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DL High School gets ready for Madrigal dinners: Medieval fun and games

The DL High School Choral Department presents the popular Madrigal Dinners on Dec. 15, 19 and 22 at the high school.1 / 3
McKENZIE MALY, right, helps fellow maiden Natalie Roth into a feather hairpiece during a recent rehersal for the Madrigal Dinner.2 / 3
QUEEN EMMA WOOD AND KING STEFAN BOEHM will preside over the dinners.3 / 3

Hear ye! Hear ye! The Detroit Lakes High School Department of Music heartily welcomes all lords and ladies of the lakes area to enjoy a magical evening of music, song and lively entertainment.

There will be three opportunities to partake of this glorious Madrigal Dinner: Thursday, the 15th of December; Monday, the 19th; and Thursday, December the 22nd.

Seating will begin promptly at 6:15 p.m. each evening, with the Royal Fanfare to signal the start of the feast at 7 p.m.

Unlike years past, however, the venue for the dinners will not be the Historic Holmes Theatre, or the National Guard Armory.

This year, the setting will be the multi-purpose room at the high school.

"I think I speak for the entire artistic staff when I say we're thrilled to be doing this at the high school this year," said Madrigal Dinner director Kathryn Larson.

"It's exciting for us -- having the dinner right on site is ideal," said Mark Everson, skit director for the dinner. "We have easy access to everything."

"There's a commercial kitchen right down the hallway -- that's a major reason for our excitement," Larson added.

Not only that, but the costumes and sets can be stored right at the school instead of having to be hauled to and from the venue for the dinner.

"It's been quite challenging for us in the past," Larson said. "This is going to be so nice ... we're very appreciative of the people who have been so generous and understanding of our desire to host the Madrigal Dinner at the high school."

But as is usually the case when planning an event at a new venue, adjustments have needed to be made.

"This year is a little different -- we're using backdrops," said Carol Nustad, one of the scenic designers for the dinner. "We've always had gray stone (for the background) -- this year, it will be brown.

"It's going to be very exciting this year because we're in a new place -- we've had to plan very differently," she added. "I'm looking forward to seeing what it will look like."

Set designer and master carpenter Greg Mueller has been working with Chris Heyer, Mike Nustad and Mike Williams on constructing the sets for the new venue.

"Our sets were built for the Holmes Theatre -- they won't fit in here," Everson explained.

The skit which forms the framework of the evening's entertainment has also been revamped, with "lots of pop culture" included, Larson said.

"We created the framework (for the skit), but they (the students) were the ones who filled in the details," Everson said. "They did all their own script and arrangements -- it's been pretty impressive.

"I think they had fun doing it too," he added. "It's very different from anything else we do theatrically -- a lot of the rehearsals we do end up being improv.

"We let the kids be free to experiment with improv, to get the final version we want. It's the kind of theater they don't get to do very much, but improve is an important part of learning to act, and this group in particular seems to be very good at it -- they're very creative."

The premise of the evening is that the King (played by Stefan Boehm) has become quite bored with the traditional Christmas celebrations of years past, and challenges the Jester (Kathryn Lembke) to "spice it up a little."

"It's been challenging, but fun," Everson added.

"We started putting a contemporary twist on the skits a few years ago," Larson said. "The skit is meant to be very silly and fun ... the concert (which concludes the evening's entertainment) is more of a reflection of the spirit of the season."

During the dinner, guests will also be entertained by "wandering minstrels, jugglers, beggars and dancers," Larson said.

"The courses of the meal will be announced in song," she continued, adding that the dinner will be prepared by Duane Dunrud, Marge Kvilvang and the school district's kitchen staff.

The Royal Court will be played by members of the Laker Singers, and the concert will include the 9th grade, varsity and concert choirs as well as the "Madrigal Brass" and a recorder ensemble.

Basically, the Madrigal Dinner is modeled on a medieval feast -- in fact, the costumes were inspired by a visit to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival this past summer.

"We had a tour guide who gave us a lot of ideas on how the costumes should look," said Michelle Norby, one of three costume designers for the production. "We did a lot of research."

In all, the cast of the Madrigal Dinner includes approximately 200 performers -- dancers, singers, musicians and actors.

"It's been challenging, but fun," Everson said.

Madrigal Dinner 2011

The Royal Court

Jester: Katherine Lembke

King: Stefan Boehm

Queen: Emma Wood

Ladies: Taylor Anderson, Katlynn Arens, Laura Berger, Beth Champa, Haley Foster, Shea Henderson, Kaleigh Herte, Olivia Johnson, Heather Loberg, Mackenzie Maly, Mckenzie Mann, Mariah Neuhauser, Natalie Roth, Madalyn Schiller, Emma Wood

Lords: Daniel Arndt, Stefan Boehm, Max Boyd, Nathan Friesen, Ian Fritz, Jacob Kempenich, Steven Labine, Brady Otto, Cole Remmen, Mark Shipman, Stephen Sinclair, Sam Velde

The Madrigal Players

Bella: Alexa Anderson

SNL Cheerleader: Taylor Anderson

Snookie of the Jerseyshire: Laura Berger

Team Jacob Fan Girl: Haley Foster

Monk: Nate Friesen

Team Edward Fan Girl: Kaleigh Herter

J'wow of the Jerseyshire: Olivia Johnson

Monk: Jacob Kempenich

Monk/Jacob: Steven Labine

Monk: Heather Loberg

Monk: Cole Remmen

Edward: Mark Shipman

SNL Cheerleader: Sam Velde

Beggar Student Directors: Laura Berger, Olivia Johnson

Beggars: Olivia Anderson, Cody Edwards, Sami Foltz, Emilee Freeman, Kendra Gilsdorf, Anne Holzgrove, Frankie Hutchinson, Tristian Johnson, Abby Krause, Logan Moe, Tom Sorum, Mykenzey Watchorn, Michaela vonNiederhausern, Alycia Windingland

Dancers: Missy Larson, Madeline Lembke, Grace Lindquist, Megan Vogt, Kalley Waller

Madrigal Brass: Amber Davidson, Kaitlyn Gossell, Greg Johnson, Jeff Johnson, Olivia Vogt

Wandering Minstrels: Alexa Anderson, Katlynn Arens, Danny Arndt, Stefan Boehm, Max Boyd, Sierra Braukmann, Beth Champa, Sam Champa, Haley Foster. Karly Hammer, Shea Henderson, Kaleigh Herter, Katie Heyer, Ashley Holzgrove, Caleb Howard, Olivia Johnson, Jacob Kempenich, Steven Labine, Heather Loberg, McKenzie Mann, Rebecca Meyer, Mariah Neuhauser, Cole Remmen, Natalie Roth, Madalyn Schiller, Stephen Sinclair, Austin Weber, Emma Wood

Ninth Grade Choir: Shania Alto, Alexa Anderson, Garrett Armstrong, Veronica Badurek, Brooke Bahr, Brittany Baker, Rayna Barnett, Tyler Bellefeuille, Sam Bellware, Kristina Bryant, Breanna Buck, Deveree Bunnis, Casey Butler, Sam Champa, Brandon Christen, Amber Eidenschink, Madison Fegely, Kendra Gilsdorf, Madison Gjersvig, Chandler Gray, Danica Greer, Alyssa Guck, Taylor Hanson, Lindsey Heinecke, Katrina Heyer, Madeline Hoffert, Caleb Howard, Frankie Hutchinson, Alexis Jenson, Hanna Jenson, AddieKay Johnson, Tristan Johnson, Nihaar Joshi, Carolyn Kinney, Sarah Klein, Darren Kunkel, Megan Lahlum, Sarah Labine, Melissa Larson, Krista Leaf, Matthew LeCount, Madeline Lembke, Evan Maly, Olivia Mann, Rebecca Meyer, Abigail Morrison, Kaitlyn Murphy, Alex Neuhauser, Shay Nielsen, Desire Noel, Jordan Nolan, Hannah Okeson. Jade Olson, Luke Payne, Miranda Puttbrese, Forrest Schleske, Josie Schmit, Tianna Schwartz, Emily Seebold, Keli Somdahl, Savannah Soyring, Bronson Spies, Hannah Spry, Alex St Claire, Michaela Stevenson, Abby Ullyott, Megan Vogt, Michaela vonNiederhausern, Dalton VonRuden, Kalley Waller, Brittany Waslaski, Austin Weber, John Wiebolt, Sophie Wood

Varsity Choir: Annika Anderson, Olivia Anderson. Katlynn Rose, Sierra Braukmann, Destiny Bueno, MaryKate Caulfield, Abbigail Coder, Amber Davidson, Kylee Edwards, Michelle Fanaselle, Samantha Foltz, Emilee Freeman, Kaleigh Herter, Kara Hillard, Kathryn Kinney, Emily Klarer, Mackenzie Koppe, Mckenzie Kuehl, Courtney LeCleir, Grace Lindquist, Mckenzie Mann, Bethani Mueller, Grace Olson, Tanisha Perlmutter, Chinatta Rueangkaeo, Madalyn Schiller, Kaelyn Stalberger, Alexis Stambach, Amanda Stone, Isabelle Straumann, Taylor Vonderharr, Kimberly Watro, Brittanie Watson, Olivia Wilde

Concert Choir: Taylor Anderson, Daniel Arndt, Jurnee Bashford, Laura Berger, Stefan Boehm, Max Boyd, Marissa Bridgeman, Beth Champa, Brian Clark, Conner Collins, Cody Edwards, Stephen Erb, Ayla Erickson, Haley Foster, Danielle Francis, Ashley Friesen, Colton Friesen, Nathan Friesen, Ian Fritz, Tyler Glander, Katherine Glass, Samantha Grones, Ashley Hagerman, Karly Hammer, Courtney Hedstrom, Joya Hekkanen, Shea Henderson, Lydia Holm, Anne Holzgrove, Ashley Holzgrove, Lacey Illg, Olivia Johnson, Jacob Kempenich, Travis Kienitz, Jordan Kimball, Travis King, Shantel Kluenenberg, Celeste Koppe, Abigail Krause, Steven Labine, Sadie Larson, Katherine Lembke, Joshua Lish, Heather Loberg, Taylor Magnuson, Mackenzie Maly, Joseph McGrath, Mariah Miller, Logan Moe, Heidi Nelson, Mariah Neuhauser, Brady Otto, Cole Remmen, Michael Richter, Natalie Roth, Brianna Seebold, Mark Shipman, Lauren Sinclair, Stephen Sinclair, Thomas Sorum, Kristen Strong, Brook Thompson, Sam Velde, Lindsay VonRuden, Mykenzey Watchorn, Alycia Windingland, Emma Wood, Simona Woodard-Greene, Zachary York

Artistic Staff

Director: Kathryn Larson

Accompanists: Susan Champa, Paul Heisler

Skit Director: Mark Everson

Brass Director : Kristine Schuldt

Choreographer: Grace Lindquist

Costume Design: Michelle Norby, Madalyn Sukke, Kari Williams

Scenic/Artistic Design: Jonathan Danielson, Carol Nustad, Rae Windloss

Set Design/Master Carpenter: Greg Mueller

Set Construction: Chris Heyer, Mike Nustad, Mike Williams

Parent Volunteer Coordinator: Rhonda Wood

Sound Design: Pat Voigt

Sound Technician: Luke Wiebolt

Light Design: Mark Everson

Makeup Design: Julie Morben

Caterers: Duane Dunrud, Marge Kvilvang, ISD 22.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454