News Release – 2021 Christmas Revels

The 2021 Christmas Revels

For Immediate Release

39th Christmas Revels Returns with a Homegrown Show Rooted in Local History

Glen Echo, MD, November 16, 2021 – From December 10-12 and 17-19, Washington Revels brings The Christmas Revels back to the stage with a story rooted in the history of our region and our nation. There will be two “firsts” for audiences as this much-loved DC holiday tradition returns from COVID lockdowns: after almost 40 years, The Christmas Revels will be staged in a new venue — the historic Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, MD; and for the first time, the video of a fully staged Christmas Revels production will be released for audiences to watch on demand from December 21-January 6.

Featuring an all-new theme highlighting American nineteenth-century seasonal traditions, this year’s Christmas Revels transports audiences back to December 1870 in Washington, DC. The holidays have arrived and in the elegant parlor of Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels — the first African American to serve in the U.S. Congress — the household is preparing for a party! Hiram and his wife Phoebe have invited colleagues and friends from near and far to celebrate the turning of the year.

With joyous carols, traditional melodies, heartfelt spirituals and toe-tapping dances, guests from all walks of life meet under the Revels family roof. In the midst of this camaraderie the merrymakers also take care of their Yuletide community — welcoming a traveler with an urgent request, seeking out a lost love, and comforting a melancholy man longing for the joy of the season.

Together, all who enter Senator Revels’ home share the hope that long years of national struggle are in the past; remember those who have gone before; and take joy in reunion with loved ones who were separated.

After our own months apart, Washington Revels invites DC audiences to an American-themed Christmas Revels brimming with stories, music and dances that bring us closer. The homegrown celebration will be created by an exclusively local cast. The Washington Revels Jubilee Voices, who for more than 10 years have connected African American music and traditions with the history of DC-area heritage sites, will be featured throughout the production, and Jubilee Voices founding member Gregory McGruder portrays Senator Revels. As always, audiences will enjoy the onstage community created by the multigenerational Washington Revels Chorus, joined by an on-stage “parlor band” of area folk musicians, and by the ever-popular Washington Revels Brass.

To ensure a safe experience for audience, cast and crew alike, all Christmas Revels performers, staff, and volunteers are vaccinated against COVID-19. Washington Revels is requiring all audience members to show proof of full vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours of their chosen performance, and all audience members must wear masks.

Combining elements of a fully staged holiday play, a choral concert with sing-alongs, and centuries-old winter traditions, The Christmas Revels offers a trademark blend of professional entertainment and community engagement that reminds performers and audiences alike of the importance — and the joy — of shared celebration.

Founded in 1983, Washington Revels is a multi-generational performing arts community of professionals and nonprofessionals that presents traditional music, dance, storytelling, and drama in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. It includes four performing ensembles — Gallery Voices, Heritage Voices, Jubilee Voices, and Maritime Voices — and produces workshops for adults and children, community participation and service events, pub sings, and performances year round. Signature programs include The Christmas Revels each December, May Revels each spring, and a new Juneteenth program each summer. Washington Revels is one of 13 resident arts organizations based in Glen Echo Park (glenechopark.org).

 More Information:

8 In-Person Performances
December 10-19, Matinees & Evenings
The Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park
Glen Echo, MD

Video-on-Demand
Enjoy The Christmas Revels from home!
Releasing December 21
Watch anytime through January 6

Download Our News Release & Media Kit


Glen Echo Park is a site owned by the National Park Service. Programs are produced in cooperation with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, the National Park Service, and Montgomery County.

Washington Revels is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County Government and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County and in part by the Maryland State Arts Council (msac.org).

Press Contact: Ross Wixon, Administrating Director / rwixon@revelsdc.org / (202) 253-0449

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