Semester of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Document Type



La Llorona is a project comprised of a TV series pilot, a logline and summary, an episode outline, and a short story that is a prequel/companion to the TV series. Inspired by the La Llorona myths, specifically the myths in Mexico, the project aims to counter the traditional tale of La Llorona; of a woman so scorned that she drowns her children, forever doomed to wander the earth and drown any other children she comes across. In going back to her indigenous roots of Cihuacōātl, an Aztec goddess, and her archetype of Malinztin, Hernán Cortés’s indigenous translator when he colonized Mexico, the narratives in this project work together to create an alternative image not just of La Llorona, but of the colonizing structures that are still in place in Mexican and Mexican-American religious and cultural practices.

This script focuses on a Mexican cult in Southern California during their annual weeklong summer retreat. The cult centers their belief system on the story of Job in the bible. At this moment in time, the twin children of the cult leaders, Ines and Cristian, are meant to take over. However, Ines wants nothing to do with the cult, as she knows the abuse they have committed in the name of god, and Cristian knows his parents favor his sister for leadership. From the first day, children start going missing, with some of the doubters of the cult blaming La Llorona. In flipping the La Llorona narrative, it turns out that La Llorona, actually the goddess Cihuacōātl, is not drowning children, but has instead been rescuing them from abusive homes and taking them to her world to live a better life.

Taking inspiration from shows such as Haunting of Hill House, and novels such as Mexican Gothic, the series plays with multiple levels of horror; from the immediately terrifying images of La Llorona as well as the much more sinister practices of the cult, this project dissects what it means to reclaim history and myth.



Committee Chair

Godshall, Zachary

Available for download on Monday, March 31, 2031

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