May 10, 11, 12 + 13, 2018
8 PM
May 13, 2018
2 PM
Wallace Theater, Lewis Arts complex
FREE and open to the public

A new musical play by senior Emma Watkins that interweaves Celtic folk music with the storytelling tradition that thrives in the windswept hills of Wales to reimagine one of Welsh mythology’s most fiercely outspoken female protagonists. Directed by senior Abigail Jean-Baptiste.

Learn more about the inspiration and research behind Trailing Rhiannon at





Emma Watkins, an English major pursuing certificates in Theater, Music Theater and Environmental Studies, traveled to Wales in the summer of 2017 to study the storytelling traditions of her ancestors and to hike through “the green chapels” of their mythology. Her research will culminate in a new storytelling venture of her own that will serve as her senior thesis: an immersive music theater retelling of the life of Rhiannon, an empowered woman in Welsh mythology who, when falsely accused of eating her own son, is forced to become the reluctant storyteller of a violent act she did not perpetrate. Watkins hiked along Wales’ coastline and through its mountains, visiting landmarks mentioned in Rhiannon’s story and recording the natural soundscapes at these sites for use in her musical compositions. Her creative work is inspired by Welsh folk music festivals, a course of study at the Bleddfa Week of Storytelling, and Welsh language classes. She also conducted interviews with artists, musicians and historians who, together, serve as the keepers of Welsh culture and identity.


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View or download event materials: Poster | Program | Press release

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The Wallace Theater is located on the Forum level of the Wallace Dance Building and Theater at the Lewis Arts complex.

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Presented By

  • Program in Music Theater
  • Program in Theater