Bringing the Chinese legend of Mulan to life at Woodbridge Middle School
Posted on 06/06/2019
The entire cast of Mulan Jr. on the set following the betrothal scene

Woodbridge Middle School continued their long tradition of producing a spring musical presented by many talented student performers. This year, they produced “Mulan, Jr.” as their spring musical.

The Fa family ancestors; Laozi (Launa Longwell), Lin (Jami Manneh), Zhang (Delight Ghirmay), Hong (Danielle Thompson), and Yun (Alaina Krimmer) introduce the setting of the show. It begins on the day Mulan (Odessa White, Julia Calli) is set to meet the village matchmaker (Marleigh Pearson). Mulan's father, Fa Zhou (Markus Alibright, Owen Lewis) prays to his ancestors that she will make a good match. However, Mulan ruins her betrothal ceremony, bringing dishonor to the Fa Family. Shortly after Mulan’s failure with the matchmaker, Young Xiao (Cohen Coppock), a bureaucrat, conscripts her father, Fa Zhou into the army after Shan-Yu (Jack Proksch) and the Huns invade China. Disguising herself as a boy, Mulan runs away from home and takes her father’s place in the army. The Fa family ancestors task the dragon Mushu (Satin Shariati, Kaylin Schoolcraft), a family guardian, to stop Mulan before she is killed for her impersonation.

On the way to join the army, Mushu gives Mulan advice on how to act like a man, in opposition to his orders to bring her back home. When Mulan arrives at the army training camp, she introduces herself as "Ping" and undergoes training under Captain Shang (Ihan Breen, Markus Albright) with Yao (Asher Hall), Ling (Miles Krenz), and Qian-Po (Cohen Coppock.) The soldiers travel to a mountain village to protect it from the Huns, but when they arrive, they find the village is destroyed. While the soldiers react to their failure, the Huns attack. Mulan triggers an avalanche which buries the Huns, allowing the soldiers to escape. Shang gives Ping his eternal trust but soon discovers that Ping is Mulan. He chooses not to kill her for saving his life but leaves her behind instead.

Shan-Yu and the Huns dig themselves out of the snow and travel to attack the Imperial City. Mulan goes to Shang to warn him of the impending attack, but she is ignored. The Chinese people have gathered at the palace to celebrate defeating the Huns. During the festivities, Shan-Yu kidnaps the Emperor (Musu Kaloko.) After Mulan convinces Shang to listen to her plan to save the Emperor, she tasks Shang, Yao, Ling, and Qian-Po to dress as women and they all sneak into the palace. The soldiers, Mushu, and Mulan split up. The Emperor is rescued while Mulan fights and defeats Shan-Yu. The Emperor acknowledges and rewards Mulan for her bravery. She returns home and is welcomed back by her father. Shang visits her with the intention of becoming her suitor. Mushu is rewarded for helping Mulan bring honor to the Fa family by the ancestors who promote him to Family Guardian.

Mulan’s Standout:
Costuming shows with large casts is extremely challenging. This production rose to the challenge and excelled with costumes that were a spectacular mix of fabrics, colors, styles, and historically accurate. The layered robes, that were large and loosely flowing, consisting of contrasting colors and patterns, provide a clear placement in the Wei and Jin dynasties in China. The costumes enhanced the actors' performances as they told the story of Mulan, clearly providing the audience a visual placement in ancient China.