The Christmas Revels

“Celestial Fools”

For our 37th Christmas Revels, journey to a small European village nestled somewhere in the mists of time. As the winter days grow short, a trio of traveling players arrives from far-off lands, sharing the rich tapestry of their cultures’ music, dances, and stories with the townsfolk. But when the sun finally sets on the longest night — and darkness seems to stretch on without end — these visitors are revealed to be far more than simple entertainers, and they embark on a celestial journey to reclaim the light and restore its warmth to the world.

Join tradition bearers Karim Nagi (Arabic drumming & dance), Shizumi Shigeto Manale (Japanese dance & theater) & Mark Novak (Jewish song), instrumentalists Seth Kibel (Klezmer & World-music clarinet/flute), Vladimir Fridman (guitar) & Bob Abbott (string bass), and a cast of over 100, ages 8-90, as we bring to life an exuberant blend of music, dances, and tales from across the centuries and around the world. Welcome Yule!

Interested in joining our cast?
Click to learn about child and teen auditions for this December’s production.

Child & Teen Auditions: Friday-Sunday, September 6-8
Scheduling opens on August 12

Want Great Seats? Donors of $100+ per year receive Early Priority Ticketing!


Saturday, December 7, 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, December 8, 2:00pm
Friday, December 13, 7:30pm (Family Friday)
Saturday, December 14, 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, December 15, 1:00pm & 5:00pm


Matinee Prices (all 1 & 2 pm shows) in Red

Orchestra A-N (Center):  Adult $60 / $65 |  Youth $40 / $45
Orchestra A-N (Sides):  Adult $50 / $55 |  Youth $32 / $37
Terrace* AA-JJ:  Adult $45 / $50  |  Youth $27 / $32
Terrace* KK-RR:  Adult $30 / $35  |  Youth $20 / $25
Terrace* SS-UU:  Adult $18 / $23  |  Youth $12 / $17
Wheelchair Spaces (Row N): see Row N pricing above
Youth = 18 and under

* Terrace seats require climbing stairs


GW Lisner Auditorium
730 21st Street NW
Washington, DC 20052

Get Great Seats!

Donors who give $100+ per year receive
Early Priority Ticketing order forms.

10% off for groups of 10-19; 20% off for groups of 20 or more*
Service charges: $2.50 per ticket plus $3.50 per order
* Available only through the Washington Revels office: call 301-587-3835

25% off Youth tickets on December 13 at 7:30pm
Save money and bring the whole family on Friday night!!
Please Note: Discounted Youth tickets do not count toward 10-ticket and 20-ticket thresholds for purposes of group discounts.

All performances wheelchair accessible.
Audio Description – Sunday, December 8 at 2:00pm

Sponsorship & Advertising 

Sponsorship Opportunities

Your organization can help bring the magic of our Winter celebration to life! Several sponsorship opportunities are available, including:

  • Our Christmas Revels Outreach Performance
  • Any one of our 8 regular Christmas Revels performances
  • An entire Christmas Revels production (all 8 performances plus Outreach Performance)

For more information on sponsorships, please contact Patti Knapp at 301-830-4411 or at

Program Ads

Connect with our Christmas Revels audience of 10,000! Our oversized souvenir program book helps you reach our patrons at the height of the holiday season. Interested in advertising with us? Email Ross Wixon at

Frequently Asked Questions

Every year, we get asked many excellent questions about The Christmas Revels and getting around Lisner Auditorium. We’ve tried to answer the most common questions as best we can here. If you need additional information, please call the Revels Office at 301-587-3835 or send an email to

  1. How long is the show? Each performance is generally 2 hours and 30 minutes long, including intermission.
  2. When does the house open? Theatre doors open 30 minutes prior to each performance’s scheduled start time. Doors to the lobby areas open one hour before the start time.
  3. I ordered online. When will I get my tickets? All tickets are sent as a PDF attachment to the email address you used at checkout. If you cannot find this email, search “” in your inbox. If you still cannot find your tickets, simply call us or send an email to and we will re-email your tickets to you.
  4. Can I place a group order online? No: to take advantage of the discounts for groups of 10 or more, you must call the Revels Office and place your order over the phone at 301-587-3835.
  5. Do I have to print out my tickets? No, you can display your tickets on your mobile phone when you arrive at Lisner Auditorium.
  6. Do I need to purchase a ticket for my child? Yes, you must purchase tickets for your children regardless of their age. Children typically love the shows; however, for your sake and as a courtesy to other patrons, we generally advise that you not bring children unless you are confident that they can sit quietly throughout a 2.5-hour performance.
  7. Is Lisner Auditorium wheelchair accessible? Yes: there is a wheelchair ramp at the main entrance and Lisner is fully wheelchair-accessible on the main lobby level, including the theater’s Orchestra level and two wheelchair-accessible lavatories on that level. Note that the house terrace requires climbing stairs; there are dedicated wheelchair spaces in Row N of the Orchestra. The Lower Lobby level and bathrooms are not wheelchair-accessible.
  8. Does Lisner Auditorium offer assisted listening services? Yes: in addition to the audio description performance on Sunday, December 9, Lisner has “Listen” assisted-listening devices (receivers and headphones) free of charge for patrons at all performances. Please inquire at the coat-check counter.
  9. How do I get to Lisner? For your convenience, we’ve prepared detailed Metro and parking information: you can see local maps and read parking/walking instructions under the “Metro & Parking” tab.

By Metro:

Take either the Blue or Orange Line to the Foggy Bottom Metro Station. From there, it is a 2 block walk to Lisner Auditorium.

View Map: Walking Directions

Where to Park Around Lisner Auditorium:

Street Parking: Some street parking is unmetered but most is either metered or “Park & Pay.” Parking is free on Sundays, but not on Fridays or Saturdays until a specified time in the evening (varies between 6:30pm, 8:30pm and 10pm – check the signs and meters). In some locations you can only purchase street parking for a maximum of 2 hours (4 hours with a handicapped sticker), but in others you can purchase unlimited parking from 6:30 to 10pm.

Garage Parking: There are 5 parking garages (each described below) near Lisner that are open during all relevant show hours. Two are GW University garages. They are the closest options to Lisner – 1-1/2 and 2 blocks away – and have a flat rate of $11 after 5pm on weekdays and $12 on weekends. The other 3 options are all Colonial garages, all of which have a flat rate of $11 or $12 after 5pm on weekdays and on weekends. (Nearby PMI garages are all closed during the hours of our shows.) NOTE: The (GW) Marvin Center Garage (the closest garage to Lisner), is no longer open on weekends. Also, the (GW) Academic Center Garage, entrance on the south side of I (Eye) Street between 21st and 22d Streets, is no longer open to visitors at any time. It has been replaced by the new University Garage (see below).

Click the garages below for more details. Click here to download a printable PDF description of Lisner-area parking.

GW University Garage

GW G Street Garage

Colonial Garage, Lot 769

Colonial Garage, Lot 76

Colonial Garage, Lot 180

CR logo 300 pixelsOur flagship production, The Christmas Revels, is a festive, fully staged celebration of the Winter Solstice and the return of sun and light after the “shortest day,” radiating hope and joy in the renewal of life and the circle of the seasons. Seen by over 10,000 people every December, it draws on traditions and rituals from many lands and peoples, focusing each year on a different culture or related cultures.

Select a link below to learn more about that production.

 2011 Andalusian Production


 Photos from the Thomas Hardy Revels

 Photo from African-American Revels

  • 2000: Celtic
  • 1999: Celestial Fools
  • 1998: Shepherd Alley – Washington, D.C.
  • 1997: Medieval – King and the Fool
  • 1996: Northlands
  • 1995: French
  • 1994: Victorian
  • 1993: Celtic
  • 1992: Celestial Fools
  • 1991: Russian and American

 Photo from an early Washington Revels production

  • 1990: Medieval
  • 1989: Storybook
  • 1988: Medieval
  • 1987: Celtic
  • 1986: French
  • 1985: Appalachian-American (featuring Jean Ritchie)
  • 1984: “Haddon Hall”
  • 1983: Medieval