18 Palace Road


Shreya Jha

Shreya Jha

Performance forces:
sop, mez, ten — cor, pno, perc, vln, vla, v c — chorus



18 Palace Road explores the transformative nature of a teacher-student relationship. It draws attention to how our creative mentors shape our relationship with our craft. This story is deeply personal, as I lost my childhood piano teacher and first musical mentor to a sudden brain aneurysm in September 2016, less than a month after I began music school. In the show, Carly, a young music student navigating her parents’ separation and her father’s absence, turns to her music lessons with teacher Marge as a source of empowerment and comfort. Marge, experiencing her own painful separation and loss of custody of her son, channels all her energy into her piano students, particularly Carly. The two grow together and find solace in each other as Carly excels at the piano and wins local competitions. However, when Marge is suddenly unable to attend one of Carly’s competitions, she freezes up onstage and denounces music, vowing to never play again. When Marge passes away suddenly, Carly must face her grief, find her way back to music, and unpack what was really going on in Marge’s life. Ultimately, Carly uses the pain of losing a mother figure to repair her broken relationship with her own mother.