Play Guide - Disney's Mulan Jr.

What will you
2015-2016 Season Play Guide
On stage: February 24 – March 4
10:00am and 11:45am
Our Mission to Schools, Teachers and Students
The mission of Lexington Children’s Theatre’s Education
Department is to provide students of all ages with the
means to actively explore the beauty, diversity, complexity and challenges of the world around them through the
dramatic process. We strive for young people to develop
their own creative voice, their imagination and their understanding of drama and its role in society.
Program Review Information
Not only does our programming align with KCC
Standards, but this Play Guide as a whole is aligned
with the KY Arts and Humanities Program Review
under the following demonstrators:
Demonstrator 2: a,c,d
Demonstrator 3: a,b,d
Demonstrator 4: d
418 West Short Street
Lexington, KY 40507
Dear Educator,
Lexington Children’s Theatre is proud
to be producing our 77th season
of plays for young people and their
families. As an organization that values the arts and education, we have
created this Play Guide for teachers
to utilize in conjunction with seeing a
play at LCT.
Our Play Guides are designed to be
a valuable tool in two ways: helping
you prepare your students for the enriching performance given by LCT’s
performers, as well as serving as an
educational tool for extending the
production experience back into your
We designed each activity to assist in
achieving the Kentucky Core Content
(KCC) and to integrate the arts with
your core curricular subjects.
Teachers are important voices at
LCT. We rely heavily on your input. If
you have comments or suggestions
about our Play Guides, show selections or any of our programming, your
thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Please respond to the Teacher Response form following a performance.
We are thrilled that you rely on LCT to
provide your students a quality theatrical experience, and we hope this
resource aids you in extending our
production into your classroom.
LCT’s Education Department
Play Synopsis
The Fa family Ancestors take us back to ancient China on
Mulan’s big day to meet the village Matchmaker. But a nervous Mulan wrecks her betrothal ceremony, dishonoring the
family and making herself feel terrible. Fa Zhou is unexpectedly called to the army by Chi Fu, the Emperor’s councilor,
having no son to join for him. Against her aging father’s
command, Mulan steals Fa Zhou’s helmet and sword,
dresses as a boy, and runs away from home to go
in her father’s place. The Ancestors have no choice but to
send the misfit dragon Mushu to stop Mulan, who will be killed if she is discovered.
As Shan-Yu and the Huns prepare to attack China, Mushu helps Mulan act like a soldier. Mulan
reinvents herself as “Ping” and joins the men, Yao, Ling, and Qian-Po, to endure Captain Shang’s
grueling training. The Chinese Soldiers march to defend a mountain village from Shan-Yu, but arrive too late. While the soldiers greive, the Huns attack. Mulan triggers an avalanche, which covers the Huns and saves the Soldiers from destruction. Shang honors Ping, only to discover Mulan
beneath the helmet. Mulan is disgraced, but allowed to live.
Suddenly, Shan-Yu and the Huns emerge from the avalanche and race toward the Imperial City.
Mulan tries to warn Shang. At the Emperor’s Palace, the Chinese people celebrate the defeat of
the Huns. While Shang ignores Mulan, Shan-Yu surprises and kidnaps the Emperor. Mulan convinces Shang and the Army to dress as women to distract Shan-Yu while Mushu signals the army.
The Guys save the Emperor, Mulan defeats Shan-Yu, and the Huns retreat. The Emperor honors
Mulan’s bravery, to everyone’s surprise and delight. Back at home, Fa Zhou welcomes his beloved,
and honorable, daughter. The Ancestors invite Mushu into the Fa family Temple as a full-fledged
Your Role in the Play
You may wish to have a discussion with your class
about your upcoming LCT experience and their
role as audience members. Remind your students
that theatre can only exist with an audience. Your
students’ energy and response directly affects the
actors onstage. The quality of the performance
depends as much on the audience as it does on each
of the theatre professionals behind the scenes and
Young audiences should know that watching live
theatre is not like watching more familiar forms of
entertainment; they cannot pause or rewind us like a
DVD, there are no commercials for bathroom breaks, nor can they turn up the volume to hear
us if someone else is talking. Your students are encouraged to listen and watch the play intently,
so that they may laugh and cheer for their favorite characters when it is appropriate. At the end of the play, applause is an opportunity for your students to thank the actors, while the
actors are thanking you for the role they played as an audience.
Before the Play
Oral storytelling remains a rich tradition in China; professional storytellers became common figures
in bazaars and marketplaces. Work together with your class to tell a story together! Have students
sit in a circle and begin telling a story together one at a time. Each student should get to say two
or three sentences worth of action before moving on to the next student. Challenge students to listen to each other and create an understandable story with a clear beginning, middle, and end and
consistent characters.
KCC: WR-EP-1.1.2; WR-EP-2.3.2
You will need: a deck of cards, and an open space
In Mulan, Jr, characters are expected to follow traditional family roles to ensure honor for their family.
Explore status with this simple exercise! Have each
student draw a card from a deck of playing cards
(you can also make your own from index cards or
post-it notes). Without looking at their card, each student places it on their forehead so the number faces
out. Establish that 2 is the lowest status card and ace
is the highest. Have the class walk around the room
and non-verbally interact with each other based on
the cards they see on their classmates’ heads. If they
think they have a higher card than someone else,
this might change how they interact with that person. After a few minutes of this, have the class
attempt to line up (without speaking) in numerical order. Then reveal the cards and see how accurate their line is. Afterwards, reflect with your class: What kind of clues did you get from others to
help you figure out your card? How did it feel to be treated that way based on your card?
KCC: PL-06-1.1.1
The poem, Ode to Mulan ( is one of the
original sources for the legend of Fa Mulan.
After reading this poem to your students, discuss
the events of the poem and make a list of the
important plot points.
In groups of 3-5, have students create frozen
pictures of one of the important plot points in the
KCC: RD-EP-2.0.2; RD-EP-2.0.5
Troublesome Tangrams
Tangrams originated in Imperial China sometime between the 7th and 10th
centuries. These puzzles became a popular past time. Following along the
bold lines, cut along the black lines to create the shapes or “tans” that are
used to create larger, more intricate puzzles. When positioning the shapes
to make new pictures, make sure the pieces
are touching, but never overlapping. Using
the patterns to the right, create an image
of a Warrior, like Mulan, and a Dragon, like
Mushu. Then, create a tangram image of
your own!
KCC: AH-EP-4.4.2; AH-06-2.4.1
Welcome to Ancient China!
“You’ll bring Honor to us all”
Traditional Chinese
symbol for “honor”
Why so much talk about honor? Honor is great respect. Respect for
your elders, respect for your family, and respect for tradition. This mentality has a lot to do with Confucianism. Confucianism is a philosophical
system focusing on ethical and virtuous leading and living. By praying
to your ancestors you acknowledge and honor who they were and the
things they did when they were alive. People in Mulan’s time would
pray to their ancestors in hope that they would pass their prayers on to
the heavens. Everyone had a place in society and in their family. It was
honorable to fulfill the duties of the place you were born into. Parents,
people of Authority, and men were deemed higher in lines of honor than
women. What risks does Mulan take based on the world she is living in?
Confused about Confucius?
Confucius was a philosopher and teacher born 551 BC .
His teaching encouraged an ethical approach to leading
and living one’s life. He stressed the importance of respect
for family and elders and encouraged self discipline and
love for one another with a focus on character and virtue.
Although the story of Mulan takes place 200 years after the
death of Confucius, people living in the latter period of the
Han Dynasty followed his teachings, known as Confucianism. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart” Sound like
one of our characters?
“You need both together”
Many people are familiar with the yin and yang symbol. This symbol is fundamental in chinese
philosophy dating back to the third century. This icon symbolizes balance. Yin and Yang show
how opposites attract and compliment one another. As you will see in our story the characters
must find balance in their personalities and tactics in achieving their
goals. Yin represents darkness, femininity, and negativity. Yang
represents brightness, masculinity, and positivity. These forces interact and are not entirely one or the other, like day becomes night
and night becomes day. The symbol represents a fluidity of ideas,
and how ideas change and adapt to the needs of a situation. As
you watch the play, look for how the characters in Mulan learn to
use the idea of Yin and Yang. What starts out as their dominant
trait and what causes the shift?
Yin and Yang symbol
Extend the Experience
Instead of “rock, paper, scissors,” this is “fan, dragon, sword.” Have the
class come up with a full-body action that can be made with the words
fan, dragon, and sword. Once the actions are agreed upon, have students find a partner to face-off with. Remind them that:
Sword beats Dragon
Fan beats Sword Dragon beats Fan
This activity is done tournament style. To start dueling their partner, the
groups say “Fan, Dragon, Sword, Fire!” Once a pair has faced off, the
loser then begins to follow the winner around while chanting their name.
If a winner from the first bracket loses in a later bracket, they (and their entourage) join the entourage of the winner. This continues until there are two finalists and the rest of the class is chanting
one of their names.
KCC: AH-04-1.3.2, AH-04-1.3.3
There are many differences between Mulan Jr. the play and the Disney movie. Divide students into
groups of 4-6 and recreate a moments from the play and the movie. Each group will come up with
two frozen images: one image from a moment in the play, and one image from a moment in the
movie. The goal is for the audience to understand what moment in the movie and play the performers are recreating and to discuss why these moments might have been changed to accommodate
a stage performance.
If students haven’t seen the movie, here are some ideas of differences to get started with:
MOVIE: The Chinese Army discovers Mulan
is a woman from a doctor who heals her wounds.
PLAY: Mulan’s hair tumbles out of her helmet.
MOVIE: Shang hands Mulan a sword.
PLAY: Shang hands Mulan a broken fan.
MOVIE: Mulan starts the avalanche by firing a rocket.
PLAY: Mulan starts the avalanche by yelling loudly.
Students should feel free to use whatever moments THEY remember that are different as well.
KCC: AH-04-1.3.2, AH-04-3.3.1
In this play, the director chose to use the actors to show the elements of nature. Divide students
into groups of five and give them each a different natural disaster to act out.
Some options for natural disasters include: earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, flash flood,
blizzard, drought, etc.
First, have students create a frozen image of their disaster; then they will activate their frozen image only using their bodies for up to 30 seconds. Finally, have students add sound to their activated
image. After each group presents all three forms of the natural disaster, have the class guess what
the disaster is and how they knew what it was!
KCC: AH-EP-3.3.1, AH-04-4.3.2
Your Chinese Zodiac Animal
This chart contains the different zodiac animals that are within the Chinese New Year. Identify
which animal you are based on the year you were born, then draw that animal in the empty box
doing something that you like to do. For instance, if you were born the year of the rooster, and
you like to play soccer, you may draw a rooster scoring a goal! Feel free to add as many personal details as you would like; does this animal wear the same clothes you wear? Are other
animals needed to perform this activity?
KCC: SS-06-2.1.1, SS-07-2.1.1, AH-04-3.4.1
Suggested Reading
Fa Mulan: The Story of a Woman Warrior
by Robert D. San Souci and Jean & Mou-Sein Tseng
Fa Mulan studies the art of war, and becomes skilled with the
sword and fights in battle. Fearing the discovery of her true gender, Mulan is anxious about the consequences for her family.
Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China
by Ed Young
Three little girls spare no mercy to Lon Po Po, the granny wolf, in
this version of Little Red Riding Hood where they tempt her up a
tree and over a limb, to her death.
The Talking Eggs
by Robert D. San Souci (Author), Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator)
In this adaptation of a Creole folktale, kind, young Blanche befriends a hideous old “aunty” on a path near her home and is
rewarded with magic eggs.
Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun’s Kung Fu
by Emily Arnold Mccully
The story of two legendary female kung fu masters who may have lived in the last part of the 17th
Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China
by Ai-Ling Louie
This Chinese Cinderella evokes the mythic past in ancient times.
LCT Teaches in your School!
Let LCT’s professional artists bring their extensive experience into your classroom. An LCT residency program is designed to offer young people the opportunity to learn in a dynamic, fun and challenging way. LCT
tailors a residency to the needs of your students, curriculum and budget. We offer residencies that range
from a single visit to a month-long intensive program.
Performance Workshops - Two-week intensive unit culminating in a
performance. LCT provides all scripts, costumes, props and scenery.
Empathy in Action - This residency is a week-long residency with a
focus on anti-bullying and tolerance.
Playwriting - Students will work to develop their creative writing skills
through an interactive writing program.
Science and Art - Students can explore a variety of scientific concepts using drama. Experience the wonders of nature, animals, bugs,
weather, plants, recycling, or the rainforest through the use of roleplay,
movement and pantomime.
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