Based on the 19th-century folktale “Snegurochka” by Alexander Ostrovsky, “Snow Maiden” is a new production created and directed by Helen Hayes Award-winning choreographer and Synetic Co-Founder, Irina Tsikurishvili. In a 180-degree turn, following their stunning production of “Dracula,” Synetic gives us an equally mystical story of companionship, loss, and renewal but this time on the bright and hopeful end of the emotional spectrum. “Snow Maiden” is lovely, funny, and warm—and a unique and ideal family theatre event for this holiday season.
…lovely, funny, and warm—and a unique and ideal family theatre event for this holiday season.
High in the mountains and deep in a snow-covered forest, an extraordinary friendship comes to a lonely boy who hopes for a friend. On Christmas morning, he builds a companion from snow, a Snow Maiden brought magically to life. Their friendship blossoms until the snow begins to melt around them. Maryam Najafzada, recently seen as a bride of Dracula, shows her versatility as the charmingly mischievous Snow Maiden. A classically-trained ballerina, Najafzada is the perfect counterpart to Vato Tsikurishvili as The Boy. Performing without words, the two actors make all the jokes funny, shine on each other with warmth and respect, and create a delightful holiday gift for the audience. Tsikurishvili excels at traditional mime and clowning—the athletic comedy necessary to make a pantomime work. The audience gasped more than once at his gymnastic performance. A ballet duet between the two characters in the snow is a highlight of the production.
The play opens on technical director Phil Charlwood’s simple but beautiful set. It gives us the feeling of looking through a keyhole into the tiny room of The Boy, surrounded by the icy forest lit by single blue star. Peter Leibold VI’s lighting design captures the feeling of the cold, mountain vista simultaneously with the warmth of the tiny room. Kasey Brown’s costumes are muted but lovely and resonant with fairy tale charm.
The enchanting score combines holiday classics and music by resident composer, Koki Lortkipanidze. You will hear strains of “The Nutcracker” and “The First Noel” amid the original compositions.
“Snow Maiden” is a charming holiday show family and friends of all ages will enjoy. Young children especially will be engaged by the spirit of mischief the two characters evoke as they compete to make the biggest snowball, catch magic spots of starlight, and ice skate. Without giving too much away, opportunities exist for gentle audience participation designed with children in mind.
Running time: Approximately 45 minutes with no intermission.
“Snow Maiden” runs through December 23, 2022 at Synetic Theater, 1800 S. Bell Street, Arlington, VA 22202. Performances are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available online here. Garage parking is available. Ticket holders are encouraged to come early for holiday music and winter-themed arts and crafts activities. COVID health and safety requirements: Patrons, staff, and ushers must wear a mask in all spaces in the theatre unless eating or drinking.