Madrigal dinners are a Christmas tradition incorporating music and dinner theater set in a fanciful late medieval or Renaissance theme. Bridgewater College's Art, Music, and Theatre programs as well as the BC Program Council and Kline Campus Center staff worked together to host an annual madrigal dinner from 1970 to 2001. Bridgewater College's Pinion Players also produced a Madrigal Dinner in 2006.
Primary sources in the Bridgewater College archives show that BC's thirty years of madrigal dinners included musical performances by the BC Chorale as well as dancing and entertainment by the costumed performers portraying a king and queen and their court. Students and faculty also played instrumental music, including an annual Recorder Consort performance. The Bridgewater College Alpha Psi Omega chapter wrote a script each year for the show. Cast members included the court jester and sometimes a court magician, juggler, international ambassadors, and mummers.
The entrance of the boar's head, borne by liveried servants, was an important part of the annual tradition as were a processional entrance of the court, wassail toast, Christmas pudding, and recessional. Students styled as medieval castle servants waited on the tables of performers and guests. These dinner shows took place in the Kline Campus Center dining room, which was decorated in medieval style.
In 1975, Bridgewater College hosted an American Colonial themed Christmas. The 2001 Madrigal Dinner was Robin Hood themed.
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