CATS presents “The White Snake” on April 13-May 6 in Nevada City

TONY-AWARD WINNING PLAYWRIGHT MARY ZIMMERMAN is a master at revamping literary classics and bringing them to the stage. Examples include “Metamorphoses, The Arabian Nights,” and “Journey to the West.” In 2013, Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra produced Zimmerman’s “Journey to the West,” which won five regional Elly Awards and 12 nominations.

This spring, CATS is presenting another Zimmerman play—“The White Snake”—launching its 23rd season of theater and cultural enrichment programs in the foothills. This beloved Chinese legend, adapted for stage by Zimmerman, is being performed April 13 to May 6 at the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City.

“At its core, “The White Snake” is a tale of a mystical, fantastical snake who transmutes into human form, and with her loyal friend Green Snake by her side, meets a man, falls in love, and struggles against overwhelming odds and innumerable obstacles to fulfill her desire to be with him,” says Carolyn Howarth, who is directing the play for CATS.

The legend of white snake has ancient roots. Although undoubtedly a product of oral tradition, one of its earliest recorded sources is from an anthology compiled in the 10th century during the Tang Dynasty.

The tale has been handed down through the centuries in various forms as opera, stage plays, film and television programs, novellas and children’s books — even a watch with artfully drawn white and green snake hands made by Swatch. It has been performed all over the world.

Zimmerman’s adaption—which debuted at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2012—is a “radiant reminder of the magic of low-tech,” observed a reviewer when the play appeared at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The performance depends on colorful set design, puppetry and the art of storytelling. (“Believe me” are the first words of the play, as a storyteller appears on stage.) “I am grateful for CATS Artistic Director Lisa Moon’s vision, and her desire to bring this story to our community,” Howarth added. CATSweb.org

Chinese New Year Festival
The Nevada City Chinese Lunar New Year Festival and Parade welcomes the Year of the Rooster on February 12, honoring the contributions of the Chinese pioneers in the foothills.

A parade led by ceremonial Lion Dancers begins at noon at the Chinese Monument on Commercial Street. The parade makes its way down Commercial Street and end at the Robinson Plaza. Food will be available.

(Photo: Andrey Pronin/ZUMA Wire)

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