A post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director
August 31, 2021
Hello to all! I’m so glad to be writing to wish you and your loved ones a happy, and I hope healthy, end of Summer.
And as the wheel of the year turns to Fall, Washington Revels looks toward traditions that celebrate the many holidays in our community. We are all finding our way through this “new normal,” reaching out to each other for strength and support in challenging times. This is how so many of our beloved traditions began… as mileposts of caring for our friends and neighbors through our year and our lives.
Here at Revels, we have taken to giving themes to our year-round programs as we reimagine our focus and rediscover the richness within our community of volunteers, performers, and audiences. Last year was dedicated to “Hearth and Home,” and we filled our homes with revelry, reverence, and fun. We convened virtual “circles” of community members who explored year-round traditions, and we honored holidays like Rosh Hashanah, Tsukimi, Diwali, Mawlid an Nabawi, and Dia de los Muertos — all led by Revelers who celebrate, from their own homes. We are enriched by our community and hope to continue to “widen the circle.” If you have a tradition or holiday you would like to share with us, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to hear from you!
In conversations around this December’s Christmas Revels, we keep coming back to the theme of “Reunion.” We had a foretaste of this theme through our hybrid May and Juneteenth revelry, with so many (masked) greetings, tears, and much joy as performers gathered to film beautiful sequences for you to watch online. Now we are gently venturing further towards in-person activities for all in our home at Glen Echo Park (did you see this wonderful photo of Maritime Voices rehearsing al fresco on our social media? Magical!). Visit our Shows & Events page to learn about the ensemble performances you can attend in-person this September.
As much as we look forward to programming at Glen Echo, we hope our new home can also be a springboard for Revels to leap further into the cultural fabric of our region — and in the months ahead, we will consider plans for a new educational initiative built around special events that will be created in partnership with communities throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Last year’s challenges called for a new beginning in this year and beyond — and we will begin, together, to make something new from the best parts of ourselves and our traditions, in the spirit of “Reunion.” We invite you to join us, in person or in cyberspace, and to bring your friends and loved ones with you as we come back to sing, dance, and create revelry once more.
— Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director