Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Madrigal Dinner provides opportunities for student involvement

Emily Ng
Members of the Madrigal Theatre Committee, Logan Healey, Olivia Debeck, and Matt Hill prepare for the 32nd annual Madrigal Dinner in the Texas Union Ballroom.

While some students are passionate about sports or student government, Olivia Debeck, radio-television-film senior; Matt Hill, theatre and dance sophomore; and math senior Logan Healey share a passion for theater that led to their becoming instrumental in creating the Madrigal Theatre Committee’s 32nd annual Renaissance-style dinner and show.

Biology senior Thomas Kelleher wrote this year’s show, which Debeck, the show’s director, describes as having a darker tone than in past years while still remaining lighthearted and fun. The tale follows villains on a quest to release an evil curse upon the land. The entire story is told from the villain’s perspective.

“People who love theater regardless of what their actual major is can come here and find a place for themselves,” Healey, the stage manager and choreographer, said. “We pride ourselves on not only bringing in people of all different kinds of majors, but we also let people do everything.”

The theater experience that the “Madrigal Dinner” offers is like no other, Debeck said. The show integrates acting, singing, dancing, improvisation and dinner into one experience.

“It is such a dynamic show,” Healey said. “If you like theater, even if you don’t like theater, you’re more likely than not to have fun.”

Healey describes the committee as a family-like community because it brings together different people from all majors and interests. Healey has directed, acted and produced for “Madrigal Dinner” before, but tried something out of his comfort zone for this production.

“What I did this year that I hadn’t done before was that me and Shannon Price [the show’s choir director] choreographed the dance pieces, and I’m not a dancer so it was kind of awesome to even be involved,” Healey said.

This was Debeck’s first time directing “Madrigal Dinner.” She also directed the committee’s production “Werewolves” last spring. Debeck said “Madrigal Dinner” has pushed her to develop her directing skills.

“I’m still working on my style,” Debeck said. “I am more hands-on, not standoffish. I like to be right there with my actors.”

Debeck added that it was most rewarding to see her vision come to life as dress rehearsals began and all the final details were perfected.

“It is nice to see it all coming together,” Debeck said.

Hill, this year’s producer, discovered a passion for production through his work with the Madrigal Theatre Committee. Hill said that the Madrigal Theatre Committee is constantly fostering new talent in all realms of theater. 

“We want as many people to know about us as possible because the things you can do here are endless,” Hill said.

Printed on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 as: 'Madrigal' ensures dark comedy

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Madrigal Dinner provides opportunities for student involvement