Full Synopsis

The Fa Family Ancestors take us back to ancient China, where Mulan’s big day to meet the village Matchmaker has arrived (“Written in Stone”). Mulan’s father, Fa Zhou, prays to the family ancestors (“Honor to Us All”) to no avail. A nervous Mulan wrecks her betrothal ceremony, dishonoring the family (“Honor to Us All – Reprise”) and making herself feel terrible (“Reflection”). Fa Zhou is unexpectedly called to the army by Chi Fu, the Emperor’s councilor, having no son to join for him. Against her feeble father’s command, Mulan steals Fa Zhou’s helmet and sword, dresses as a boy, and runs away from home to go in his place (“Written in Stone – Reprise”). The Ancestors have no choice but to send the misfit dragon, Mushu, to stop Mulan, who will be killed if she is discovered (“Honor to Us All – Reprise”).

As Shan-Yu and the Huns prepare to attack China, Mushu helps Mulan act like a soldier (“Keep ‘Em Guessing”). Mulan introduces herself as “Ping” and joins the Guys – Yao, Ling and Qian-Po – to endure Captain Shang’s grueling training (“I’ll Make a Man Out of You/Lesson No. 1”). The Chinese Soldiers march to defend a mountain village from Shan-Yu (“A Girl Worth Fighting For”), but arrive too late. While the soldiers grieve (“A Girl Worth Fighting For – Reprise”), the Huns attack. Mulan creates noise to trigger an avalanche, which covers the Huns and saves the Soldiers from destruction. Shang honors Ping, only to discover Mulan beneath the helmet. He spares Mulan’s life for saving his, but leaves her behind (“Written in Stone/Reflection – Reprise”).

Suddenly, Shan-Yu and the Huns emerge from the avalanche and race toward the Imperial City. Mulan runs ahead to warn Shang (“Written in Stone – Reprise”). 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 Guys to dress as women to distract Shan-Yu while Mushu signals the army (“Keep ‘Em Guessin’ – Reprise”). 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 (“A Girl Worth Fighting For – Reprise”). Back at home, Fa Zhou welcomes his beloved – and honorable – daughter. Shang surprises Mulan with a visit as a suitor instead of a captain. The Ancestors invite Mushu into the Fa Family Temple as a full-fledged Guardian (“Honor to Us All – Finale,” “Keep ‘Em Guessin’ – Bows”).

Character Breakdown

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 man. 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, at least a little. 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, so use a smart actor who is able to carry a tune.
Grandmother Fa – again, age is not the concern here, but cast a performer who can covey wisdom and humor. Grandmother sees greatness in Mulan, but still wants her to achieve it through tradition. Although she does not need to be a strong singer, an actor with mischief in her eye will work well here.
Mulan should be your strongest performer. She 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. Casting against a leading-lady type may help your show deliver the story in a surprising and profound way.
Mushu (MOO shoo) – although comedy is very important for this character (a talking dragon), remember that we have to feel sympathy for Mushu’s struggle to get back into the Temple. Don’t just cast your funniest performer, but one that is comfortable talking to and connecting with your audience.
The Matchmaker provides comic relief through the “straight man” approach. Cast someone with an overbearing presence who can maintain her composure through a comic scene.
Chi Fu (chee FU) is your typical “bad guy,” the quintessential political character, manipulative and proud to a fault. Casting someone with tremendous confidence will help you set up Chi Fu’s authority early on. It might be fun to have him model a famous political leader.
Shan-Yu (shawn YU) – You want an actor who can command of the stage here – someone with tremendous presence who can convince the audience that he can lead an invasion. Casting an actor of size may be helpful, but is not a necessity.
Shang needs to have strength, but also the openness to learn from Mulan. Casting a brawny guy with no heart will weaken the relationship between Mulan and Shang. Remember he is general’s son but has a brain too. He needs to be a strong vocalist and should a good stage presence.
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, so be sure to cast performers with a wide base of ability.

Auditions: Saturday, May 12 – 1pm-4:30pm at Indian Hill High School

All registration slots for Mulan JR. have been filled.  Please do not sign up for an audition for the show unless you are registered.  Thank you! We have started a waitlist, if you would like to be added please email Kimberly@CincinnatiAPA.org.

Auditions are not required, however if you would like to be considered for a role you must audition. All students that do not audition will still be an integral part of the camp and will be in the shows ensemble.  Please prepare the audition materials below.  If you would like to audition for a role but are unavailable on May 12 or you have other questions regarding auditions, please email Kimberly@CincinnatiAPA.org.

Ensemble Audition Song – Keep ‘Em Guessing

EVERYONE auditioning for the show should learn this cut of Keep ‘Em Guessing.  Click on the link above for a PDF of the music and use track below to learn and practice.

Keep ‘Em Guessing Audition Cut – 00:41-1:12


Female Role Audition Song – Reflection

Any female interested in a role should learn this cut of Reflection along with the ensemble audition song, Keep ‘Em Guessing.  Click on link above for a PDF of the music and use track below to learn and practice.

Reflection Audition Cut – 00:38-01:32


Male Role Audition Song – I’ll Make a Man

Any male interested in a role should learn this cut of I’ll Make a Man along with the ensemble audition song, Keep ‘Em Guessing.  Click on link above for a PDF of the music and use track below to learn and practice.

I’ll Make a Man Audition Cut – 00:10-00:38


The following dialogue will be used in auditions.  Look at these scenes beforehand especially if you’re interested in a specific part.  These do not need to be memorized.

Mulan & Mushu – SIDE 3
Matchmaker & Mulan
Shang & Mulan – SIDE 1