These Walls

libretto by Matthias Hope Naroff

Rhonda Belle Martin was a 49-year-old waitress from Montgomery, Alabama when she was convicted, in 1957, of committing heinous crimes against her family. She married five times—the last, to her stepson—and had five young children with one of them. In many ways, her very existence was at odds with the growing silent majority of what the American family was supposed to represent. These Walls explores the interior monologue of a seemingly-remorseless, self-centered woman over the course of a few restless night hours. — Kyle Tieman-Strauss

instrumentation soprano; tenor saxophone, percussion (vibraphone, children’s glockenspiel (2 octaves), almglocken, timbale, padlock, chain, kick bass drum, simantra), harp, violin, violoncello
premiere May 15, 2017, NYU Blackbox Theatre, NY, NY; Emilia Donato as Rhonda Belle Martin
conducted by Kyle Tieman-Strauss
directed by Georgia Mills
written July – December 2016
duration 60′

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