Washington Revels Blog

Washington Revels stages celebrations filled with traditional music, dance, stories and drama from around the world, revolving around the cycle of the seasons and the joys of community connections. Revels is for anyone who wants to share common ground through old and new traditions—connecting people across time and cultures. Revels is not something that you just watch—it is an experience.

While much of Revels takes place on a stage through song and dance, here on our blog members of our community attempt to capture the magic of Revels in words. We hope you take joy in reading these posts and that you will join us to make your own Revels memories soon!

Latest Posts

  • The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 2
    The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 2
    February 1, 2019 by
    A post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director
    Apologies for this belated letter... I had promised to catch up with you later in the process of mounting The Christmas Revels — and I guess strictly speaking this is later… only much later! As our royal carriage gallops further away from 2018 and our visit to Norwich with Will Kemp and Her Majesty the Queen, here are a few parting thoughts about this year’s sumptuous, boisterous, exquisitely melodious Elizabethan Revels....
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  • Maypole top with ribbons
    One Year with the Revels Directors’ Blog
    December 28, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    In our January 2018 e-newsletter we announced a new monthly blog series, featuring letters, essays, and musings from the directorial staff at Washington Revels; the first post in this series was published in February. As 2019 begins, we thought we'd look back at all 11 blog posts (and group them in one convenient place!). The Directors' Blog showcases a range of voices and topics, and highlights many facets...
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  • Heartfelt Thanks
    Heartfelt Thanks
    December 27, 2018 by
    A guest post by Susan Swope
    Susan Swope and her wife Shirley live near Gettysburg, PA and have been attending The Christmas Revels for nearly 20 years. Last Spring, Susan took a chance during our Spring Gala and submitted a winning bid to appear in a performance of the 2018 production. This is her story....
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  • Raising Kids in the Revels World: Birthdays, Rhythms and Spring
    Raising Kids in the Revels World: Birthdays, Rhythms and Spring
    December 21, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    It’s not my son’s birthday today, but there are 40 people singing a birthday song to him (and to two other people). My son is turning 9. One of the other people is turning 41, and the other is turning 73. The song isn’t the traditional “Happy Birthday” song. There are many people harmonizing, and there’s accompaniment on a half dozen ukuleles. Sound like a good quirky story...
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  • Reveling in the Renaissance… Elizabethan Style
    Reveling in the Renaissance… Elizabethan Style
    December 12, 2018 by
    A Post by Elizabeth A. Fulford, Music Director and Evanne Brown, Assistant Music Director
    While most of us have some awareness of the most notorious facts and legends about King Henry VIII (who reigned from 1509 to his death in 1547), few are aware that, in addition to his having six wives and founding the Church of England, Henry Tudor was also a poet, musician, athlete, and scholar. Originally destined, as the second son, for an ecclesiastical career, Henry received the musical training appropriate for a clergyman. An expert singer with a clear tenor voice; a player of lute, flute, recorder, cornett, and virginals; and a composer of sacred and...
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  • The Kovar Family Revelers
    The Kovar Family Revelers
    December 6, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    This past Spring we asked the Revels community to share their favorite memories from the past 35 years in our "Washington Revels at 35" Retrospective. Longtime reveler Dick Kovar reminisced about his own path to the Christmas Revels chorus, and it was such a touching story about the joy of participating in this annual holiday celebration (as an audience members and a cast member) that we had to save it until closer to this year’s show. As we prepare to open this weekend, we hope you enjoy Dick’s look back at 35 years of Revels productions that have meant so much to so many...
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  • Rediscovering a Family Tradition
    Rediscovering a Family Tradition
    November 29, 2018 by
    A post by Ross Wixon, Marketing Director
    What would it be like to go to a concert and feel like you truly belonged? Like the performers on stage weren’t singing to you, weren’t selling you some experience — but instead to realize that they were singing and dancing along with you? That this show, this experience, couldn’t be happening if you weren’t there?...
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  • Guest Artist Interview: Rock Creek Morris
    Guest Artist Interview: Rock Creek Morris
    November 16, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    People who enjoyed Jim Voorhees’ October blog post learned about the close connection between Morris dancing and Revels — but what is it like to be part of one of Washington’s Morris teams? Since the Rock Creek Morris Women will perform in The Christmas Revels this year, we thought it would be fun to keep the Morris conversation going and learn more about the dance — and the dancers — you will see this December!...
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  • Guest Artist Interview: Piffaro
    Guest Artist Interview: Piffaro
    November 9, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    Piffaro, The Renaissance Band has been delighting Christmas Revels audiences in Washington since 1990. The world-renowned early music ensemble will grace the Lisner stage with its fascinating collection of period wind instruments, and these talented musicians never fail to breathe life into the beautiful music of the Renaissance. Washington Revels' Music Director Elizabeth Fulford recently had a chance to talk with members of Piffaro about the group's origins, its work, and its long history with The Christmas Revels. Read on to learn more about Piffaro and the musicians you can see and hear this December!...
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  • The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 1
    The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 1
    October 30, 2018 by
    A post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director
    Hello from mid-way through our Elizabethan Revels process (or should I say, “progress”)! This is always my most favorite time of the Fall. Everyone is cast and in rehearsal — Adult, Teen and Children’s Choruses — and all are learning the beautiful, rousing and fun musical pieces we will share with you in December. This is some really exquisite music we are singing, and the chorus already sounds terrific. I think of the music as the “glue” that holds our play together and moves us forward, company and audience experiencing the event in real theatrical time. In our earliest rehearsals, we only sing — no blocking (that is, giving stage direction) until we’ve devoted almost a month to focusing on the notes, the words and the harmonies of these songs....
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