Bailey Middle School Drama Club to perform “Mulan”
Bailey Middle School Drama Club to perform “Mulan”
Posted on 04/08/2014
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WEST HAVEN, April 7, 2014 —The Bailey Middle School Drama Club will bring a Disney favorite to life this week when its nearly 75 cast members perform “Mulan JR.”

The seventh- and eighth-grade students will perform the musical April 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. in the Bailey auditorium and have been working on the production since January. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students, while Bailey students can come for free as long as they are with an adult.

“They’re doing excellent. They take it seriously. I feel a lot of them are in it because they’re finding a love for the stage,” said Bailey social studies teacher Francine Lucibello, who is assisting with the musical. “We have many students who go on from our Drama Club to the stage at West Haven High School.”

The Drama Club puts on one show a year, with Co-director Leila Mustakos, the school’s chorus teacher, alternating between serious and lighthearted plays. She chose “Mulan” because students requested a Disney production, they were familiar with the story, and it comes with some catchy tunes.

“Mulan” tells the story of a girl who disguises herself as a boy to serve in an army in China to protect her father and the rest of her family. The play is considered a “junior” version because it’s shortened and music is altered to fit with a middle-schooler’s voice, said Mustakos, who is directing the play with Bailey teacher Caitlin Pinto.

Some of the student actors in “Mulan” already have goals of being on stage after high school. Bobbie James, an eighth-grader who plays the lead role of Mulan, hopes to have a career in theater or music.

"I enjoy coming to rehearsal and singing. It's what I look forward to after a long day at school,” she said.

For Briyana Mondesir, a seventh-grader, the “Mulan” musical is her first time having a starring role. She was previously in plays at Carrigan Intermediate School.  She plays Mushu, a dragon character who is Mulan’s closest companion and protector.

"This is the first time I've gotten a lead. I was in the background before in other plays. Classes can be hard, and so is waking up early for school. But what helps me get up in the morning is thinking, 'I get to go to Drama Club today!’” Briyana said.

All students involved are cast members for this year’s play, while back stage duties will be handled by teachers, West Haven High School student volunteers and alumni. Parents have also assisted with set and costume design, and they will be selling snacks during the performances as a fundraiser for the Drama Club.

“We try to expose as many kids as possible to live theater,” said Mustakos. “For some, this will be all they do, but others will be involved in drama when they get to the high school. It’s a bonding experience. When they kids finally see the play come together, they’re amazed at the transformation.”

 

Contact: Communications Director Susan Misur, 203-937-4300 X7114; susan.misur@whschools.org