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Snow in Midsummer
Off-Broadway

Snow in Midsummer

New York, NY
You'll be on the edge of your seat for this murder mystery.
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About Snow in Midsummer

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s Snow in Midsummer is a thrilling murder mystery adapted from the classical Chinese drama The Injustice to Dou Yi That Moved Heaven and Earth by Guan Hanqing. When a wealthy businesswoman takes ownership of a factory in a remote drought-devastated town, she learns of a curse placed on the town by a woman executed for a crime she did not commit. Weaving together parallel stories in a community torn apart by injustice and ecological disaster, Snow in Midsummer is a spellbinding ghost story that explores the weight of generational trauma and restorative justice.

First presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Swan Theatre, February 23, 2017. U.S. premiere produced by Oregon Shakespeare Festival, August 2018.

The 1pm performance on July 9th will be an Asian American and Native Pacific Islander community performance and will include a post-show forum with Ma-Yi Theater Company.

Tell Me More

What's scarier: ghosts or climate change? Or both? The two come together in Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's Snow in Midsummer, a mystery play about a woman who seeks to reverse a curse and the longstanding wrongs that brought it on. Get Snow in Midsummer tickets on TodayTix.

Snow in Midsummer is a play about a businesswoman who takes ownership of a factory and moves to the remote town it's based in, only to discover the town has been wracked by a drought, with a locust plague to boot. To add to the town's terrors, an angry ghost starts to haunt the businesswoman's young daughter.

It turns out the ghost is that of Dou Yi, a woman who was wrongfully executed for a crime. She had placed a curse on the town so it would suffer ecological disaster, which has come to pass. The businesswoman makes it her mission to discover and expose the injustices Dou Yi suffered, get the curse lifted, and save her family and the townspeople.

Cowhig's work joins together stories of the past and present, putting these women's lives into parallel while exploring how past injustices can impact generations for years to come. Her play draws a distinct parallel between the town's ecological disasters, wrought by the ghost, to contemporary issues of climate change and corruption. Snow in Midsummer is one of three plays in Cowhig's China Trilogy, which includes two other dramas that deal with global sociopolitical issues through a Chinese lens: the blood trade that brought AIDS to China (The King of Hell's Palace) and the human cost of developing China's economy (The World of Extreme Happiness).

Get tickets to Snow in Midsummer in New York on TodayTix.

What to Watch For

  • Snow in Midsummer... Night's Dream? Cowhig's play had its world premiere with the Royal Shakespeare Company in William Shakespeare's English hometown, Stratford-Upon-Avon.
  • Snow in Midsummer is itself an adaptation of a classical drama. Cowhig adapted it from The Injustice to Dou Yi That Moved Heaven and Earth, a 13th-century Chinese drama by Guan Hanqing. Hanqing's play is alternatively titled Snow in Midsummer because the ghost of Dou Yi vows to make that very weather event happen in the town, so that's where Cowhig got her play's name.
  • Snow in Midsummer off Broadway is one of two Cowhig plays set to go up in New York in 2022: a new play, Last Words of Uncle Dirt, is set to premiere this year on Playwrights Horizons's soundstage.
  • Cowhig's work has been performed all across the U.S. and in Europe, and her works have won awards including have been awarded the Wasserstein Prize, the Yale Drama Series Award, an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the David A. Callichio Award, the Keene Prize for Literature, and a United States Artist Fellowship.
Run time

10 minute intermission

Start date

May 19th, 2022

End date

July 9th, 2022

Genre

Off-Broadway, Musical

Venue

Classic Stage Company

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