For many years, I have listened to L-Dub girls sing (as loudly as possible) the trademark song from Mulan, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.” Its irony has been a source of pride as the girls belt out the chorus while pantomiming martial arts moves. I was excited to finally bring that song to the stage and continue our proud tradition of “fighting like a girl.” While we struggled with Disney’s sexism and racism (again!), the theme of a young woman as a warrior was perfect for our young L-Dub warriors, as they had to attack a difficult musical score and learn some challenging dances, quick costume changes, and complex fight choreography. Like Mulan herself, the entire cast and crew showed strength in mind, body, and voice in every phase of the production from long rehearsals to last minute changes to the script. I was so proud to see the girls rise to the challenge, and I saw no need to make a man out of any of them – they all fight like girls!
As usual, many thanks are in order. The nine eighth graders on the crew brought artistic talent, organization, and energy to the show. It was with confidence that I turned the show over to the eighth graders who designed the lighting, painted the sets, made the costumes, and wrangled the Huns, soldiers, and dressmakers. Daisy Zajonc P'14 brought her inimitable musical direction and even brought her own brilliant percussionist, Joe Zajonc P'14, to add so much more to the music. With the coaching of the talented Jenn Brandon P'15, the girls' voices rose to new heights. The costume design and production is the vision of Jan Frederick P'09, '14 and her endless closet full of fabric, knick-knacks, and notions. The art department loaned us Ms. Lindsey, whose skills added to the magical look of our sets, props, and costumes. Ms. Chelsea stepped in to lead the girls in some crucial character development and some charming choreography. We all know that Ms. Eva P'16 brings her clipboard and her organization system to the 42 girls in this production, but what we didn’t know was that Ms. Eva can get 42 girls to do the hustle! Finally, I am indebted to the commitment and energy of Ms. Kirsten: she is responsible for the glorious sets as she worked out every detail of the flats, led the artistic team in creating the cherry trees, and gave attention to each blooming flower.
- Ms. Jenny
See all of the Mulan photos here.