Audition

Audition

Join the welcoming performance community that brings this beloved holiday celebration to life each year! The Christmas Revels volunteer choruses are at the core of every production. Ensemble members are people who love to sing, who are enthusiastic about bringing music to life on stage, and who come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and experience levels.

Performing in The Christmas Revels involves a regular time commitment throughout the Fall:

  • Weekly Wednesday rehearsals from September–December. Adults and teens rehearse in the evening; children rehearse in the late afternoon.*
  • 3-4 weekend full-day rehearsals scheduled in September, October, November and December.
  • 3-4 evening dress rehearsals leading up to the 5 performances .

* Note: Those cast in dances, speaking roles, and in other featured elements may rehearse at other times, usually on weekends.

If you are interested in auditioning for The Christmas Revels, or if you have a teenager (entering grade 9-12) or child (entering grades 3-5) who may be interested, please read the following additional information and sign up, as appropriate: What We Look For, About the Adult Chorus, About the Teen Chorus, About the Children’s Chorus

Upcoming Auditions

Please note that auditions for Children and Teens take place on the weekend of September 6, 7, and 8.  Final information and sign-ups will be available in mid-August.

If you have any questions about the audition process, including questions or concerns about audition sign-ups, please contact Susan Lewis at revelersall@gmail.com.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy (subject to change)

It is our preference that anyone auditioning, performing, rehearsing, or otherwise gathering as a part of Washington Revels be fully vaccinated for COVID-19*.

* Fully vaccinated means at least two weeks past the last required injection based on manufacturer’s recommendations, including recommended boosters.

All policies to protect the health and safety of our performers, volunteers, audience, and staff are subject to modification as circumstances evolve. If you have questions about this vaccination policy, please contact the Washington Revels Office.

Learn more about our past Christmas Revels productions.

See video clips of past Christmas Revels performances!

For information on the selection process for productions and programs other than The Christmas Revels, please read the information on the Other Opportunities page.

What We Look For

The core of each year’s Christmas Revels production is the volunteer chorus made up of adults, teens and children. Although the choruses for each year’s production include veteran performers, Washington Revels values the presence of new singers each year. We also look for a variety of ages, ancestries, sizes and personalities to create a realistic “village” on stage. People of diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged to audition. Washington Revels’ choruses are the recipients of two Washington Area Music Awards in the “Choral Group” category and a Greater Washington D.C. Area Choral Excellence Award for “Best Specialty Chorus.”

We seek strong and enthusiastic performers. Cast members are people who love to sing, who sing vigorously and accurately with a good sense of rhythm and who can hold their own part in a choral context. Some are experienced choral singers, some are not — they have a wide range of musical backgrounds and skills. Sight-reading is not necessary, but a good ear and the ability to learn and memorize music is. Theatrical experience of some kind is helpful, but not required; the ability to be comfortable on stage is important.

We may not be a good match for performers seeking a “Broadway experience.” While The Christmas Revels is “big” theater, on the scale of grand opera, it is unlike Broadway-style musical theater. The Christmas Revels is principally an ensemble show; some songs may have solo verses or phrases, but very few are pure solos. Every performer has at least one featured moment on stage, but there are no “starring” roles. The heart of a Christmas Revels is group singing and community celebration.

We ask a lot of our performers, but the rewards are great, both in terms of experiencing a major, professionally staged production and in the relationships they build, not only within each chorus, but with the entire Revels community of performers, production staff and volunteers. A unique element of Revels is the bond that forms between the members of Revels’ “stage families.”

While professional performers are welcome to audition, participation in the Christmas Revels choruses is unpaid. We do not charge a set chorus fee; however, chorus members are asked to make a small contribution to help defray our costs for costumes, makeup, production food, etc. The contribution can be discounted or excused for financial hardship.

If you have any questions about the audition process, including questions or concerns about audition sign-ups, please contact Susan Lewis at revelersall@gmail.com.

Adult Chorus Auditions

Adult Audition tab image

Be prepared to sing 2 short audition pieces of your choice without accompaniment. Your song selection can be from any era or genre with the exception of “pop” music or show tunes. Traditional songs, seasonal carols, folk tunes, and hymns are recommended.  Don’t try to impress with something difficult — often a simple song well sung is more effective than a more complicated one. Just sing something you love and know well.

The entire audition process takes about 60 minutes and also includes performing some simple dance steps and singing with others.

Christmas Revels Rehearsals and Performances

Adults cast in a Christmas Revels rehearse every Wednesday evening from September-November in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park. In addition, there are some weekend rehearsals with the full company, as well as in-theater rehearsals during Tech Week before the show opens.

In addition to this information, please also read the general page What We Look For.

If you have any questions about the audition process, including questions or concerns about audition sign-ups, please contact Susan Lewis at revelersall@gmail.com.

Upcoming Auditions

Teen Auditions

Sign-ups for teen auditions for the 2023 Christmas Revels will be open in mid-August. Auditions will take place on September 10 in the afternoon. 

Teenagers bring a special energy and enthusiasm to our Christmas Revels productions. In addition to singing in the adult chorus, teens are often featured in the show. Revels teens are an integral part of our onstage community of performers. Auditions are open to youth (entering grades 9-12).

What We Look For

Washington Revels is looking for people who are comfortable and confident on stage, who work well in a group, and who can share their emotions and enthusiasm with each other and the audience. The Christmas Revels is unlike the Broadway-style musical theatre productions they may have experienced. This is principally an ensemble show, and does not usually feature solos or specific roles for which ensemble members can audition. We ask a lot of this group, but the rewards are great, both in terms of experiencing a major, professionally staged production and in the relationships they build, not only within the teen group, but with the entire Washington Revels community of performers, production staff and volunteers.

About the Audition Process

Auditions are low-key and lots of fun. Teens are seen in groups of 6-10. Each auditioner is asked to prepare a short song to sing unaccompanied. The song selection can be from any era or genre with the exception of “pop” music or show tunes; traditional songs, seasonal carols, camp songs, folk tunes, and hymns are recommended.  Don’t try to impress the directors with something difficult— often a simple song well sung is more effective than a more complicated one. Just sing something you love and know well.  Group singing and dancing are also included in the audition — the whole process should take about an hour. No special shoes or clothing is necessary, but you should be dressed to move.

Christmas Revels Rehearsals and Performances

Teens cast in a Christmas Revels rehearse with the adult chorus every Wednesday evening from September-November in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park. In addition, there are some weekend rehearsals with the full company, as well as in-theater rehearsals during Tech Week before the show opens.

Please Note: During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to rehearse in masks (singers masks are encouraged). In addition, we will offer the option for virtual attendance by Zoom for anyone who is in quarantine because of a positive COVID test result. Because Zoom attendance will always be available, it will also be possible for people who are traveling to attend rehearsals remotely. If you are experiencing any symptoms, or have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID, please take a rapid test prior to attending a rehearsal in person. Attendance at all rehearsals is important and schedule conflicts should be avoided; however, missing rehearsals due to illness, exposure or other emergency will be respected as long as absences are clearly communicated to the Stage Manager prior to that rehearsal. 

If you have any questions about the audition process, including questions or concerns about audition sign-ups, please contact Susan Lewis at revelersall@gmail.com.

To learn about other Washington Revels opportunities and upcoming events, please sign-up for our e-newsletter.

Children’s Chorus Auditions

Sign-ups for children’s auditions for the 2023 Christmas Revels will be open in mid-August. Auditions will take place on September 8 and 9, with callbacks on September 10.
Children in the Christmas Revels
The children’s chorus plays an important role in every Christmas Revels—they are both featured as an ensemble and woven throughout the production with their stage families. Revels children are integral to the creation of our diverse onstage community. Auditions are open to children entering grades 3-5.

What We Look For

Washington Revels is looking for children who are enthusiastic, musical, comfortable on stage and happy working in a group. Revels children appear more “natural” and can be loud and boisterous or quiet or calm; they are not seeking a flashy or “Broadway”-type theater experience. We try to get a range of ages, heights, personalities and diverse looks, just as we do in the adult and teen choruses.

About the Audition Process

The audition process is low-key and lots of fun. Children are seen in groups of 6-10 and should be finished in about an hour. They will be taught a simple song or two and we will play together, as the ability to enjoy group play and receive instructions in a relaxed way is important. Each child should prepare a short unaccompanied song to sing; this should be something simple that they are comfortable with and enjoy singing (something from school or camp, a carol, folk song, even “Happy Birthday” can suffice — no pop, please).

About Casting and Rehearsals

All children auditioning will be cast in one of two productions:
December’s Christmas Revels or the Spring Revels, held in late April and early May.

The Christmas Revels children’s chorus rehearses for The Christmas Revels on Wednesday evenings beginning in mid-September. In addition, the children attend some weekend rehearsals with the adult cast, as well as in-theater rehearsals during Tech Week before the show opens. Please note that at this time Washington Revels requires masking at all indoor rehearsals for The Christmas Revels.

Children who are invited to perform in the Spring Revels rehearse on Wednesdays starting in March—details sent out in January. They join the adult and teen choruses for 2-3 rehearsals in the two weeks prior to the performances, which take place on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May.

To learn about other Washington Revels opportunities and upcoming events, please sign-up for our e-newsletter.

More Opportunities to Sing With Washington Revels

We do not hold regularly scheduled auditions for other productions and programs — the selection process for these productions and ensembles is described below:

Spring Revels

There are no auditions for Spring Revels–the chorus of adults, teens, and children are either invited to join after auditioning, have performed in a past Christmas Revels, or, who have volunteered significant time to Washington Revels during the past year. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings starting in late March or the first week in April.

Learn more about Spring Revels

Washington Revels Ensembles

To inquire about auditioning for one of our performing ensembles, please send an email to info@revelsdc.org with your contact information.

Learn more about Washington Revels Ensembles

Parades and Pub Sings

No audition (or experience) is required to participate in our annual Pub Sings or in the Washington Revels groups that march in the annual Takoma Park Independence Day Parade and Kensington Labor Day Parade. Just come on out and join the fun!

Learn more about Pub Sings
Learn more about Parades