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Students perform in the 2014 Madrigal Dinner Theater show.
Credit: Courtesy of Kiya Fix
Students perform in the 2014 Madrigal Dinner Theater show. Credit: Courtesy of Kiya Fix

Students turn back the clock with Medieval dinner theater show

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A group of Ohio State performers are travelling back in time with a Medieval dinner theater show this weekend.  

The 17th annual Madrigal Dinner Theater is being held by the Medieval and Renaissance Performers Guild, but it isn’t necessary for audience members to know a lot about the Medieval time period to enjoy the show.

It’s not like there’s a huge historical background that you need to know to understand the plot, it’s really just a show that you could see on TV but set in the Medieval setting,” said Gabrielle Delanois, a third-year in strategic communications and PR coordinator for the Medieval Renaissance Performer’s Guild.

The group has been preparing for the show since the beginning of the Autumn semester. The script and set are created by the members of the group, who are also actors in the show.

This year, the group has brought a major change to the show and will be providing food from Toast of the Town, a Columbus food truck, which they will also partner with in the spring for their annual renaissance fair.

“We’re really trying to branch out from what we usually do, usually we just offer veggie platters and cheese plates and this year we’re really trying to branch into hot food,” said Daniel Thomas, a third-year in engineering and president of the Council for the Medieval and Renaissance Faire, a sister organization to the Medieval and Renaissance Performer’s Guild.

Along with the Toast of the Town platter, there are fruit and vegetable platters and desserts on the menu, which can be ordered online beforehand. Food will be served throughout the night, and, according to Delanios, it is meant to be a part of the experience.

“The way we tie (the food) in is that the cast is hosting this dinner and you’re all lords and ladies who have been cordially invited to attend, so they are serving you treats and delicacies from their time,” Delanios said.

Along with adding a larger variety of food to the menu, the group has worked to make the show’s content appealing to all ages.

“(In the past) there have been things that haven’t worked well for everyone,” Thomas said. “There have been acts that were not going to appeal to older audience members.”

The show itself follows a plot, but features several skits that aren’t connected. The main storyline will feature three actors, and follows a con-woman who is trying to swindle two nobles.

Unlike in traditional theater, the dinner show is more improvised than scripted. Actors are given a character to embody and act according to the personality of that character.

“In our type of theater, you don’t get lines, you just kind of have to think about how would the person I am trying to be act and think and talk,” Thomas said.

Delanios said audience members often dress up in Medieval costumes and participate in the show.

“There is usually a large group of people that comes dressed up, when all of the graduating members come back and they act along with us and it’s a lot of fun,” Delanios said.

Students and community members are all encouraged to dress up and take part in the show, and Delanios said she hopes the group is able to reach Ohio State students and show them what the group does.

“We would love to see more students know about us and to get our name out there and for OSU to realize that this awesome, local theater is produced on campus every year,” Delanios said.

The Madrigal Dinner Theater show will be presented on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 at Summit on 16th United Methodist Church. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. both days. Tickets are $10 and available on the Council for the Medieval and Renaissance Fair website.

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