An Elizabethan Celebration of the Winter Solstice
Mummers plays meet A Midsummer Night’s Dream in this boisterous blend of high and low, city and country, art and folk, along with timeless Revels favorites: rousing carol sing-alongs, dancing in the aisles, children’s singing games, the eerily hypnotic Abbots Bromley horn dance, and the glorious tones of the Washington Revels Brass.
Experience the magic of the season this December with Mark Jaster as Will Kemp, Sabrina Mandell as the ringleader of some very Rude Mechanicals, Katrina Van Duyn as Queen Elizabeth, the world-renowned early music ensemble Piffaro: The Renaissance Band, and Washington Revels’ cast of courtiers, villagers, and some would-be thespians as we celebrate the Winter Solstice in true Elizabethan style. Welcome Yule!
Through music, dance, and drama, each year Revels draws on traditions and rituals from a different land, people, and era — medieval, Elizabethan, and Victorian English, French, Russian, Roma (Gypsy), African-American, Nordic, American Appalachian, Native American, Renaissance Italian, Québécois, medieval Andalusian (Sephardic, Arabic and Spanish), southern Balkan (Bulgarian, Greek and Thracian Turkish), Irish, and more.
Saturday, December 8, 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, December 9, 2:00pm
Friday, December 14, 7:30pm (Family Friday)
Saturday, December 15, 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, December 16, 1:00pm & 5:00pm
Orchestra A-N (Center): Adult $60 | Youth $40
Orchestra A-N (Sides): Adult $50 | Youth $32
Terrace* AA-JJ: Adult $45 | Youth $27
Terrace* KK-RR: Adult $30 | Youth $20
Terrace* SS-UU: Adult $18 | Youth $12
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
Tickets on Sale October 1
$100 Donors Receive Early Priority
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
FAMILY FRIDAY NIGHT:
25% off Youth tickets on December 14 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 9 at 2:00pm
Take either the Blue or Orange Line to the Foggy Bottom Metro Station. From there, it is a 2 block walk to Lisner Auditorium.
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.
CREDIT CARD – VISA, MASTERCARD, or AMEX – ONLY
This is the closest garage to Lisner on weekends, just 1-1/2 blocks away. It is located on H Street between 22d and 23rd Streets, on the north side of the Street, underneath the new Science & Engineering Hall. The entrance is clearly marked with a sign saying “University Garage” (do not mistakenly try to enter the garage across the street, which has no sign and is not open to visitors). Open 24/7 (with attendant); has 400 spaces. There are two entrance lanes going in, but after the show there will be two lanes oriented for exit. The credit card payment (NO CASH) is made on the way out, either at the machine at the exit gate or in the building lobby (not as convenient). Elevators serve all levels. Once you have parked your car, take the 22d Street exit elevator to Level 1, exit the building through the doors at the right, turn right and walk about 50 yards to H Street, then turn left on H Street and walk the one block to 21st Street. The Lisner doors will be immediately to your right.
Info: (202) 994-7199
SELF SERVICE AND CREDIT CARD – VISA, MASTERCARD, or AMEX – ONLY
The garage is located in the alley between F and G Streets. The alley is bounded on each side by 20th and 21st Streets, and you can enter the alley from either of those streets (the entrances to the alley are marked with a “Parking” sign). The garage is 2 blocks from Lisner. Open 24/7; has 400 spaces. There are two entrance lanes going in, but after the show there will be two lanes oriented for exit. The credit card payment (NO CASH) is made on the way out, either at the machine at the exit gate or in the lobby of the Plaza above the garage. Elevators serve all levels. There is no attendant, but assistance is supposed to be available at all times on the intercom (we have had generally good reports about this garage, but a few people have complained that assistance was not immediately available on the intercom).
Info: (202) 994-7199
Entrance on 22d Street between I (Eye) Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Very large garage with the most spacious driving lanes. You take a ticket on the way in and pay on the way out. There is only 1 attendant. You can pay at machines before going to your car, but the paid ticket is only good for 5 minutes after you pay, so it is recommended that you pay from your vehicle at the Exit Gate with a credit card when exiting. The Ground Floor takes cash, and P2, P3, Exit Gate and the Ground Floor all take credit. Elevators serve P4 up to Ground Level.
Info: (202) 296-3426
Entrance on I (Eye) Street between 21st and 22d Streets (under TGI Fridays). You pay on the way in, which means that exiting will be easier than the other garages, but entering may get backed up. Elevators do NOT operate at night or on weekends.
Info: (202) 298-7155
Entrance on 20th Street between Pennsylvania Ave and H Street. You pay on the way in, which means that exiting will be easier than the other garages, but entering may get backed up, since there is only one attendant. Elevators serve all floors.
Info: (202) 298-7158
2018 Guest Artists
Audiences of all ages and backgrounds enjoy Mark Jaster’s kinetic humor, playful interaction, musical wit and inventive imagination. His skills in mime were developed in training with 20th-century masters Marcel Marceau and his teacher, Etienne Decroux, and through studies in the LeCoq pedagogy of Theatrical Clown. He now frequently teaches (Shakespeare Theatre, Maryland Opera Studio, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Round House Theatre), consults on issues of mime and movement (Centre Stage, Round House Theatre, Adventure Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Constellation Theatre, Olney Theatre) and regularly conducts artist residencies with elementary schools. Since 2006, he has co-directed Happenstance Theater with his wife and partner, Sabrina Mandell, devising and appearing in critically acclaimed collaborative, original works of “Visual, Poetic Theater,” and winning The Helen Hayes Robert Prosky Award for Oustanding Lead Actor. In addition to frequent performances with Washington Revels over MANY years, Mark has also appeared with the Philadelphia and Cambridge Christmas Revels, and has played A Fool Named “O” at The Maryland Renaissance Festival for over 30 years. Mark was also a proud member of The Big Apple Circus’ Clown Care Unit for 20 years, performing at the Children’s National Medical Center as Dr. Baldy. He is delighted to be with the hometown Revels company once again. Welcome Yule!
Sabrina Mandell spent several years working on traditionally rigged schooners. She stopped for a spell to study Art History. She is the founder and Artistic Co-Director of Happenstance Theater and has written, produced and performed prolifically since the company was established in 2006. As the company’s manager she has maintained sustainability and as the costume designer she won a Helen Hayes Award in 2016 for Outstanding Costume Design for IMPOSSIBLE! A Happenstance Circus and again in 2017 for MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville. Sabrina performed for 10 years with the Big Apple Circus’ Clown Care Program in DC and Baltimore. She has also taught Theatrical Clown and Physical Comedy at several institutions including the Shakespeare Theatre, Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, Round House Theatre, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Lehigh University and Brandeis University. She is also a visual artist and poet.
Katrina Van Duyn
Katrina Van Duyn reprises the role of Queen Elizabeth I, which she first performed in the Elizabethan production of 2007. Other Revels roles: Haddon Hall (Lady Kathleen), French-Canadian (Raconteur – 2008, 2017), and Victorian Storybook (the Lady of the House and multiple storybook characters). It is always a delight to share in the Revelry! Ms. Van Duyn has worked in theatre since the 1980s, supporting that vocation with a career as an editor. Outside her life as a performer, she is a freelance manuscript editor, a cyclist and cycling advocate, and teaches French privately and for Arlington County, where she also is certified with the Master Gardener and Tree Steward public education programs.
Danny Pushkin is a native Washingtonian and performer specializing in very physical theater. He is passionately engrossed in the study of ritual theater traditions and the cultural role of fools. Danny was last on stage with The Christmas Revels in 2011 as Joha. He was an Associate Company Member of Synetic Theater from 2009–2013. In his other life Danny writes, directs, produces and performs in musicals and theater for young audiences. He is a Resident Artist at Adventure Theatre, having recently appeared in Caps for Sale (National Tour and Off-Broadway).
Piffaro: The Renaissance Band
“Widely regarded as North America’s masters of music for Renaissance wind band” (St. Paul Pioneer Press), Piffaro has delighted audiences since its founding in 1980 by recreating the elegant sounds of the official wind bands and the rustic music of the peasantry from the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. Under the direction of Artistic Directors Joan Kimball and Bob Wiemken, the ensemble has appeared at major early music festivals in the US, Canada, Europe and South America, as well as on Early Music, chamber music, and college series throughout North America. Through Piffaro’s many recordings on Newport Classics, Deutsche Grammophon Arkiv Produktion, Dorian Recordings, PARMA/Navona, and its own house label, and through radio and internet broadcasts, its music has reached listeners as far away as Siberia. The ensemble, active in the field of education since its inception, has received two Early Music America awards for its outreach work, and most recently was honored by The American Recorder Society with its “Distinguished Artist Award.”
Rock Creek Morris Women
With their genesis in the folk revival of the 1960s and 70s, the Rock Creek Morris Women have been dancing Morris in Washington for the last 40 years. They dance a mix of traditions including Ducklington, Fieldtown, and an invented tradition, “Wheaton-under-Glenmont.” They can be seen at festivals and on tour around the metropolitan DC area, and occasionally travel to England to tour and dance. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter @RockCreekMorris!
(Photo credit: Arthur Stephens)
Washington Revels Brass
The Washington Revels Brass in roughly its present form joined the Washington Revels in 1996. The players had been long-time friends and colleagues, and the Washington Revels organization was the catalyst that fashioned them into a solid entity. The ensemble views itself in a certain sense as a microcosm of Revels everywhere: they have their own rituals, traditions, and personality. They differ from every other part of the Revels only in that their ways are largely invisible to all but themselves.
Our 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.
- 2017: A French-Canadian Celebration of the Winter Solstice
- 2016: A Nordic Celebration (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway & Sweden)
- 2015: A Medieval Celebration of the Winter Solstice
- 2014: An Irish Celebration of the Winter Solstice
- 2013: “Echoes of Thrace” (Bulgaria, Greece & Turkey)
- 2012: “Spirits of Haddon Hall”
- 2011: “Treasures of Andalusia” (Jewish, Arabic & Spanish)
- 2010: Thomas Hardy (featuring The Mellstock Band)
- 2009: Leonardo’s Workshop (Italian Renaissance)
- 2008: French Canadian (Québécois)
- 2007: Elizabethan English
- 2006: Early American
- 2005: Northlands (Nordic)
- 2004: “The King and the Fool” (English Medieval)
- 2003: “Roads of the Roma”
- 2002: Victorian England
- 2001: Leonardo’s Workshop (Italian Renaissance)
- 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
- 1990: Medieval
- 1989: Storybook
- 1988: Medieval
- 1987: Celtic
- 1986: French
- 1985: Appalachian-American (featuring Jean Ritchie)
- 1984: “Haddon Hall”
- 1983: Medieval