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Ohio State’s Medieval and Renaissance Performer’s Guild to revive ‘The Seventh Seal’

Courtesy of Gina Grothaus.

Ohio State Medieval and Renaissance Performer’s Guild is set to take audiences back in time ­- way back in time.

The guild is scheduled to perform “The Seventh Seal” at 12th Annual Midwinter Madrigal Feast on 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Summit on 16th.

“Madrigal is a dinner theater experience which features a fun and entertaining night of medieval and renaissance dancing, songs, music, juggling, fighting as well as several other talents,” according to the website of Council for the Medieval and Renaissance Faire.

James Scarmack, president of the guild and a third-year in aero and astronautical engineering, joined the group his first year at OSU. He said he has a deep interest in Medieval times.

“Our organization is open to all OSU students who are into Medieval and Renaissance periods. Every member has passion about what we are doing,” Scarmack said.

“The Seventh Seal” was originally a 1957 film directed by Ingmar Bergman and is a part of the Criterion Collection, which archives contemporary films in their uncut versions for home viewing.

The movie explores the mystery of death and religion through the journey of a medieval knight as he plays a game with the person who represents the embodiment of death during the period of the Black Death.

In addition to reproducing the original work, the guild added new scenes to the story in an attempt to make it engaging in its own way, Scarmack said.

“Every member is actively involved and gets a chance to create their own characters,” Scarmack said. “We want the audience to laugh and have fun with our performance.”

The guild’s rendition of “The Seventh Seal” is comprised of and to be performed by five sub-guilds which are in charge of dance, songs, music, fight and madrigal song. In preparation for the performance, the sub-guilds held meetings to make every detail as perfect as possible.

“We don’t focus on the historically accurate part. We come up with the storyline and then we try to center it around Medieval times and we learn what we can and focus more on acting,” Scarmack said. “This group is about Medieval times but it also allows us to do what we want. That’s why I like it so much.”

The guild has done a number of performances for the Columbus community in the past, including for Columbus-area Girl Scout troops, Columbus public libraries and Buckeyethon.

Sarah Barringer, a second-year in history, said she enjoys being a member of the guild.

“For me, the most interesting part of being a member is that I really enjoy acting. It’s a lot of fun,” Barringer said.

Some students who have never attended the guild’s events showed interest in its performance.

“I have heard of the group, and my roommate went to their festival last year. If I have the chance, I will go. It sounds interesting and I am curious about their garb,” said Mariam Said, a second-year in fashion and retail studies.

The performances on Friday and Saturday will serve as a prelude to the traditional Medieval and Renaissance Faire that is scheduled to be held April 6 at OSU.

“Our performance kind of shows how the upcoming faire gets set up and why it is the way it is,” Scarmack said.

Summit on 16th is located at 82 E. 16th Ave. Tickets are available for $10 on the Council for the Medieval and Renaissance Faire website.

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