Written by Tiffany Logue
Disney’s “Mulan” was one of a handful of plays performed during the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival.
The performance I viewed was on opening night, June 24.
The play was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed watching the outcome of the OSF’s hard work and the children’s pride in showing their talent.
“Mulan” was the children’s theatre production directed by SE’s Riley Coker. According to the cast of characters given out at the door, there were about 60 actors for “Mulan.”
I never imagined so many children would be involved.
One complaint I did have for the play was that there were so many male parts being played by girls. However, I realize that it is a complaint the OSF staff could not have changed. They could not force more boys to agree to participate.
In the play, Mulan, played by Paxton Ezell, stands in for her father when the Chinese military drafts him to go to war. She is guided by her lucky cricket, played by Kristen Bryant and the guardian that her ancestors sent to help and guide her—Mushuthe dragon—played by Kathleen Murray.
Ezell did a wonderful job playing Mulan. She captured Disney’s version of Mulan very well and helped the younger children remember to sit and when to go offstage.
The one problem Ezell had to face was when her portable microphone box fell from her costume. She did a very good job of trying to not let the audience notice the problem and replaced it offstage.
The character I found to be my favorite was Mushu. Of course, it is no surprise that Mushu is the one I loved most because Disney’s lovable dragon, played by Eddie Murphy, was my pick too.
Murray did a fantastic job of portraying Murphy’s character in the OSF play. She was the comic relief for the play that kept me laughing.
I also loved the long dragon all of the characters helped bring out for the celebration scene in “Mulan.” It took approximately 15 children to carry it out and down the aisle of Montgomery Auditorium.
It helped the audience love the play more because the dragon brightened up the play. The dragon came out during the upbeat music for the Chinese celebration and danced throughout the auditorium a few times. As the children made it dance, the dragon helped the audience become entertained and amused.
The dragon also helped the characters who were not as frequently seen to enjoy themselves. There were not many big roles, and it gave the actors of the smaller roles a chance to be seen more frequently as well. It was a great idea for the play.
The dragon helped me feel like I stepped into a festival in China. I always think of dragons as a symbol for Chinese culture. Therefore, having the large dragon was a wonderful surprise.
Another compliment I have for “Mulan” was the way the cast worked together during the play. It is never easy to keep small children’s attention for long. However, the children who took part in “Mulan” were great at working together and showing the audience that the SE OSF staff helped them succeed at teamwork.