Trailing Rhiannon

Trailing Rhiannon interweaves Celtic folksong and storytelling techniques to tell the story of a resilient Welsh heroine.

“May I carry you?  As we walk I will tell you the story of how I destroyed my child – and devoured her.”

Falsely accused of eating her own child, Rhiannon is forced to stand outside her home, stopping passersby to tell them the gruesome tale of a crime she did not commit.  The story she shares follows the trail of her life: from the Otherworld to this one, past jealous princes and stones that speak, surveyed by birds that dart across the sky with letters in their beaks.  In the search for her story’s ending, Rhiannon discovers something all the more elusive – the proof of her innocence. 

Trailing Rhiannon interweaves Celtic folksong and storytelling techniques to reimagine the Welsh Mabinogion’s resilient female heroine.  In the context of such movements as #MeToo, Rhiannon’s tale of endurance touches upon crucial contemporary questions: What happens when a woman is silenced or subjugated?  How does she recover her voice? 

Read an excerpt here.

Production History

Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, directed by Abigail Jean Baptiste
McCarter Theatre Lab’s In the Writer’s Voiceinvited reading of an excerpt of the play

Recognition

Lewis Center for the Arts’ Music Theatre Award, for a significant accomplishment in creating a new work of theatre

Princeton English Department’s Alan S. Downer Thesis Prize, for a thesis of exceptional merit

Princeton Environmental Institute’s Book Prize, for an exceptional thesis in the Environmental Humanities

In July 2018, the Princeton University Homepage featured an article about Trailing Rhiannon, including a video on the playwriting process.

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 10.37.52 PM