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Courtesy of Bakersfield Christian High School

Mulan, center, is played by freshman Amber Bockover. She prays to her ancestors Yun, left, played by senior Elsa Braun and Lin, played by senior Kim Ruiz.

Bakersfield Christian High School presents the powerful story of Mulan, a Chinese girl who breaks her culture's norms by disguising herself as a man so she can go to war in her elderly father's place. "Mulan Jr." -- unlike the 1998 animated Disney film from which it was adapted -- has the benefit of narration, which adds commentary on the social issue of a woman's role.

In the end, Mulan's talents are finally recognized, as well as her virtues of honor, loyalty, strength and love. The show's director, Scott Neese, is excited to tell the story and particularly enjoys the opening scene, in which he says you get a slice of village life.

Audiences receive the benefit of an immersive theater experience. Chinese architecture, as well as a live student orchestra, give the show an edge. Performers include a cast of alumni, junior high and elementary school students, as well as a school administrator. Family-friendly preshow activities include Chinese calligraphy, puzzles and coloring pages.

In addition to hands-on activities the drama class will present a shadow puppet show, and there will be a mixed choir performance. Refreshments of green tea and dessert sushi will be served.

"Being a part of the cast is exciting because the cast is not just high school students from BCHS," said BCHS senior Kim Ruiz, who plays Lin, one of four ancestors.

-- Elsa Braun is a senior at Bakersfield Christian High