About Washington Revels

An established cultural institution in the greater Washington area for over 35 years, Washington Revels is dedicated to reviving, sustaining, expanding, and celebrating cultural traditions — in music, dance, storytelling, and drama — that bind people together in spirit and joy.

Staged or informal, large or small, Revels celebrations involve adults and children of all ages, mixing professionals and nonprofessionals. Audience participation is a hallmark: singing, dancing or becoming part of the drama, Revels audiences are always an integral part of the productions. Whether participating in a Revels celebration from the audience or stage, people invariably leave with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts.

Annual events include the professionally staged and directed Christmas Revels at Lisner Auditorium (drawing over 10,000 attendees each December), May Revels, plus Community Sings, Pub Sings, parades and more. Venues for these and many other productions range from outdoor parks to a 1500-seat theater.

Washington Revels stands for community, for bringing people together, for celebrating the traditions that connect us and make us whole. When a member of our community is in anguish, we support them, we listen deeply, and we do our best to help. Because a community cannot itself be whole while any one of its members is oppressed and grieving. To our community members, friends, and neighbors of color who are in anguish now, Washington Revels stands with you. Please read our full statement here

Our Mission

To create Community through Celebration! Washington Revels uses performance, education, and community engagement to revive, sustain, expand, and celebrate cultural traditions — in music, dance, storytelling, and drama — that bind people together in spirit and joy. We strive to illustrate the world’s common humanity, connecting all people in a community that stretches across ethnic, cultural, and religious divisions, and through time.

Our Signature Characteristics

  • Musical, theatrical, educational
  • Exploring folk traditions and cultures
  • Participatory and engaging
  • Diverse and inclusive
  • Multi-generational
  • Marking and celebrating the seasons and the cycle of life
  • Volunteer-based, professionally led

FY23 Annual ReportOur annual report is a celebration of our accomplishments and a testament to how far we’ve come. Thank you for being part of the journey!

View FY23 Washington Revels Annual Report [PDF]

View FY23 Washington Revels Annual Report [Flipbook Version]

Artistic Staff

Roberta GasbarreArtistic Director
Andrea Jones Blackford, Associate Artistic Director
Elizabeth Anne FulfordMusic Director

Office Staff

Tamara C. Williams, Executive Director
Vacant, Business Manager
Kristen Murray, Development Coordinator
Michael Lewallen, Office Manager (volunteer)
Susan Hall Lewis, Company Manager (volunteer)
Will Wurzel, Director of Information Technology (volunteer) 

Board of Directors

Joan Burns, chair
Jane Bloodworth, treasurer
Meredith Cabe
William B. Conway
Jessica DePrest
Jessica Estepa
Aryn Geier, secretary
Lisa Grosh
Cynthia Keith
Kayla Knapp
John Michael Platt
Margaret Walker
Tamara C. Williams, ex officio

Washington Revels in the Community

Washington Revels is an active participant in the broader community. In the past, we have partnered with the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution’s Discovery Theater, adapting materials from three of its Christmas Revels productions into multi-media programs seen by over 7000 school children.

Our annual Outreach Performance reaches more than 1,200 students, seniors, and others who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the joy of a Christmas Revels.

Under our Community Initiative, Washington Revels partnered with school, church and neighborhood groups to produce Revels-style community theater, providing production and directorial support while engaging the people of the partner communities as performers and as part of the production team.

Revels History

Revels was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1971 and is now active in ten cities across the United States. Each city is an independent nonprofit institution with its own board, office and artistic staff, and separate finances. An umbrella organization, Revels, Inc., maintains artistic standards for all cities, researches traditional materials from many cultures, and assists with scripts and music.