awards and nominations, two Dora Mavor Moore nominations and the Sydney J. Risk Prize for Emerging Playwright. Dorothy Dittrich has recently moved to Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, where she continues to write and play music.

Photo: Chris Allan

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