A group of about 50 students have been working since August to put together the musical, which chronicles the adventures of a young woman, Mulan, as she grapples with socially accepted gender roles and discovers independence, in the end saving the Ming Dynasty from invasion.
Two days a week for the last six months a team has formed among strangers, said Holly Smith, the drama director at MSGA and Kenneth Grant, the school’s chorus director.
The Sixth Grade Academy is a melting pot of students from the district’s eight elementary schools, and when auditions for the play were in August, the drama students were strangers to each other.
After months of blocking, memorizing lines and learning choreography, the students can now sing, dance and act as one, and many are now close friends, Grant said.
The show lasts just over an hour, and has been condensed from the popular Disney movie version to accommodate a middle school audience, Smith said. A number of new songs have also been added to the screenplay but songs from the movie, including “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” and “Reflection,” have stayed, Smith said.
“I enjoy seeing the students get their first experience with theater, and my goal is when they leave us, they want to be in a play again, to keep arts growing in the community,” Smith said.
The shows will be performed in Marietta High School’s newly completed $7 million Performing Arts Center, and are expected to draw between 300 and 350 people both days, Smith said.
WANT TO GO?
• WHAT: Marietta’s Sixth Grade Academy performs ‘Mulan’
• WHEN: Tonight, 7 p.m. and Saturday, 2 p.m.
• WHERE: Marietta Performing Arts Center, 1171 Whitlock Ave. NW
• TICKETS: $5 adults, $3 children, students