Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred)
This family-friendly musical comedy re-imagines the Brothers Grimm tale with a high school drama team, desperate to win the local thespian competition.
Show Essentials

Full Synopsis

As our story begins, we meet the members of the Viking Drama Team and are launched into the world of high school drama competition. Having made it through the sections of Shakespeare, Pantomime and Musical Theatre Sectionals, the team is getting ready to rehearse for their part in the Fairy Tale Finals. A chance to advance to the International High School Theatre Olympics is on the line, and the competition is fierce, but the team members' confidence is even fiercer ("The Might Fighting Vikings").

The next day on their way to rehearsal at school, best friends and Viking Drama Team members Melissa and Melinda meet in the hallway. Between guessing and hoping who is going to get cast in the new fairytale play and which boy each of them is going to take to the Sadie Hawkins dance on Friday, the girls have plenty to discuss ("TTYL, XO"). Once they arrive at rehearsal, team leader and two-year-drama-camp veteran Juan Carlos announces that the team will be performing his self-written fairytale, Snow White, Rose Red for the final sectional competition. Met with less enthusiasm than he'd hopedr, he quickly announces that Melissa and Melinda will play the title characters, respectively; Sammy will play Bear, the romantic lead; Claudia will serve as narrator, scenery, incidental music and sound board operator; and he himself will take on the role of evil villain Flugenwumpel. The members are somewhat appeased by this, but express their doubts about competing against schools that are doing lavish productions of classic fairytales. Juan Carlos tells them not to worry and throws himself into an elaborate telling of the plot of his new fairytale ("More to the Story"). However, when he stops, halfway through, to reveal that he hasn't finished writing it, the other team members' doubts deepen.

A few days later as the cast return to rehearsal, a radio announcement is heard that gives the quick lowdown on the current state of each of the Fairy Tale finalists ("ESPN Moment #1").

A week has passed, and the team members are exhausted. Juan Carlos has had them rehearsing around the clock, constantly giving them new dialogue as he finishes and finesses the fairytale. Back from a short rehearsal break, Melissa and Melinda – as their characters, Snow White and Rose Red – sing ("Is There Anything That's Better Than a Sister?") and then carry on into the next rehearsal scene, in which Sammy enters as his character, Bear, and befriends the fictional sisters. Sammy's allergies continue to plague him throughout the scene, but they all finally make it through, and Juan Carlos makes his grand entrance, dancing around madly as the evil Flugenwumpel ("The Flugenwumpel Song") Just then, the bell rings, and the team gather their things for their next class. As they leave Melinda, Melissa and Claudia begin to talk about their date prospects for the upcoming Sadie Hawkins dance. When Claudia says that she isn't going, Melissa and Melinda inform her that just because she isn't popular like they are, it doesn't mean that she should miss out on the potential fun ("So What?"). Offended, Claudia runs out, leaving the girls obliviously lost in their own song and dance.

As Juan Carlos and Sammy sit in their next class, they begin to discuss the competition from the other schools. Sammy tells Juan Carlos all of the buzz that he's heard but, unsatisfied with this information, Juan Carlos convinces Sammy to go spy on one of the other teams. The bell rings, and it's back to rehearsal for the Fighting Viking Drama Team.

Picking back up where they left off, the team rehearses the rest of the fairytale, finally arriving at its climax, where Sammy's character, Bear, swoops in to save the sisters from the evil Flugenwumpel. Sammy's allergies are out of control, though, and he can barely make it through the scene between all of his sniffs and sneezes. They eventually do, though, and the team shares a round of congratulations before rehearsal comes to an end. Everyone leaves, except Juan Carlos, who sticks around to express his excitement and confidence about the looming competition ("What Could Really Go Wrong?")

The next day as the team members each talk separately on cellphones about the competition and Sadie Hawkins dance, disastrous news is revealed ("TTYL, XO – Reprise"). While spying on an opposing school that is doing Hansel and Gretel, Sammy ate some of their real gingerbread set, not realizing that he is allergic to gingerbread. Everyone panics, but by the next day, Juan Carlos has come up with a solution. As the team gather for rehearsal, Juan Carlos announces that he has recruited Fred to take Sammy's place. When Fred enters, Melissa and Melinda fall head-over-heels for his dreamy looks. Not wanting to waste time, the team jumps into rehearsals, beginning with the song that Juan Carlos has just completed for Fred's character, Bear ("Charming Again"). Everyone is stunned by how good Fred is in the role, and everyone, except Melissa and Melinda, exits to prepare costumes. Now completely smitten by Fred, the girls get into an argument over who is going to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins dance ("So What? – Reprise"). As the girls fight, another radio sports-like announcement is heard in voiceover, giving us an update on the Fairy Tale Finals ("ESPN Moment #2").

Finally, the day of the competition has arrived, and it opens like a high school football game, complete with the sounds of the cheering crowd, the team running through a paper sign and a hold for the national anthem. Then, a whistle is blown and the Fighting Vikings take the stage ("Is There Anything Better Than a Sister? – Reprise"). The girls start, as rehearsed, but things quickly spiral out of control as their anger towards one another over Fred escalates. Claudia and Juan Carlos try to maintain the show, but they are eventually forced to give up. Melissa and Melinda, tired of fighting, drag Fred onstage and ask him with which of them he'd like to go to the Sadie Hawkins dance. His answer surprises them ("Claudia"). Mystified that he would not choose them, Melissa and Melinda criticize Fred and make up just in time to end the fairytale on a happy note. The crowd goes wild as the Fighting Vikings win the Fairy Tale Finals.

As if things could not get much better for the winning gang, just as they are about to depart, Fred reveals that he has two identical twin brothers. Melissa and Melinda are ecstatic ("There's Enough to Go Around").



Cast Size: Small (Up to 10 performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

A cheerleader and member of the Drama Team. She plays Snow White in the play. A bit naive, her friendship is strained when she and Melinda fight over Fred.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: G3
A cheerleader, member of the Drama Team, and Melissa's best friend. She plays Rose Red in Juan Carlos's play. Well-meaning and a little oblivious, she fights over Fred with Melissa.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Juan Carlos
An enthusiastic playwright/actor/director and leader of the Viking Drama Team. A theatre camp veteran, he is very grand and over-the-top. He also plays the Evil Flungenwumpel in his own show.
Gender: male
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: G#4
Vocal range bottom: A2
A nebbishy and allergy-prone member of the Viking Drama Team, who plays The Bear. He later suffers an allergic reaction and returns as his gorgeous cousin Fred at the very last minute.
Gender: male
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: G#4
Vocal range bottom: A2
A studious member of the Drama Team. She is saddled with all the side jobs and parts in the play. Deadpan and blunt, it initially looks like she has boy troubles but secretly attracts Fred.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: Ab3
Full Song List
Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred): The Mighty Fighting Vikings
Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred): TTYL, XO
Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred): More To The Story
Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred): Is There Anything That's Better Than A Sister
Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred): The Flugenwumpel Song
Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred): So What?
Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred): What Could Really Go Wrong?
Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred): Charming Again
Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred): So What? (Reprise)

Show History


Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred) is a musical comedy for young audiences with book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich.  The play-within-the-play is based on the actual fairytale, Snow-White and Rose-Red by the Brothers Grimm.  The former titular character is not to be confused with the other character, Snow White, from the popular Grimm's fairytale.  Heisler and Goldrich used many elements from their relationship and writing partnership in creating the best friend characters of Melinda and Melissa.


The Kennedy Center commissioned Heisler and Goldrich to create Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred).  The duo was previously known for its work on the children's musical, Dear Edwina, as well as several Disney KIDS stage adaptations, including Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians.  The musical premiered at the Kennedy Center and ran from November 26, to December 19, 2010.


  • Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred) was nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards, including Best New Play or Musical and Outstanding Production Theatre for Young Audiences.

Critical Reaction

"Witty, zippily executed.... Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred) aces its spoof of extracurricular dramatics."
– Washington Post




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This play was commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing
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Orchestrations and Digital Accompaniment created by Matt Castle & Frank
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