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Written and Directed by Greg Banks
Original Music by Victor Zupanc
Cargill Stage

This is not your usual "Once Upon a Time." Classic? No. Wild? Yes! To start with, it’s a two-person play. Do the math. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves? Two fabulous, whip-smart, super-fast actors play Snow White, the huntsman, the prince, and all seven dwarves! And it’s funny. Really, really funny. So expect the unexpected in this fabulous fairy tale with a (spoiler alert) you-won’t-see-it-coming twist.

Performance Description

CTC’s Snow White is a play with music performed by two adult actors who work together to portray all characters in the story. Based on the classic Grimm fairy tale, this play was created by CTC’s new play development lab in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This production takes place on our Cargill Stage which seats up to 298 people per performance.

We know that teachers are the best judge to determine the right fit for their unique group of students. We recommend Snow White for students in grades 1-6 due to the content and fast paced nature of this performance. Check out the synopsis and content advisories for full information. 

Approximate run time: 1 hour and 15 minutes without an intermission.

Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.

Plot synopsis

Caution: this is a complete synopsis of the play, so it is full of spoilers. This script is still in development. Content subject to change until the script is solidified. 

Please Note: This production uses two actors who play all roles. One actor is named “Snow White” and the other is named “4” however, for the purpose of telling the story, the two switch between roles. For example, both Snow White and 4 play the role of Snow White. We will indicate who is playing which role in the synopsis with (SW) for Snow White or (4) for 4.

Snow White enters lamenting that it is so cold outside. 4 enters and is clearly upset that Snow White has started the show. It becomes clear that some of the actors are missing. 4 wants to wait for the actors to arrive before they start the show but Snow White wants to start and let them join when they arrive. 4 is on the brink of panic but Snow White assures him that all is fine and asks the audience if they are happy. Snow White reassures 4 they can tell the story on their own but the actor is doubtful. Snow White asks the audience if they can start the show without the rest of the actors and everyone agrees they will do the show with only two actors.

Snow White attempts to start but is stopped because 4 is insistent that she starts by saying “once upon a time” like all fairy tales start. Snow White argues that this is not a fairy tale but a real story about her life and she can start it how she wants to. She starts again but 4 needs to grab tissues. She assures him that it ends happily but he needs tissues just in case.

Snow White becomes the queen who laments about being lonely due to having no children. She accidentally pricks her finger and her gasps echo across the theatre. We see a small amount of blood on the snow. The Queen (SW) dreams her child will have a “heart as pure as snow, hair as black as the trees, and lips as red as (her) blood.” 4 again tries to interrupt but is shushed by Snow White. The Queen (SW) has a baby girl who she names Snow White. 4 becomes the Queen and Snow White becomes herself. The Queen (4) dies shortly after Snow White (SW) is born. 4 warns the audience to get out their tissues because a year later, the king married another woman. She was beautiful but proud and arrogant. 4 becomes the Evil Stepmother and flaunts her beauty around the stage.

The Evil Queen (4) has a magic mirror to which she asks “Mirror on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.” Magic Mirror (SW) answers that the Evil Queen is the fairest of them all. The Evil Queen (4) expresses her love for the mirror (SW) and kisses her. The Evil Queen (4) asks the mirror multiple times who is the fairest. The answer is always the same and the mirror (SW) is thanked with a kiss. The mirror asks the Evil Queen to not kiss her, but the Evil Queen ignores her and kisses her anyway.

Snow White (SW) grows up and has to follow strict rules. She isn’t allowed to see her father or go outside. When she questions her stepmother (4) about the rules, she is told that her father is busy and outside is dirty and full of monsters. In order to convince her to stay inside and follow the rules, the Evil Queen (4) explains how the branches of the trees are monsters that grab you and don’t let you escape. Snow White passes the time by trying to tell her servant (4) jokes but they don’t listen so she tells herself jokes. Snow White grows older and becomes more beautiful than the Evil Queen.

The Evil Queen (4) looks into her mirror for the hundredth time that morning and asks her favorite question but this time, the mirror (SW) has a different answer. The mirror declares that Snow White is the most beautiful of all. The Evil Queen is upset by this news. Snow White is not happy with 4’s performance as the Evil Queen so she takes over the role. The Evil Queen (SW) becomes furious with this news and yells at the mirror. 4 becomes Snow White and tries to lighten things up by telling a joke. The Evil Queen (SW) tells Snow White (4) to “shut up” which causes Snow White (4) to scold the Evil Queen. The Evil Queen (SW) assures Snow White (4) that she doesn’t need to be nice because she is beautiful. Snow White (4) tries to yell for her father to tell on the Evil Queen (SW) but the Queen stops her by yanking her hair. The Evil Queen (SW) attempts to rub Snow White’s makeup off but finds that she isn’t wearing any.

The Evil Queen (SW) calls the Huntsman (4). She orders him to take Snow White into the forest, kill her, and bring back her lungs and liver as proof. The Huntsman (4) stands up to the Evil Queen (SW) and declares he won’t kill her. Snow White exits her role of Evil Queen to yell at 4 that he is telling the story wrong. 4 finally agrees to stick with the script and takes on the role of Huntsman again.

The Huntsman (4) takes Snow White (SW) into the woods. Snow White is frightened and protests going into the wood citing her stepmother’s stories of monsters in the woods. Snow White (SW) begins to believe that the woods are not as frightening as she once thought they were and bonds with the Huntsman (4). Snow White asks lots of questions and the Huntsman is clearly upset with his task at hand. The Huntsman asks her to look up to the sky. As she does, he draws a dagger but he can’t bring himself to kill her. She looks down to see his knife and asks why he drew his dagger. He admits to her that he was ordered to kill her by the Evil Queen. The Huntsman hasn’t given up and asks her to please let him kill her. If he does not complete the task, he will lose his job. Snow White asks about his children and he realizes he cannot complete the Evil Queen’s order. He orders Snow White to run away and never come back.

The Huntsman (4) is relieved when Snow White (SW) disappears from sight but realizes he needs to bring something to the Evil Queen. Suddenly, a pig appears (SW) and the Huntsman has an idea. He kills the pig and brings back the pig’s organs to the Evil Queen (SW). The Huntsman (4) presents the pig lung and liver to the Evil Queen (SW) and she eats the organs.

Meanwhile, Snow White (SW) runs through the forest until she cannot run anymore. She finds a tree and falls asleep beneath it. A wolf (4) sniffs her but leaves her alone. She wakes up and notices all of the birds. She follows the birds (4) further into the forest where she stumbles upon a little house. Snow White knocks on the door of the house but finds that no one is home. She opens the door and lets herself inside. She finds a bed and falls asleep.

Later that day, seven little men come home after a long day’s work to find Snow White in one of their beds. 4 wakes Snow White to ask how they act out the next part without the rest of the cast. We learn that the little men do not have names but are numbered 1 – 7. Snow White assures him that he can play all of the men. 4 worries that it will be confusing for the audience but Snow White instructs him to use his hat to indicate which person he is playing in each moment. The men (all played by 4) debate whether or not to kick the girl out of their house. They begin to tussle which awakens Snow White (SW). Snow White introduces herself to the men but they begin to fight again about where she will sleep. 1, 2 and 3 kick Snow White out of the house but 4 and 5 fight to let her stay. Snow White asks for a glass of water before she leaves which spurs another fight between the men about who will get it for her.

4 suddenly stops the play to ask if it can be over. He is exhausted from playing all of the men. Snow White encourages him to keep going because he hasn’t told the audience about the 7th man in the corner. 7 is the oldest of the men and barely speaks. 7 (4) awakens from his corner and Snow White (SW) recounts her story of what brought her to the forest. The men (4) are sad from her story so she tells them knock knock jokes.

2 (4) interrupts the fun to ask if she is really going to stay and voices his concern about sharing a bathroom with a girl. The rest of the men (4) agree that 2 (4) has a point. 7 (4) stands up as the oldest and wisest to declare that they need to look after her, keep her safe, and teach her the ways of the forest. Snow White (SW) thanks them all for their kindness.

The men (4) help heal her wounds and eventually take her back out into the forest. Snow White (SW) is nervous at first but the men (4) teach her about the forest. Snow White (SW) meets many different animals, all played by 4. Snow White (SW) and the men (4) play games and dance but before long, the men need to go back to work. Snow White begs to go with them, but they insist she stays home. She passes the time by playing with the animals. The men remind her not to wander too far from the house or answer the door if a stranger comes. The men leave for work.

Back at the castle, the Evil Queen (SW) asks her mirror who is the fairest in the land. The mirror (4) tells her that Snow White lives in the forest with the seven little men. The Evil Queen (SW) realizes that she has been tricked and becomes angry. She vows to find Snow White and kill her. She disguises herself as an old peasant woman selling corsets. She plans to trick Snow White by selling her a corset and then tightening it until she suffocates. The Evil Queen (SW) tries her disguise on one of her servants (4) but it doesn’t work. The servant knows she is the Evil Queen. She orders the servant to make her a poor peasant woman. The servant changes her clothing and wipes the makeup off of her face. The Evil Queen is satisfied with her new look and orders the servant fetch her coach and horses. He reminds her that poor people do not have coaches or horses and in order to be convincing, she will need to walk.

The Evil Queen (SW) sets off on foot and eventually comes upon the little house in the forest where Snow White is staying. The Evil Queen (SW) begins to sing about the lace and corsets she is selling. Snow White (4) knows she should not open the door for a stranger but finds a loophole in the rule by opening a window to hear the song. The Evil Queen (SW) tries to convince Snow White (4) to open the door and let her into the house by promising her free ribbons and bonnets. Snow White (4) opens the door and the Evil Queen (SW) convinces her to try on a corset. The Evil Queen (SW) pulls the laces tighter and tighter until Snow White (4) cannot breathe. Snow White (SW) faints to the floor and the Evil Queen (4) leaves.

The men (4) return from work to find Snow White on the floor. 2 (4) thinks she is dead but 1 (4) realizes that her corset is laced up too tight and cuts the laces. Snow White (SW) begins to breathe and wakes up. She tells the men that there was a peasant woman and they begin to panic. They know it was the Evil Queen but are confident she won’t return if she thinks Snow White is dead.

Back at the castle, the Evil Queen (SW) takes off her peasant clothing and asks her servant (4) to bring in the mirror. She explains to him how she strangled Snow White and accidentally strangles him, too. The Evil Queen looks into the mirror and asks her burning question. She is furious to learn that Snow White was alive and well with the little men. Just then, she has the idea to poison Snow White.

In the woods, the men (4) leave for work and Snow White (SW) promises to not open the door to anyone. She locks herself in the cabin and feeds the birds from the window when it begins to rain. She hears someone yelling for help outside. The Evil Queen (4) has disguised herself as a traveler who broke a wheel in the rain. She asks Snow White to let her into the house to dry off. Snow White (SW) gives in and lets the woman into the cabin. To thank her for her kindness, the old woman hands Snow White an apple. Snow White (SW) takes a bite of the apple and collapses. The apple was poisoned. The Evil Queen (4) celebrates the killing of Snow White. The Evil Queen (4) immediately takes out her mirror (SW) to ask if she is now the fairest of them all. The mirror (SW) sadly reports that she is, in fact, the fairest of them all.

The little men (4) return to find Snow White (SW) on the floor. The men (4) discover that she is cold and not breathing. They start to bury her but can’t do it. They build a glass coffin where she stays for years.

A prince (SW) arrives. He demands the little men give up their beds for him to rest for the night. He is heading to bed when he notices the glass coffin. He describes his journey around the world trying to find a princess to rescue. 4 (4) informs the Prince that Snow White is dead. The Prince (SW) is not concerned because he is confident that his kiss will wake her. The Prince (SW) kisses Snow White (4) but nothing happens. He kisses her again and nothing happens. Just as he is about to get frustrated, Snow White (4) wakes up. The Prince (SW) introduces himself as her handsome savior who will be taking her home as his bride.

Both Snow White and 4 break character and begin to laugh. They explain that this version of the story is what the Prince told everyone but it is not what really happened. They rewind the play to explain exactly what happened.

Snow White (SW) goes back into the coffin and the Prince (4) once again kisses her but this time it doesn’t work. The Prince (4) begins to throw a tantrum and demands that he bring Snow White in her coffin back to the palace so he can at least look at her. The men (4) begin to protest but decide to give her to the Prince. They carry her coffin to the carriage but jostle her in the process. Snow White (SW) coughs up a piece of the apple and that was lodged in her throat and begins to breathe again.

The Prince (4) is excited that Snow White (SW) has awoken and informs her that she will be his bride. Snow White (SW) protests his orders to become his wife. She explains that she is not following him to the castle and will not become his bride. The Prince (4) begins to beg and the more she protests, the bigger tantrum he throws. The Prince (4) eventually runs off, disappointed.

Everyone celebrates but the next morning, Snow White (SW) knew something was wrong. The Evil Queen (4) sneaks up to the cabin with an ax, ready to kill Snow White. The little men (SW) surround the Evil Queen (4). The little men (SW) surround and attack the Evil Queen (4), forcing her to drop the ax. The Evil Queen (4) apologizes and promises to never come back. Snow White (SW) asks the men to let the Evil Queen go. Snow White (SW) tells the Evil Queen (4) how upset she is about how she was treated in the castle. In anger, the Evil Queen (4) grabs the ax and delivers a swift chop to a nearby tree. Birds swarm out of the ree and peck at The Evil Queen (4), driving her away from the cabin.

At the end of the story, 4 is ecstatic that they were able to tell the story with only two actors. He runs off to tell his friends. Snow White bids the audience goodbye.

Content Advisories

Language: 1 out of 5 stars
The Evil Queen tells Snow White to “shut up.” The Evil Queen calls Snow White a “brat."

Themes and Situations: 3 out of 5 stars
Snow White’s mother dies shortly after Snow White is born. The Evil Queen (played by 4) kisses the mirror (played by Snow White). The mirror asks to not be kissed but the Queen kisses her anyway. The Queen eats what she believes is Snow White’s lungs and liver. First, Snow White is choked by a corset. Then, Snow White chokes on a bite of the poison apple. The Evil Queen dies by drowning offstage. The Prince kisses Snow White and demands she become his wife (she does not oblige).

Violence & Scariness: 4 out of 5 stars
The Queen pricks her finger and begins to bleed. The Evil Queen tries to convince Snow White to not go outside by telling her that the branches of the trees are monsters that will grab you and won’t let you escape. The Evil Queen orders the Huntsman kill Snow White in the woods. The Huntsman draws a dagger with the intent to kill Snow White but he can’t bring himself to complete the task. The Evil Queen chokes Snow White by tightening her corset too tight. The Evil Queen accidentally strangles her servant while retelling the story of how she killed Snow White. The Evil Queen poisons Snow White with an apple. The Evil Queen threatens to kill Snow White with an ax. The Evil Queen is attacked by birds. 

Sensory Advisories: TBD
Actors interact with the audience by asking questions. Play may contain loud sounds and bright lights. We will update this section after we have started rehearsals and understand the technical elements.

Potentially Anxious Moments: 1 out of 5 stars
4 frequently feels anxious. The audience believes Snow White has died.

Snow White Calendar
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