To Tread Among Serpents

FULL LENGTH - In the summer of 1959, an ambitious magazine reporter is sent deep into Southern Appalachia to cover the gruesome ax murders of two men. The killer, a religious snake handler with shady connections to organized crime, embraces the writer’s strategy to remake her into a sexy, celebrity-like cover girl. An escalating battle for control emerges when the women’s dual pursuit of illicit wealth and...
FULL LENGTH - In the summer of 1959, an ambitious magazine reporter is sent deep into Southern Appalachia to cover the gruesome ax murders of two men. The killer, a religious snake handler with shady connections to organized crime, embraces the writer’s strategy to remake her into a sexy, celebrity-like cover girl. An escalating battle for control emerges when the women’s dual pursuit of illicit wealth and lurid public adoration brings out the Devil in them both.
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To Tread Among Serpents

Recommended by

  • Molly Wagner:
    8 Oct. 2020
    Captivating, thrilling, and filled with suspense TO TREAD AMONG SERPENTS is a fascinating examination of our obsession with true crime and the stories that we are most interested in believing rather than what could be taken as truth. The characters are specific and compelling and the setting of the piece is so distinct it almost becomes it's own character.
  • Maximillian Gill:
    19 Feb. 2020
    Gloriously steeped in the milieu of southern Gothic and crime. The details, references, and language are so specific and evocative that you can just smell the Spanish moss (not that I would know what it smells like). McBurnette-Andronicos has created an incredible character in Violet, someone so off-kilter yet charming you could easily follow her down any dark path. The language of the dialogue is beautiful and rhythmic, some of the soliloquies read like prose poems. More great lines than I can mention, but here’s a favorite: “A civilization’s only as fast as its slowest mailman.” Marvelous!
  • Everett Robert:
    11 Jul. 2018
    To Tread Among Serpents is a play that should be produced right now, by theaters across the country. A haunting tale that is a pot boiler while also turning the light on those that would profit from horrific tales of true crime that the public feeds on. Less, in my mind, southern Gothic and more Southern Noir, this powerful play weaves a story of religion, small town life, corruption and the destruction of the innocent (and who is innocent) where the snake handling worship is both an inciting factor and metaphor. A must read, a must SEE.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Clamour Theatre
    ,
    2020
  • Reading
    ,
    Barter Theatre
    ,
    2016
  • Reading
    ,
    Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette
    ,
    2014

Production History

  • University
    ,
    Jacksonville State University
    ,
    2015

Awards

Finalist
,
TNT POPS! New Play Project
,
Texas Nonprofit Theatres
,
2016
Semi-Finalist
,
O'Neill National Playwrights Conference
,
Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
,
2016
Dionysia New Play Competition
,
Khaos Company Theatre
,
2015
Finalist
,
The Green House
,
Strange Sun Theatre
,
2015
Semi-Finalist
,
Dionysos Cup Festival of New Plays
,
Polarity Ensemble Theatre
,
2015
Semi-Finalist
,
New American Voices Play Reading Series
,
The Landing Theatre Company
,
2015
Semi-Finalist
,
New Play Festival
,
Centre Stage
,
2015
Semi-Finalist
,
New Play Reading Series
,
New Origins Theatre Company
,
2015
Winner
,
World Premiere Staged Reading of a New Play
,
Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette
,
2014
Finalist
,
Summer Scribes Series
,
12 Peers Theatre
,
2014
Semi-Finalist
,
Br!nk Award
,
Renaissance Theaterworks
,
2014
Winner
,
Southern Playwrights Competition
,
Jacksonville State University
,
2014