The Fourth Annual Renaissance Feast
On the evening of February 14 and February 15, the EOU Theater Department put on their fourth annual Renaissance Feast. It was two nights of Shakespeare, Renaissance costumes and decorations, as well as delicious food that you ate with your hands. At the beginning of the nights, the court jester announced the rules: eating without silverware, banging on the table, toasting to “hazar”, and enjoying oneself. It was also announced that while normally “backwards kingdoms” did not allow women to perform, the night would be full of wonderful female actresses. Each guest got a scroll with the night’s performances and performers, as well as the five courses on it. The food included: punch, salad, bread, soup, pork or chicken, and a delicious dessert, provided by La Bebe Cakes Bakery, which also served as their venue.
The reigning King and Queen, community members Lauren Hulme and Jared Hulme, narrated the evening along with the court jester, toasting to each new course of the meal. Each performance was well executed and so close to the audience members that they could reach out and touch their Renaissance clothes.
Each of the Shakespeare scenes revolved around the theme of love, whether it was Romeo and Juliet or Henry the 8 asking the Queen of France to marry him. Each performance was announced by the jester giving the audience a background of the scene and the play itself.
At the end of the night, the actors (who also served the food) bowed and lined up leading to the exit to give each person a rose while they thanked everyone for coming to the event.
The coordinators and directors of the Renaissance Feast were Kenn Wheeler, a Associate Professor of Theater at EOU, and his wife, Denise Wheeler, who has helped with EOU theater events and directed shows at the La Grande High School. Some local businesses that were the sponsors of the night were La Grande Family Eye Care, La Grande Ophthalmologist, Grande Retirement Residence and Copies Plus.