1992 Yushi and the Thunder Dragon

BYU Children’s Book and Play Review

Yushi and the Thunder Dragon

Nov/Dec 1995

Hudson, Chuck. Yushi and the Thunder Dragon.
Encore Performance Publishing, 1992.
$3.00. 22pp.

A- K-6, Family
Reviewed by M. Colleen Lewis

This mythical tale, performed in one act, is based on Japanese Folklore. The young hero, Yushi, has fallen from his father’s ship and lost his memory. In the quest to discover his identity Yushi meets The Wise Old Man. The Old Man directs Yushi to the Garden of Shojo-ji where he will be able to learn his past by means of a dream. However, the mischievous Tanuki Badgers sing and drum on their bellies, trying to keep anyone from falling asleep and dreaming in the garden. Yushi does finally have his dream and it leads him to the Terrible Thunder Dragon. From the dragon he learns that he is the son of the Emperor. Yushi falls in love with the Dragon’s beautiful daughter and she returns with him to be his empress.

Yushi is a wonderfully enchanting script brought to life through the use of Bunraku-like puppets and the beauty of the Japanese sets, costumes and music. There is endless creative opportunity in set, prop, and lighting design. One female and three male actors are needed with six to ten extras (extras should have a strong sense of physicality and movement). Yushi would be best suited for a professional theatre company.