An Ancient Chinese myth becomes a magical romance in Tony Award Winner Mary Zimmerman’s The White Snake at Goodman Theatre, May 3 – June 8

The Family-Friendly Chicago premiere of this visual and musical spectacle includes three live musicians on flutes, strings, percussion and cello


Tickets on sale February 21


CHICAGO, IL – “Puppets, singing, live music, elaborate choreography…even the darkest evil is brightly beautiful in The White Snake” (New York Times)—Tony Award-winning director and playwright Mary Zimmerman’s enchanting adaptation of the 1,000+ year-old Chinese fable that has been reimagined across art forms throughout the centuries. Girl meets boy and falls head-over-heels in love; trouble is, the girl is a white serpent from the spirit world who must join the human world in order to pursue her heart’s desire. Amy Kim Waschke appears in the title role for the Chicago premiere, and Jon Norman Schneider is Xu Xian—the object of White Snake’s affection. Chicagoans Tanya Thai McBride appears as Green Snake, White Snake’s mischievous sidekick, and Matt DeCaro potrays Fa Hai, a monk who plots to keep White Snake and Xu Xian apart by any means necessary. Zimmerman’s ensemble cast assumes multiple roles, including Richard Howard (Canopus); Emily Sophia Knapp (Crane); Vin Kridakorn (Boatman); Eliza Shin (Acolyte); Lisa Tejero (Sister); and Cristofer Jean (Brother-in-Law). A three-piece musical ensemble includes Tessa Brinckman (flutes), Ronnie Malley (strings/percussion) and Michal Palzewicz (cello). The creative team for The White Snake includes Daniel Ostling (scenic design); Mara Blumenfeld (costume design); T.J. Gerckens (lighting design); Andre Pluess (original music and sound design); and Shawn Sagady (projection design). Headshots and bio information for all artists can be found in the Press Room (Username: Goodman; Password: Theatre).

The White Snake, appropriate for adults and families with children 6+, runs May 3 – June 8 in the Albert Theatre (opening night is May 12). Tickets ($25-$86, subject to change) can be purchased by telephone at 312.443.3800, at GoodmanTheatre.org/WhiteSnake, or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). The Goodman is grateful for the support of Fifth Third Bank, the Corporate Sponsor Partner for The White Snake.

The Chicago premiere of The White Snake, which arrives at the Goodman on the heels of Zimmerman’s 2013 world-premiere stage musical adaptation of The Jungle Book, has been critically hailed as a “strikingly beautiful” (National Public Radio) “classic tale told with abundant charm and wit, presented with an elegant visual flair” (The Oregonian) in which there is “not a moment in this 100-minute visual feast when the eye isn’t entranced, the heart touched” (San Jose Mercury News). The White Snake chronicles the tale of a gentle serpent spirit who lives for centuries coiled on a mountaintop. One day, she transforms herself into a beautiful young woman and, with her feisty companion, Green Snake, travels down to the world of humans. There, she unexpectedly finds love, happiness and family—and vows to remain a human forever. But when a vengeful monk discovers her true identity, he becomes determined to destroy the life that she’s built—and break apart her marriage to her one true love. Zimmerman directed the world premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (February 2012) followed by productions at Berkeley Repertory (November 2012) and McCarter Theatre Center (October 2013).