Bret Fetzer, playwright
72 pgs. 1 female, 9 male +ensemble
Originally produced in SCT’s 2006-07 season
Run Time: 64 minutes
Audience Recommendation: 4+
Outside the gates of the ancient Chinese city of Wu, young Han, an orphan, and his pet pig Ping, keep the entrance swept and tidy. Han spends his time using his trusty broom to practice his fierce soldiering skills so he can help protect the city one day. A Hermit who lives nearby is disturbed by Han’s boisterous games. Han politely ignores her and continues his “training,” until a Merchant comes to the gate. The wily trader tricks Han into giving up all he has, even his beloved Ping, in exchange for worthless, old goods. Luckily, a Servant from the ruling Mandarin’s kitchen comes to bring Han his meal for the day and gets all of Hans things returned to the boy by outwitting the slick trader at his own game.
A Monk asks Hans to bring him to the palace to see the Mandarin, a great, if somewhat simple, ruler. Here the Monk tells of an evil tribe of warriors called the Wild Horsemen. Han belatedly realizes the Monk is no monk at all-he is really one of the Wild Horsemen! The bumbling Mandarin decrees that all of Wu must pray to the Great Cloud Dragon for help, giving Han the important task of waiting for the Dragon’s arrival at the city’s gates. On hearing the commotion, the Hermit emerges from her cave and announces that she is, in fact, the Dragon. Although, he doubts her, Han is always polite, so he takes the Hermit to see the Mandarin. The leader has no time for the rantings of a silly old lady. He beckons a guard to throw them out, but Han recognizes the guard as the Horseman. When the Mandarin refuses to help save Han, the Horseman turns on the poor child, who luckily manages to make his escape. The rest of the city begins to flee, but Ping will not abandon his home. And Han will not leave his pet behind. The Hermit arouses Han’s sympathy, and he invites her back to his ramshackle hut to weather the attack. Han gives the Hermit all his meager food and water, which touches her heart. Due to Han’s bravery and generosity, the Hermit saves the city from the Wild Horsemen and, at last, reveals her true Dragon form. And now Han knows the future he’d like for himself-being a dragon.
“Seattle playwright Bret Fetzer succeeded in expanding Jay Williams’ fairy tale into an engaging script, lacing it with liberal amounts of humor and beefing up the characters.” – Seattle Daily Herald
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