Students at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School are prepping for their upcoming staging of Disney’s Mulan.
Performances run Feb. 27th-28th at the Memorial Centre, with doors opening at 6:45 p.m. and curtain set for 7:15 p.m.
According to a release, Mulan is a story of a Chinese maiden who learns that her weakened and lame father is to be called up into the army in order to fight the invading Huns.
“Knowing he would never survive the rigours of war, Mulan decides to disguise herself and join in his place.
“Her ancestors order a tiny disgraced dragon, Mushu, to join her in order to force her to abandon her plan. Mushu agrees, but when he meets Mulan, he learns that she cannot be dissuaded and so decides to help her in the perilous times ahead.”
Instructor Robert Ford is thrilled with his talented troupe who have worked so well together since last September in bringing the project together. Overseeing a massive production that includes more than 80 students is certainly a challenging task, but Ford has enjoyed every minute of it.
“The cast is about 77, with another 36 backstage on crew, make-up; I have students running light and sound, too. It’s student-driven,” he said. “It’s very much a team effort.”
Another teacher, Chantal Boos, has really been a help with extensive vocal work as well, he said.
Meanwhile, with this show as with many in the past, there is plenty of support from the St. Francis community as well.
“I highly value the idea of community. We have kids who have been in the program for years – they all come back, and everybody knows who everybody is and everyone works together. Grade nine students also provide leadership for the Grade six kids; the Grade 10, 11 and 12 students are working with the students in Grade 9.
“That’s one of the things I’m most proud of – it’s very much a community; almost family-like,” he said. “I also love how willing the kids are to step out of their comfort zones…and the perseverance they have.”
The appeal of the story itself has also been a highlight.
“It’s a story that says it doesn’t matter who you are, or what your background is – if you put your mind to something, you can accomplish pretty much anything.”
Tickets are $7 per person or $20 for a family of four. They are available at the school office or at the door.