Snow in June

  • Nov 29, 2003 - Dec 28, 2003

  • Loeb Drama Center

  • Run Time: 90 minutes with no intermission

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A startling blend of ancient Chinese theater and contemporary Americana, dance theater, and vaudeville, Snow in June conjures the ghost of a young girl who returns to earth to avenge herself on the society that caused her death. Inspired by an ancient legend and a thirteenth-century Chinese drama, Snow in June unites three artists—director and adaptor Chen Shi-Zheng, writer Charles Mee, and composer Paul Dresher, whose music for the production blends traditional Chinese scores with original bluegrass, delta blues, Appalachian, Tex-Mex, and Cajun music.


The ghost of a young girl has returned to earth to tell her story, and to avenge her wrongful execution.

When she was a child, her father left her in the care of a wealthy widow, who makes her living as a loan shark. The girl grew up to be beautiful and virtuous, and lived happily until one day the widow was mugged in a dark alley, and rescued by an unscrupulous old man and his son. As payment, they demand that the widow and her daughter marry them. The widow refuses, but allows the two men to come home with her.

The widow slowly warms to the old man, but the girl has no intention of marrying his wicked son. Devising a scheme to kill the widow, the boy purchases poison from the local apothecary and puts it in her soup. But the widow gives her bowl to the old man, who drinks it and dies. The son accuses the girl of poisoning his father, and the case goes to trial.

In an effort to spare her adopted mother, the girl confesses to a crime she didn’t commit. As she is led to her death, she proclaims that if she is executed unjustly, the region will suffer a drought, her blood will run up a piece of white silk instead of dripping down to the ground, and snow will fall even though it’s midsummer. Sure enough, snow begins to fall as the girl’s spirit leaves the earth.

The A.R.T. acknowledges special production sponsors Richard B. & Jeanne Donovan Fisher.

The residency of Charles L. Mee is amde possible by Paul and Katie Buttenweiser.

Support for new work and innovation provided by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Additional support proviced by Altria Group, Inc.


The Girl Qian Yi
The Widow/The Doctor David Patrick Kelly
The Old Man/The Judge Rob Campbell
The Boy Thomas Derrah
Ensemble Kaolin Bass, Eliza Bell, Francesca Carlin, Tug Coker, Jodi Dick, Torsten Hillhouse, Patrick McCaffrey, Laura Nordin, Will Peebles, Adam Peña, Nicole Shalhoub, Kathryn Weil
Musicians ANDROMEDA: Evan Harlan (music director; accordian, piano), Andrew Blickenderfer (bass), Ima Jonsdottir (violin), and Adam Larrabee (guitar, mandolin, banjo). Percussion: Gary Feldman.
scenic design by Yi Li Ming
costume design by Anita Yavich
lighting design by Rick Fisher
sound design by David Remedios
movement specialist Song Yang
stage manger Lisa Iacucci