Posted by Washington Revels
For October’s Directors’ Blog installment, we’re winding back the clock to 1997 for this article by founder and former Producer Mary Swope, all about that year’s medieval Christmas Revels. While much has changed in the intervening 21 years, many important elements remain the same — not just the people involved, but also the spirit behind this joyous production that continues to resonate with Washington audiences years later. Enjoy this look back, as we continue to move forward towards this year’s Elizabethan Revels!
Posts Tagged Directors’ Blog
Posted by Washington Revels
A post by Mike Matheson, Director, Maritime Voices
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Washington Revels Maritime Voices. During that time the group has performed a repertoire of more than 80 songs on more than 70 occasions in more than 30 venues in the Washington and Baltimore areas. Why has maritime music been such a success for the Revels? First of all, this region has a strong maritime tradition, dating back to the 18th Century. The Port of Baltimore has long been a major center of maritime commerce, the Chesapeake a thriving fishing community, Washington the headquarters of the U.S. Navy, and the C&O Canal a channel of commerce to the ports of Alexandria and Georgetown. Major naval battles have been fought up and down the Chesapeake. All of this has produced a rich and varied tradition of maritime and canal music, which we have been very happy to draw upon, and one which has a natural appeal to audiences in this area.
A post by Colin K. Bills, Production Manager
The title of this post could easily refer to a prop we’ve got in mind for this year’s production. Indeed, our selection of fake meats — from the Boar’s Head that will once again make an appearance in 2018 to the côtelette de veau bien rôtie sans os produced last year as one of our foods in les Parties de Grégoire — is mouthwateringly delectable. That is, unless one is a vegetarian or allergic to painted Styrofoam.
However, the sausage here is of the metaphoric sort. Those who have been on or backstage in a Christmas Revels can surely appreciate the time, effort, sweat (and alas, sometimes tears) that are required of the hundreds of folks who contribute to this epic performance. And while effort is surely required, time is our most valuable commodity. Members of the chorus know that auditions for Christmas occur in late May. That’s nearly seven months before the show! That should be enough time to put this thing together, right?Read more →
A post by Andrea Jones Blackford, Director, Jubilee Voices & Co-Director, Heritage Voices
On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered an address at an event in Rochester, New York commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Douglass’ words reveal the reality that the Founding Fathers’ vision of freedom in the Declaration of Independence did not include enslaved people, who were considered then property or livestock. His speech included the sights, sounds and stories of the enslaved, and of his own experience under slavery, underscoring the hypocrisy of celebrating freedom while benefiting from “cargoes of human flesh.” His words were a warning to the young republic — then 76 years old — to reconsider this paradox.
A post by Patti Knapp, Business & Development Director
Hello Friends: I write today grateful for the progress our Washington Revels community has made and humbled by the road that lies ahead of us. Since I arrived in August of 2016, the warmth of your welcome and your willingness to lend your talents to new fundraising endeavors has overwhelmed me. With your help we have strengthened Revels’ financial foundation and nurtured the vibrant circle of volunteers, donors, performers, teachers, and learners that make my work worth pursuing.
A post by Elizabeth Fulford, Music Director
How will you celebrate May Day? Washington Revels Gallery Voices got an early start this past weekend at the National Arboretum with madrigals, maypole dancing and lots and lots of beautiful plants and flowers. We sang about sport and play, branches of May, country life, and many other Spring and Summer themes. Dressed in May “whites” with colorful sashes and flowery wreathes, it began to feel like warm and sunny weather is finally here to stay!
A post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director
Hello from (hopefully) the last snowstorm of the season. I am writing this on the Spring Equinox and know that by the time you read it, the snow will have melted and the cherry blossoms will have shown their blushing faces to the sky. A wonderful chorus of kids, tweens, teens and adults will be starting to rehearse the old songs that will bring in the May at the National Cathedral — soon we will sing Rattlin’ Bog and dance around the May Pole once more!
A post by Greg Lewis, Executive Director
2018 is an exciting year for Revelers in Washington—after all, 35 is a landmark birthday for any organization! Everyone who has been part of this special community has much to look back on, and to be proud of, as we celebrate Washington Revels’ 35th Anniversary. And celebrate we will, with a fabulous gala in April and other events to come. We’re also strolling down memory lane on social media, sharing your treasured stories and photos from years past through the “Washington Revels at 35” Retrospective. And, of course, we’re looking forward to our Spring and Winter Revels with great anticipation, and already enjoying year-round Sings, Dances, Ensemble performances, and Education and Crafting workshops.
A post by Jo Rasi, Marketing & Programs Director
Anyone who has reveled with us knows that we are all about circles here at Washington Revels. The members of Jubilee Voices, one of our year-round performing ensembles, hold hands in a circle to share a moment of peace and togetherness before a performance. We sing a goodnight song in three concentric circles at the end of many Community Sings. The very idea of circling is foundational to Revels—since the first Christmas Revels in 1983, every rehearsal and performance has begun with a circle. In more recent years, the cast has even been organized into many different overlapping circles: Stage Families, Children’s Chorus, Teen Chorus, Adult Chorus and the full ensemble. At the end of every show, our backstage and
Posted by Washington Revels
In 2018, Washington Revels celebrates 35 years of reveling in the DC-area. This gala year will be marked by many special events, and we’re kicking things off right away with a brand-new series of blog posts for the New Year! Each month, you can look forward to hearing from one of Revels’ artistic or office staff directors, plus occasional guest posts from Revels cities around the country. These ruminations may take the form of a heartwarming letter, a thoughtful essay, or a brief note as our directors reflect on past productions, upcoming performances, inspiring rehearsals, and the magical, exuberant, and poignant intersection of Revels and modern life.