|Zimmerman's "The White Snake"|
Although The White Snake has fewer acrobatics that Zimmerman's Argonautika and little of the ribald humor of The Arabian Nights, the play is more visually stunning than anything else I've seen by her. Daniel Ostling, the scenic designer, comments "The general geometry of the set came from scroll paintings: a long, horizontal blank space with very carefully chosen details." Mara Blumenfeld, costume designer, says "[what] I'm most proud of with the design for The White Snake is color... the Chinese use pattern upon pattern in different scales and colors that I wouldn't necessarily think of combining together... I think some of the combinations are really surprising and beautiful."
|Madame White and Xu Xian|
But Madame White, the human version of the white snake, is the ever changing focal point of the play. She chooses to leave her position as a powerful Taoist-adept-in-a-snake on the mountain to see what's going on in the town below. Through deception she attracts the attention of a man she fancies, and chooses to remain in a human form. Hundreds of years spent meditating on a mountain is no match for the spiritual complication of engaging in life as a woman, however. Despite her fearsome mythological powers, she finds her happiness rests in the heart of a man and his ability to love her for who she really is.
|White Snake Meets Brother Crane|