Take a Tony Award winning playwright, a genuinely gifted director and a Chinese fable that is older than written language and you have the magic of Mary Zimmerman’s The White Snake.
On paper, the story of loyal friendship and the infinite power of unconditional love is charming. In the combined hands of Zimmerman and Appleton North Theatre Director Ron Parker, the play is a magical journey.
Age old themes of prejudice, allegiance, and love meet innovative directorial techniques and transform an unremarkable high school stage into a rich Asian tapestry.
One scene is lit by a combination of Chinese lanterns and computer generated graphics, a cool juxtaposition of tradition and invention.
Mr. Parker’s attention to detail — the sophisticated lighting, exact musical cues rising right here, fading right there, the puppets and their movement, the blocking, and the beautiful period costumes, transcend the space and the age of the cast.
Once again, it’s hard to believe this is a high school production.
I shot a few (hundred) pictures of the dress rehearsal.
I hope you enjoy.
Some tickets are still available for the show, which opens a limited run Thursday night at Appleton North. Shows are May 5, 6, 7 at 7:30 p.m. and May 7, 8 at 1:00 p.m.
You can purchase general admission tickets at the door. All seats are $10.