Madrigal Singers Dinner Theatre Christmas tradition goes virtual

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The Madrigal Singers present their first virtual dinner theatre, a show called “2020: A Disgruntled Madrigal Experience.”

Although this holiday season may be different for everyone, the OHS Madrigal Singers have found a way to spread holiday cheer virtually with the MADS Dinner Theatre. Traditionally, the MADS choir puts on a sit-in show with songs and skits, but this year, they had to think outside the box and carry on this tradition virtually.

The show is called “2020: A Disgruntled Madrigal Experience,” and it consists of two portions: a traditional Renaissance-themed royal court section and a comedic skit. This year, instead of purchasing a comedy skit online, choir students and teachers collaborated to create their own script. Although the comedic section typically takes place in the Renaissance Era, this year, it is based on the NBC series “The Office.”

“The comedic portion is based on characters from The Office trying to plan a virtual Madrigal Dinner Theatre show in the midst of Covid,” explained choir director Mrs. Chelsea Ayres.

For the “Office” portion, students played spin-off characters based on the TV series. Some of the main characters include Henri Groves (12) as “Micha,” Gabriel Boll (12) as “Jimothy,” Sarah Brutton (11) as “Spam,” Sam Kiethline as “Principal Jan,” and Donn Dischert as “Dwigt.”

For the traditional royal court scene, choir students played various royal figures. Sam Kiethline (11) played the Town Crier, Matt Rumping (12) the King, Miko King (12) the Queen, Dorothy Deru (12) the Princess, Donn Dischert (11) the Jester, and other students played the rest of the roles.

Along with these skits, the show also incorporates songs, of course. According to Ayres, students did most of the work in their homes on Zoom calls and independent videos, but a small group rehearsed and recorded together at OHS. There are seven songs in total. Five of these were recorded in a group at OHS and the other two were recorded using a soundbooth to record individual voices and put them together. 

“It was obviously different from the years prior,” said choir student Gavin Sandvoss (11). “But I still think the

production was great.”

The final video included 34 videos clipped together to create one production. After stitching together songs and skits, the link was made available on Friday, Dec. 18 on the OHS website and OHS Choir Facebook page. You can also access it here.

The choir program created this production despite the limits of the pandemic to bring joy during these difficult times. 

“Students can feel free to share the link with someone who needs a smile for Christmas this year,” said Ayres. “Whether that’s a grandparent who is stuck inside, a friend who has been quarantining, or anyone else.”