TAD Senior Producing and Directing Rabinal Achí: Xajoj Tun for her Senior Project

Abby Trahant is combining her two majors into one final project in her last months at Loyola University New Orleans. Trahant, a theatre arts and Latin American Studies double major, is producing and directing Rabinal Achí: Xajoj Tun as her senior thesis this April in Dixon Court. Rabinal Achí: Xajoj Tun is a Mayan dance drama that survived despite censorship and destruction caused by colonists at the time. Trahant has chosen to produce in Dixon Court for social distancing purposes as well as the fact that performing outdoors mimics the way the dance drama is performed in front of the mountains in Guatemala. 

Although the theatre degree only requires a website portfolio as a senior thesis, Trahant is going above and beyond those requirements with this production. 

“It's been on my mind to put on some kind of show for my capstone/thesis since my freshman year when I saw some of the amazing work from the seniors and playwriting classes at Loyola,” she said. 

Trahant’s thesis has been in the works for almost two years now, ever since she pitched the idea of producing a play to her Latin American Studies advisor, Nathan Henne. 

“We've been running wild with it since then,” she said. 

Trahant said this production has been greatly influenced by Henne, who suggested she focus on Rabinal Achí: Xajoj Tun, and her internship with the Middle American Research Institute (MARI) at Tulane. During her time with MARI, she created an online exhibit about indigenous drama in Mexico and Guatemala. 

“The work I did at MARI influenced a lot of my research and attachment with this particular piece,” she said. 

Trahant said she is extremely thankful for the support and guidance from her advisors, C. Patrick Gendusa and Nathan Henne, throughout the process of producing Rabinal Achí: Xajoj Tun.

Rabinal Achí: Xajoj Tun is currently in rehearsals, but runs April 8th and 9th at 7pm and April 10th at 5:30pm. It stars Latin American Studies students Kim Díaz, Andrea Watterson, Henry Glick and Sierra O’Brian as well as TAD students Gabi López Rúiz, Mariola Chalas, Vidal Amador-Flores III, Illeana Yanez-Pastor, Sarah Schuler, and Sebastian Phillips. TAD junior Jada Williams is assistant directing with Mika Litton designing makeup.  


By Madeline Taliancich