The Serpent Woman Poster

The Serpent Woman

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Cast Photo for Download



New Adaptation of a Classic Commedia Dell’arte Play Offers Comedy, Tragedy, Magic, and Puppets. 

The Theater Program of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges (Mark Lord, Chair) presents Carlo Gozzi’s play The Serpent Woman, freely adapted by James Dobner and directed by Aaron Cromie.

In this funny, fast-paced play, Cherestani and Farruscad fall in love, and when they wed, Cherestani makes Farruscad, a mortal king, swear that he will never look into the box containing the secret of her fairy origins. When Farruscad eventually succumbs to his curiosity about the box, Cherestani and his life with her are ripped away from him, and her evil fairy sisters make him perform a torturous—but hilarious—series of tests to earn her back and secure their future together, including fighting a bull and a giant and kissing a serpent who turns out to be a magically transformed Cherestani. But the ultimate tests are still to come, and if Farruscad at any point curses Cherestani for these hardships, she will once again be transformed into a serpent and the two will be lost to one another forever.

The Serpent Woman is a rarely performed tragicomic fable originally written in 1762. It is part of the theatrical tradition of commedia dell’arte, which began in Italy in the 16th century, and is characterized by the use of masked, stock characters and a highly physical style of comic acting. Gozzi’s classic plays mix the magic of fairy tales with the commedia tradition.

The Theater Program of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges strives to foster creative collaboration between students and faculty, and its productions have won accolades from area critics for years. The Program’s production of The Serpent Woman is high energy and filled with beautiful oversized puppets and masks made by the actors and director, Aaron Cromie, who is known for his work in the commedia form and in mask making and puppetry.

The Serpent Woman closes the Theater Program’s 2013-2014 season, with six performances (April 11, 12, 13 and April 17, 18, 19) at the Hepburn Teaching Theater (Goodhart Hall, Bryn Mawr College). Opening night is Friday, April 11.


Tickets for THE SERPENT WOMAN are free and open to the public. Reservations can be made online, via email, by phone at (610) 526-5210, or in person at the Bryn Mawr Office for the Arts (Goodhart Hall).

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Performance Schedule:

Friday, April 11, 7:30pm - Opening Night
Saturday, April 12, 7:30pm
Sunday, April 13, 7:30pm
Thursday, April 17, 7:30pm
Friday, April 18, 7:00pm
Saturday, April 19, 7:30pm


Aaron Cromie, Director
James Dobner, Translator/Adapter
Maiko Matsushima
, Scenic and Costume Designer
Michael Kiley
, Sound Designer
Jose-Antonio Domenic Chacon, Lighting Designer
Justin McDaniel, Technical Director
Joshua Samors, Assistant Technical Director
Amy Radbill
, Production Manager and Props Designer
Maya Neville
, Stage Manager
Monique Alfonso, Master Electrician
Lucy Shaw, Sound Engineer
Julie Henrickson,
Costume Assistant


Graham Barrett (HC ‘15), Emma Basen-Engquist (BMC ’17), Delia Bloom (BMC ’15), Sofi Chavez (BMC ‘17), Ellen Cohn (BMC ’17), Megan Thomson Connor (BMC ‘14), Amelia Couderc (BMC ’16), Camilla Dely (BMC ’15), John Dominguez (HC ’15), Kristin Kury (BMC ’16), Qi’er Luo (BMC ‘15), Ilena Pegan (BMC ’17), Ryan Rebel (HC ’14), Erica Rice (BMC ’17), Bruce Willis (HC ‘16)


Mark Lord, Program Director,
Catharine Slusar, Instructor,