Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Ancestors
The Ancestors should have strong focus as they are observing the action throughout. They also need to be strong actor/singers that can carry solo work. It is helpful for them to match what they represent in either manner or physical type. Laozi (pronounced LAU-tsi) represents Honor and is the leader of the group. Lin represents Loyalty and is the hardest on Mulan; Lin does not appreciate any challenges to the old-world belief system. ZHANG (ZANG) represents Strength, the strong silent type. Hong represents Destiny and is Laozi's right-hand man. Yun (YOON) represents Love and is Mulan's greatest advocate from the beginning - the mother figure that eventually encourages the others to support Mulan for who she is.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Fa Zhou
Fa Zhou (fa ZOO), Mulan's father, should be cast with a confident and calm performer who has a strong presence and can sing, at least a little. Without playing "older," his calm strength contrasts with Mulan's frenetic energy at the top of the show. We see that Mulan is truly her father's daughter when she grows wise through her journey.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Fa Li
Fa Li, Mulan's mother, is someone who also possesses strength but understands her place in her generation and culture. There is a definite wisdom that she passes on to Mulan, so use a smart actor who is able to carry a tune.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Grandmother Fa
Grandmother Fa - again, age is not the concern here, but cast a performer who can covey wisdom and humor. Grandmother sees greatness in Mulan, but still wants her to achieve it through tradition. Although she does not need to be a strong singer, an actor with mischief in her eye will work well here.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Mulan
Mulan should be your strongest performer. She is on stage for most of the show and needs to carry a great deal vocally while telling the story. This young performer needs to have strength and courage in her performance and be convincing in her passion and determination to protect her father and family. Casting against a leading-lady type may help your show deliver the story in a surprising and profound way.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Mushu
Mushu (MOO shoo) - although comedy is very important for this character (a talking dragon), remember that we have to feel sympathy for Mushu's struggle to get back into the Temple. Don't just cast your funniest performer, but one that is comfortable talking to and connecting with your audience.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: D4
The Matchmaker
The Matchmaker provides comic relief through the "straight man" approach. Cast someone with an overbearing presence who can maintain her composure through a comic scene.
Gender: female
Chi Fu
Chi Fu (chee FU) is your typical "bad guy," the quintessential political character, manipulative and proud to a fault. Casting someone with tremendous confidence will help you set up Chi Fu's authority early on. It might be fun to have him model a famous political leader.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: E4
Shan-yu
Shan-Yu (shawn YU) - You want an actor who can command of the stage here - someone with tremendous presence who can convince the audience that he can lead an invasion. Casting an actor of size may be helpful, but is not a necessity.
Gender: male
Shang
Shang needs to have strength, but also the openness to learn from Mulan. Casting a brawny guy with no heart will weaken the relationship between Mulan and Shang. Remember he is general's son but has a brain too. He needs to be a strong vocalist and should a good stage presence.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Yao

Yao, Ling and Qian-Po (cheeann-PO) - "the Guys" - should be able to work as a team but be diverse in type to help distinguish them from the other Chinese Soldiers. Yao considers himself to be a big tough guy; he has a bark and bite, but all in all a good person. Casting a trio of actors who are willing to have fun is important. They need to be misfits in the army, like Mulan, and able to really play around while dressing up like maidens during the show's climax.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: E4
Ling

Yao, Ling and Qian-Po (cheeann-PO) - "the Guys" - should be able to work as a team but be diverse in type to help distinguish them from the other Chinese Soldiers. Ling is a bit of a scam artist, and not the brightest guy in the world. Casting a trio of actors who are willing to have fun is important. They need to be misfits in the army, like Mulan, and able to really play around while dressing up like maidens during the show's climax.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: E4
Qian-po

Yao, Ling and Qian-Po (cheeann-PO) - "the Guys" - should be able to work as a team but be diverse in type to help distinguish them from the other Chinese Soldiers. Qian-Po is a real sweetheart of a monk who would rather have a good meal than a battle scene. Casting a trio of actors who are willing to have fun is important. They need to be misfits in the army, like Mulan, and able to really play around while dressing up like maidens during the show's climax.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: E4
Ensemble
The Ensemble provides sound effects throughout the show, but also steps into the action when needed to play Fathers, Mothers, Daughters, Sons, Dressmakers, Hairdressers, Groomers, Young Hsaio, Older Yi, Young Yi, Magyar, Subar-Tu, Chen, Liu and the Cheongsam Salesperson. The featured roles vary in size and vocal requirements, but the Ensemble will be needed to provide vocal power throughout and dance in the production numbers, so be sure to cast performers with a wide base of ability.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: G3