Snow White

World Premiere

Ticket Price

We Suggest $35
More If You Have it
Less if you don't


3400 Main St
Houston, TX 77002


Apr 7, 2017 -
May 6, 2017
All shows at 8pm

CounterCurrent17 performances:  Thursday 4/20–Saturday 4/22

The Play

Snow White is tired of being “just a horsewife” to Bill, Dan, Edward, Hubert, Henry, Clem and Kevin, who, in her estimation, “only add up to the equivalent of about two real men.” While the seven men toil in commercial real estate and manufacture exotic high-end baby foods, she whiles away her days reading Mao Tse-tung, drinking vodka with orange juice, and impatiently waiting for the prince promised to her by history.

This world premiere production of Snow White is a theatrical adaptation of the groundbreaking, experimental novel by the iconic, postmodern novelist, poet, and early faculty member of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, the late Donald Barthelme.

When Barthelme’s novel was published in 1966, critical response was a mixture of enthusiasm, admiration and puzzlement. Writing in Life magazine, Webster Schott called Barthelme “the most perversely gifted writer in the United States. . . . Snow White has everything, including William Burroughs cut ups, words posing as paintings, ribald social commentary, crazy esthetic experiments, and comedy that smashes.” Jack Kroll, in Newsweek, called Barthelme a “splendid writer who knows how to turn spiritual dilemmas into logic, and how to turn that logic into comedy which is the true wised-up story of our time.” Beyond its formal radicalism and experimental language, the book is a funny-sad meditation on the promises and disappointments of love, a topographical map of what one critic called “the cratered landscape of the broken heart.”

Barthelme adapted his novel for the stage in 1974 and it has only seen the light of day once, in a very small, invite-only reading at The Alley Theatre. It has never been fully produced. Working from Barthelme’s original manuscript, notes and revisions, Catastrophic Theatre will present the world premiere of the author’s own stage adaptation of Snow White. In conjunction with Brazos Books and Inprint, a public reading of the play will be given at Brazos Books on November 9, 2016.

The Playwright

DONALD BARTHELME published twelve books, including two novels and a prize-winning children’s book. He was a regular contributor to The New Yorker and divided his time between New York and Houston, where he taught creative writing at the University of Houston. In his career, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Book Award, and a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, among others. Mr. Barthelme died in July 1989.


Donald Barthelme’s Snow White is presented in association with:

  • The Barthelme Estate
  • University of Houston Libraries
  • Brazos Bookstore
  • Inprint
  • University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts

Some performances presented as part of the CounterCurrent17 theatre festival.

Photo Sets



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