The White Snake

E-book – $17.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-6725-4

Trade Paper – $17.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-2927-6
Publication Date
October 2013
Page Count
176 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

The White Snake

A Play

In her latest theatrical production inspired by a classic story, Mary Zimmerman reimagines The White Snake, an ancient Chinese legend in which a snake spirit transforms herself into a beautiful woman in order to experience the human world. Adventuring down her mountainside with her companion, Green Snake, White Snake meets and falls in love with the humble, virtuous Xu Xian and convinces him to marry her. Together, the three friends open a pharmacy, but soon the remarkable healing powers of White Snake draw the attention of a treacherous monk, Fa Hai. Outraged at the union between a mortal and a snake spirit, Fa Hai takes it upon himself to destroy it. Zimmerman brings to this timeless romance her usual brilliant mix of ingenious stagecraft, song, abundant humor, and compassion.
About the Author

Mary Zimmerman's credits as an adapter and a director include Metamorphoses, The Arabian Nights, The Odyssey, Journey to the West, and Argonautika (all published by Northwestern). Her work has been produced at the Lookingglass Theatre and Goodman Theatre of Chicago; on Broadway at Circle in the Square; in New York at Second Stage, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Manhattan Theatre Club; and at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and other theaters around the country and abroad. The recipient of a Tony Award for her direction of Metamorphoses and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, Zimmerman is a professor of performance studies at Northwestern University.


“[Zimmerman’s] meditative quality perfectly complements the pulse of the narrative, an ancient Buddhist fairy tale about the nature of life and love and loss.” —San Jose Mercury News