A Madrigal Feast: Now That’s Confusing

BowieCCT1's picture

By Key Burton 
RHS Journalism 

The Redwater High School Voice of The Dragon Choir, directed by Debbie Reed, performed their renaissance dinner musical, “Silly Dragon And The Confused Cast of Id”, on Dec. 9. This event was a fundraiser for the choral ensemble to fund their trips to various contests around Texas.  “We made quite a bit of money, but of course we spent a lot of money this year,” Reed said. “We spent money on material for costumes and supplies and decorations those kinds of things, and we had a lot of things donated. But hopefully next year we can get more donations so we can actually keep more of that money.”  A Madrigal Feast, much like the familiar Medieval Times, is a dinner theatre that is set back in the Renaissance time, except there is no jousting. The event was in the works for quite some time, taking a year to plan and organize. “ I started planning last year, last spring, beginning to pick out music, thinking about the scripts, I actually wrote the script in August of this year, and then just designing costumes,” Reed said, “Pretty much it took about a year to organize and put together.” Having partaken in numerous feasts herself, Reed isn’t new to the medieval merriment.  “I actually participated in a Madrigal Feast when I was in college for four years, at Henderson State University, and it was just a really neat experience,” Reed said, “The songs, the music, and the action that you got and the interaction that you had with the audience, it was just a really special time and I wanted my students to be able to experience that.” The Madrigal Feast received high praises from school administration and patrons alike. 
“I think that the audience and community involvement was really cool, especially all the people not from Redwater that came to help,” senior English teacher Tanya Terry said. “The Star Wars and Wizard of Oz slapstick comedy was my favorite part.” Senior Ben Culp was in attendance to record the performance for his video production class.   “It was actually really good, I was pretty surprised,” senior Ben Culp said. “It was better than I expected, I could tell they spent a lot of time on it.” Culp also wanted to have the chance to see his video production teacher perform in the unique experience. The Redwater Dragon TV teacher, Colton Mullins, has a history of theatre, participating in Paul Pewitt’s One-Act troupe from his eighth-grade year to his senior year. “I really didn’t know what to expect, so when they asked me to sing I was kind of apprehensive,” Mullins said. “When I realized what it was, it was kind of like taking a step back in time to my high school days.” 
According to Reed, the best part about the performance was getting to know the students in a different setting. “So much of choir is just practicing a piece of music, going in, performing it, then you’re done,” Reed said. “But with Madrigal Feast it’s just  so many layers, there’s the theatrical layer, there’s the interpersonal layer where the students actually get to respond to the audience and go out in the audience. I think my favorite part of the performance was absolutely the ad lib,  just the spontaneous things that occur.” This is the second year that Redwater has offered choir in the student curriculum, and the program appears to be expanding its presence to be a service to both community members and alumni. Choir members were not the only ones to participate in the show, and this is something that Reed hopes to continue each year.   
“There’s a tradition that the alumni that graduate the following year will come back and line the center aisle and sing the last two songs with the existing choir, ” Reed said. “The goal is to make a kind of an annual event that keeps the graduates connected and brings them back so they get to relive their choral experience.”

Rate this article: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)