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Students prepare for holidays

Anna Boarini | Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It may be the day before Halloween, but Saint Mary’s fine arts students and faculty are already revving up for the Christmas season.

The College’s Department of Music and Department of Theatre have begun preparations for the Madrigal Dinner, an annual medieval-themed holiday celebration in its 40th year at the College.

Theatre professor Michaela Duffy said the event incorporates song and dance into a commemoration of Christ’s birth.

“[The Madrigal Dinner] is a feast celebrating the nativity, with performers in traditional garb, usually singing traditional Christmas music and sometimes featuring actors, dancers, jugglers or other performers,” she said.

This year’s event will include a redesign of the production’s traditional set. Duffy led a team of students responsible for the set redesign for this year’s celebration.

“The previous scenery was a backdrop hung behind the risers where the singers stand,” she said. “There were also Christmas decorations hung throughout the hall. This year, we’re adding backdrops throughout the entire hall and adding even more Christmas decorations.”

Having been at the College for seven years, Duffy said she is excited to see the revamped production come together.

“We’ve been very busy painting and sewing and we are very excited to see the new elements for this year’s dinners,” she said.

Senior Sophia Korson is also a member of the team working on the set. Duffy tasked her scenic design class with the redesign last spring, Korson said.

“As you can imagine, out of our ideas came some good ideas and not so good ideas,” Korson said. “But Michaela took bits and pieces of our good ideas and added a lot of her great ideas and developed the design that you will see at Madrigals this year.”

Korson said the event is not only a chance to perform but also an opportunity to engage with the audience.

“It’s a great way to meet new people who come year after year to these dinners,” she said. “It’s also just awesome to stand in the middle of a room with everyone watching as you make a fool out of yourself.”

The Madrigal Dinner will run Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.