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This year the students of Branksome Hall Asia created an original script which was performed as our annual production of, ‘Mulan, The Orchid Among the Thorns’. The team was composed of 13 students from Grades 8-11. They were; Grade 8 - Jiyul Lee, Sieeun Rhee, Grade 9 - (Elin) Seohyun Jang, Mijung Kang, Wieroo Park, Grade 10 - Jiho Chang, Haonan Liu, Seojin Park, Yebin Yun, Grade 11 - Hyunyong Choi, Anneke Lee, Kaya Saeve Van Den Handel. Here, Haonan Liu tells us about the group’s writing process. 

The inspiration for our play is a classic Chinese ballad entitled, ‘The Ballad of Mulan’ about a girl who breaks the gender restrictions and social expectations of her community to join the army in her father’s place. There have been many interpretations and recreations of this story over the past five centuries, and as the members of the scriptwriting team, we took courageous and creative leaps to give a new sense of meaning to this story and create, ‘Mulan, The Orchid among the Thorns’. This tale, while being inspired by the original ballad, weaves in new storylines and characters that enhance the original message of female empowerment to be relevant to a global demographic. 

Additionally, this play represents the cultural harmony present at Branksome hall Asia. We, as the Script-Writers took the time to implement trilingual elements into the script in both dialogue and songs. These elements included  English, Chinese, Korean. At the same time, with the efforts of our cultural advocates, we kept many concepts in ancient Korean and Chinese in the script, such as filial piety and rituals. 

It was a precious experience for us as writers. We have grown as the script progressed. We have learned to write for characters, devote our energies to the characters, persevere, and overcome the difficulties collectively. We developed the ability to exchange ideas in an open and accepting manner.  

Mulan not only existed in ancient China; every girl in Branksome can be as brave, kind, smart, independent and strong as Mulan. We hope the girls who watched our play can be inspired and motivated by our story.

People are running towards their future dreams that may include travel to international places. However, this play also reminds us to remain connected to the culture of our homelands.  Be proud of what you are, your nationality, your skin color, and your gender.


Mulan Scriptwriters Group