Yaz’s Steinway grand piano is both a literal and physical representation of the life she has built for herself after leaving the barrio. It is the instrument she uses to express herself and compose her music, as well as an expensive, luxurious indulgence that represents just how successful she has become in her adulthood. Yaz’s decision to sell the piano in order to buy Mami Ginny’s house at the end of the play embodies the transformation of character that she undergoes, as she is willing to sacrifice the individual aspirations for which she worked so hard in order to become the new head of her family. The acquisition and requisition of this piano, then, come to signify Yaz’s transition from being ashamed of her Puerto Rican heritage to being proud of her identity and committed to her family and community.
The Water by the Spoonful quotes below all refer to the symbol of Yaz’s Piano. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Theatre Communications Group edition of Water by the Spoonful published in 2017.).
The timeline below shows where the symbol Yaz’s Piano appears in Water by the Spoonful. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.