McGRATHPR.com – The Academy of The Company Theatre (A.C.T.) announces auditions for youth actors ages 8 to 15 for their upcoming production of Disney’s Mulan Jr., on Wednesday, September 5 and Thursday, September 6, from 3:30 to 6:00 pm at The Company Theatre Center for Performing Arts, 30 Accord Park Drive, Norwell. Disney’s Mulan Jr. has music and lyrics by David Zippel, Jeanine Tesori, Stephen Schwartz, Matthew Wilder, Alexa Junge, with adapted and arranged music, and additional music and lyrics by Bryan Louiselle, book adapted and additional lyrics by Patricia Cotter, based on the 1998 Disney film Mulan, and the story “Fa Mulan” by Robert D. San Souci. The production is directed by Kevin Mark Kline, with music direction by Melissa Carubia and choreography by John Crampton.
In Disney’s Mulan Jr., the setting is ancient China, and the Huns have invaded. The young girl Mulan defies the village matchmaker, takes up arms, and disguises herself as a boy in order to serve in the army. With her mischievous dragon Mushu by her side, Mulan prepares for a great battle, where she must choose between revealing her true identity as a girl or saving all of China with her master plan. Based on the Disney animated film, Mulan Jr. brings this ancient world to life with memorable hit songs and a story that warmly celebrates bravery, culture, and honor.
Actors should be strong singers and dancers, and plan to attend both days of auditions, which includes learning a song, movement, and character work. Students of all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to audition. Not all audition candidates will be cast.
The Ancestors: (Laozi, Lin, Zhang, Hong, Yun) should have strong focus as they are observing the action throughout. They also need to be strong actor/singers that can carry solo work. It is helpful for them to match what they represent in either manner or physical type. Laozi (pronounced LAU-tsi) represents Honor and is the leader of the group. Lin represents Loyalty and is the hardest on Mulan; Lin does not appreciate any challenges to the old-world belief system. Zhang (ZANG) represents Strength, the strong silent type. Hong represents Destiny and is Laozi’s right-hand woman. Yun (YOON) represents Love and is Mulan’s greatest advocate from the beginning – the mother figure that eventually encourages the others to support Mulan for who she is.
Fa Zhou (fa ZOO), Mulan’s father, should be cast with a confident and calm performer who has a strong presence and can sing. Without playing “older,” his calm strength contrasts with Mulan’s frenetic energy at the top of the show. We see that Mulan is truly her father’s daughter when she grows wise through her journey.
Fa Li, Mulan’s mother, is someone who also possesses strength but understands her place in her generation and culture. There is a definite wisdom that she passes on to Mulan.
Grandmother Fa – should be a performer who can covey wisdom and humor. Grandmother sees greatness in Mulan, but still wants her to achieve it through tradition. An actor with mischief in her eye and good comic timing.
Mulan is on stage for most of the show and needs to carry a great deal vocally while telling the story. This young performer needs to have strength and courage in her performance and be convincing in her passion and determination to protect her father and family.
Mushu (MOO shoo) – A comedic, fast-talking role with some big band style vocal numbers. He accompanies and aids Mulan on her journey and offers comic relief and commentary. Ability to move well a plus.
The Matchmaker provides comic relief through the “straight man” approach. Someone with an overbearing presence who can maintain her composure through a comic scene.
Chi Fu (chee FU) The manipulative and pompous advisor to the Emperor–the quintessential political character, manipulative and proud to a fault.
Shan-Yu (shawn YU) – The ruthless leader of the Hun army. Someone with tremendous presence who can convince the audience that he can lead an invasion.
Shang, the general’s son, needs to have strength, but also the openness to learn from Mulan. A strong singer with a commanding presence and charisma.
Yao, Ling and Qian-Po (cheeann-PO) – “the Guys” – should be able to work as a team but be diverse in type to help distinguish them from the other Chinese Soldiers. Yao considers himself to be a big tough guy; he has a bark and bite, but all in all a good person. Casting a trio of actors who are willing to have fun is important. They need to be misfits in the army, like Mulan, and able to really play around while dressing up like maidens during the show’s climax.
The Ensemble provides sound effects throughout the show, but also steps into the action when needed to play Fathers, Mothers, Daughters, Sons, Dressmakers, Hairdressers, Groomers, Young Hsaio, Older Yi, Young Yi, Magyar, Subar-Tu, Chen, Liu and the Cheongsam Salesperson. The featured roles vary in size and vocal requirements, but the Ensemble will be needed to provide vocal power throughout and dance in the production numbers.
Classes rehearsing the production are held from 3:45 to 5:45 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays during the production season, beginning Monday, September 10. Rehearsals during production week are held from October 28 through 30 in the afternoons or evenings and on November 1 in the evening. A complete production week schedule will be available at auditions.
A non-refundable audition fee of $20 is payable upon arrival. Tuition for the classes and production is $395 per student. Some financial assistance is available. Tuition is due following the casting announcement. A headshot is helpful but not required, and students should come dressed for movement. A completed emergency form must accompany audition candidates, available on the theatre’s website or upon arrival.
Mulan Jr. performances are November 2 through 4, from Friday through Sunday, matinee and evening performances are available. Tickets are $18 for students, $20 for adults, available at www.companytheatre.com.
A.C.T. was founded in 1987 by Zoe Bradford, Michael Joseph and Jordie Saucerman, with a mission to discover the creative spirit in each child in an enjoyable and challenging atmosphere and to build self-confidence through the experience of the arts.
For more information about auditions, please call or email Director of Education Melissa Carubia at (339) 469-1776 or [email protected]. For more information about A.C.T.’s after school classes and workshops, The Company Theatre, or to order tickets, visit www.companytheatre.com, or follow The Company Theatre Center for the Arts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.