To the east of the Palace ran a golden river...
And just beyond the hills in a gentle green valley...
...Lived the Fa family. Father, mother, grandmother, big sister...
(MULAN enters, running, waving a
make-shift wooden play sword, triumphantly, calling over her shoulder.)
Ha-ha. You lose again!
...And Little Brother.
(LITTLE BROTHER enters, dragging
his sword. His is shiny and metal. ANCESTORS move
out of the scene up to the pagoda.)
That's only because your sword is lighter than mine! I could
win too if I didn't have to lug this big metal thing around.
Look! I can hardly lift it.
Yours is father's best! I'll be happy to switch with you if you like.
Ha-ha. That's a funny joke.
Why not? I'm much better at sword fighting than you are.
Why shouldn't I have the best sword?
Because you are just a girl. Swords are for men.
Seems to me swords are for the ones who know how to use them.
Well even if I wanted to switch swords with you, no one would let
me. I have to grow up to be a soldier. And you... you...
I know. I have to grow up and be a wife. (She
slumps down on a bench.) Little
Brother, do you ever think the gods got it all wrong?
Of course not. The gods are always right. The gods are in...
MULAN & LITTLE BROTHER:
...Harmony with nature.
I know, I know. But did you ever think maybe nature could use
a little "mixing it up"?
Mixing it up?
What if things were different? What if the sky was green and
the grass was blue? What if fish flew and birds swam?
Yeah, yeah. And maybe the cow will jump over the moon.
What if girls could grow up to be anything they want?
The world would explode that's what. You know what father
says. Everything has a yin and a yang.
You mean like this? (Jumps
up with sword, posing for a fight.)
with her.) Yang!
(They bang swords against each
other calling out "yin" and "yang" as they hit
until MULAN has him on the ground on his back, playfully holding her
sword high over LITTLE BROTHER when FATHER enters. We can see
that he has difficulty walking.)
Hey, hey! What is going on here?
(MOTHER and GRANDMOTHER enter.)
Ho-ho, father! I beat him again!
Mulan. You know better than that.
(MULAN helping LITTLE BROTHER up.)
Father, I am teaching him. He needs to know how to protect himself.
And you need to learn your place in the world, Mulan. You must act
like a lady.
Oh, that. I tried to act like a lady today when I went to see
the matchmaker. She told me I was hopeless.
And whose fault is that?
Father, I'm very good at some things! Like sword fighting and
(FATHER exchanges meaningful
look to MOTHER and GRANDMOTHER who bow their heads in agreement.)
And I can shoot an arrow better than any boy in the village!
And modesty? How are you doing in that department?
(MULAN sees MOTHER and
GRANDMOTHER with heads bowed.)
(Lowering her eyes.)
I shall learn to be modest in all things, father.
That's better. Now it is time to prepare tea. Run along
and help your mother and grandmother.
Yes, Mulan. Run along and make tea.
(FATHER gives him a reproachful look.)
I mean. Thank you for
teaching me today, Mulan. I shall do better tomorrow.
(LITTLE BROTHER exits.
MOTHER and GRANDMOTHER exit. FATHER sees how sad MULAN is.
He lifts her chin.)
Mulan. The butterfly must creep as a caterpillar before
unfurling its wings.
But then it gets to fly, father! How will I ever fly?
(FATHER picks up MULAN by the
waist - or holds her by the waist as if lifting her - and
"flies" her around the stage in playful fun.)
You will fly, you will fly! (Laughing,
he puts her down. He touches his back since the exercise has given
You will be what you want to be, Mulan.
Will I, father? Will I?
(FATHER puts his arm around
MULAN as they exit.
SOUND CUE #4:
Drums, winds of war, ominous WING music. [Fade volume during dialogue].) [sample]
But the north winds were growing colder.
Black storms clashed in the sky!
And even the Emperor did not know that war was soon upon them.
(WING enters from behind the
audience. ANCESTORS raise their arms about their faces as if in defense.)
(Wings outstretched, WING flies
down the aisle, fluttering long black wings over the audience's head
and landing on stage. WING flutters, pulsing in place as
GENERAL LU BU enters, also from the aisle, with Huns SUN WU and YU
FIE following. SOUND
GENERAL LU BU:
Now we are in place, men. Our enemy trembles just beyond the
ridge. Here we will rest until the moment is right.