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Youth Theatre to Present Mulan

The Bluefield Youth Theatre at Bluefield College will present Mulan, Thursday through Sunday, May 15-18.

Chris Shoemaker

May 5, 2014

Layton Romano as Mulan and Brianna Blume as her guardian, the dragon Mushu, in Bluefield College Youth Theatre’s production of Mulan, showing May 15-18 in Harman Chapel.

 

Based on the popular 1998 Disney animated movie of the same name, the BC Youth Theatre performances of Mulan will run at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, May 15-17, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 18. All shows will take place inside BC’s Harman Chapel, and admission for each performance will be $10 for adults and $5 for non-BC students and senior citizens.

 

Set during the Hun Dynasty in ancient China, Mulan is a story about a young girl who attempts to save her father by taking his place in the army during an invasion by the ruthless Hun army. With the help of her dragon, Musha, she joins the Chinese army to try to stop the ruthless hordes of Huns from overtaking her homeland. However, in the process, she becomes the hero of all China when she stops the Hun invasion with her own ingenuity and bravery.

 

“This is an inspiring story of a young woman trying to find her place in a male-dominated society,” said Charles Reese, a BC associate professor of theatre. “Through courage and determination, she proves her worth and makes a place for herself in society. It is a great story of perseverance and acceptance.”

 

The Bluefield Youth Theatre rendition of the story will feature a cast of 34 children and youth from the two Virginias, including Layton Romano, who will play Fa Mulan, the heroic Chinese girl at the heart of the legend, and Brianna Blume, who will play Mulan’s dragon, Mushu.
Kathryn Yates, Brian Fisher, Emma Donchetz, Emma Blevins and Joy Edwards will serve as Mulan’s guardian ancestors, while Dakota Davis will play Mulan’s father, Fa Zhou, and Katy Priest will play Mulan’s mother Fa Li.

 

Other cast members will include Alexandra Stout as Grandmother Fa, Elias Stout as the cricket Lucky Fa, Isaac Hodge as Captain Shang, Noah Jennings as the comical Mandarin Chin Fu, and Christian Yates as the Chinese emperor. Mulan’s sidekicks in the army will be played by Jacob Stowers, Cammryn VanDyke and Brian Fisher. Nick King will play Shan Yu, the villainous leader of the Huns.

 

Wrapping up the cast will be Sophie Goldsmith, Carrie Hall, Elise Jacobs, Sarah Jacobs, Ashleigh Kelly, Gigi Legget, Hayleigh MacMillen, Emma Miller, Jesse Stogner, Makayla Murphy, Axelle Neo, Io Neo, Flux Neo, Malik Robinson, Emma Seay, and Rachel White.

 

“This is by far the largest cast we’ve ever had for a Bluefield Youth Theatre show,” said Reese, who is co-directing the production with Rebecca McCoy-Reese, assistant professor of theatre. Theatre alumnus Bobby Hall is providing musical direction and choreography to tunes like “Keep ‘Em Guessing,” “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” “Reflection,” and “A Girl Worth Fighting For,” while theatre alumna Jennifer Bohannan is giving stage direction.

 

Bluefield Youth Theatre at Bluefield College began in the fall of 2007 when dozens of local youth responded to a call for auditions for the production of Treasure Island, a performance that would become one of BC Theatre’s largest and most popular ever. From that event, the vision was born to create a theatre company designed specifically for training and performance experience for the youth and children of the two Virginias.

 

In December of 2007, the concept came to fruition with The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the pilot production of Bluefield Youth Theatre. Since then, the group has staged 13 additional productions, including two repeat performances of Best Christmas Pageant, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Oliver Twist, Charlotte’s Web, Arthur at Merlin’s King’s Academy, A Christmas Carol, Jungle Book, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Narnia, and now Mulan. During those six-plus years, nearly 100 children have performed on the BC stage for audiences of more than 10,000.

 

For more information about Mulan or other Bluefield Youth Theatre productions, contact the BC Theatre Department by e-mail at or by phone at 276-326-4244 or 276-326-4213.

 

 

 

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