Washington Revels Blog

Washington Revels stages celebrations filled with traditional music, dance, stories and drama from around the world, revolving around the cycle of the seasons and the joys of community connections. Revels is for anyone who wants to share common ground through old and new traditions—connecting people across time and cultures. Revels is not something that you just watch—it is an experience.

While much of Revels takes place on a stage through song and dance, here on our blog members of our community attempt to capture the magic of Revels in words. We hope you take joy in reading these posts and that you will join us to make your own Revels memories soon!

Latest Posts

  • Meet the Artist: Mark Novak
    Meet the Artist: Mark Novak
    October 17, 2019 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    Mark Novak is a rabbi, storyteller, musician, writer, composer, father, and avid Washington Nationals fanatic (World Series Bound!). He is founder and spiritual guide of Minyan Oneg Shabbat, Washington DC’s Jewish Renewal gathering, and co-founder of The MultiFaith Storytelling Institute, whose mission is to change the world one story at a time. Mark and Washington Revels Artistic Director Roberta Gasbarre first connected through Arena Stage's outreach company Living Stage, where Mark was music director and Roberta was a member of the company. Both are thrilled to be working together again, and Washington Revels is excited that Mark's talents will be on display at Lisner Auditorium this December!...
    Read more
  • Meet the Artist: Karim Nagi
    Meet the Artist: Karim Nagi
    October 15, 2019 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    Image you live in a rustic European village, nestled somewhere in the mists of time... Life revolves around agriculture and the seasons, and the Winter Solstice is fast approaching. You and your neighbors hope the harvest will carry you through the shortest, darkest days, and as always, your village prepares to keep the year alive with brightly burning Yule logs, hearty songs, lively dances, and cherished stories.But this year, something different happens! Three wandering performers arrive, and they are unlike any people who have ever visited before — dressed in bright, strange clothing, atop a colorful wagon, sharing their cultural riches in the form of tales, music and dance that you've never seen or heard. Who are these traveling Fools that call themselves the Sun, Moon, and Stars? Meet our Sun Fool!...
    Read more
  • The Fool as Healer
    The Fool as Healer
    August 30, 2019 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    For September's Directors' Blog post, we thought we'd look back once more through our original Revelations newsletter, which ran in print from 1987-2006. We came across this timely article that was featured in the Fall 1992 installment — the first year that Washington Revels produced the "Celestial Fools" show you'll see this December! Written by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer of California Revels in 1991, it speaks to the role of the Fool in medieval society and the lessons that the Fool's wisdom held for us in the twentieth — and still holds in the twenty-first — century. And while not every Christmas Revels show has featured a Fool in the year's following Elizabeth's article, we think the magic she describes will certainly be on display this year....
    Read more
  • Hand in Hand
    Hand in Hand
    August 1, 2019 by
    A post by Patti Knapp, Business & Development Director
    I love this quote because it expresses the best of what nonprofit development can be. Raising funds is never one-sided — that is, “they give, we do” — because success depends on everyone connected with an organization working together towards a common goal. And of all organizations, the Washington Revels community understands what it means to walk the same path, hand in hand....
    Read more
  • The Power of Our Reveling in a Changing World
    The Power of Our Reveling in a Changing World
    June 27, 2019 by
    A post by Jo Rasi, Community Engagement Director
    All of us who consider ourselves Revelers probably enjoy singing and sharing songs with others. We may all love the sense of community we’ve created. And we know what it is to be in the midst of a moment of collective joy. Recently, as Community Engagement Director, I’ve been thinking about those four elements of Reveling (singing, sharing songs, a sense of community, and collective joy)....
    Read more
  • Wanted!—Heritage Voices
    Wanted!—Heritage Voices
    June 5, 2019 by
    A post by Elizabeth Fulford, Washington Revels Music Director
    During the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, Washington Revels formed several groups to research and “bring to life” the varied traditions that made up nineteenth-century musical life in this country, from shape-note tunes, to political ditties, to traditional spirituals. So when Jackie Streker of the George Washington University Museum approached me about recording some music for its upcoming “Songs of the Civil War” exhibit, I jumped at the opportunity to gather the forces and learn some new tunes....
    Read more
  • Hi Ho, the Rattlin' "Blog"
    Hi Ho, the Rattlin’ “Blog”
    June 1, 2019 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    For 35 years, Washington Revels and its audiences have celebrated the arrival of spring with performances on the first weekend of May featuring Revels’ usual combination of music, song, dance, and drama. Like many of the traditions that Washington Revels celebrates year-round, May Day has its origins in ancient festivities marking the changing of the seasons. These traditions relate to humanity’s vulnerability in the face of nature and its use of community celebrations to express the joys and fears surrounding the cycle of...
    Read more
  • The Sailors' Spring
    The Sailors’ Spring
    April 30, 2019 by
    A post by Mike Matheson, Director, Maritime Voices
    This past Winter, we sailors and womenfolk of the Washington Revels Maritime Voices got our annual voyage underway by performing center stage at the Folklore Society of Greater Washington's annual Mid-Winter Festival — and as all hearty sailors would do at the end of a successful voyage, we concluded February by conducting our usual raucous party. We’ve since been sailing through the Spring to some old familiar shores....
    Read more
  • News Release - May Revels at BlackRock SpringFest
    News Release – May Revels at BlackRock SpringFest
    April 11, 2019 by
    Silver Spring, MD, April 11, 2019 – While taking a holiday this May Day might not be possible for most people in Montgomery County, on Sunday, May 5, Washington Revels and BlackRock Center for the Arts will invite UpCounty residents to celebrate the return of Spring during the first annual outdoor BlackRock SpringFest: a free afternoon of traditional music, dance and more featuring local musicians and entertainers, craft vendors, food trucks, and 100 performers from Washington Revels....
    Read more
  • Maypole top with ribbons
    News Release – May Revels in DC
    April 11, 2019 by
    Silver Spring, MD, April 11, 2019 – While taking a holiday this May Day might not be possible for most Washingtonians, on Saturday, May 4, Washington Revels invites DC-area residents to celebrate the return of Spring during its annual May Revels at Washington National Cathedral: a free, family-friendly, one-hour performance that revives Spring traditions from merry old England....
    Read more

View Blog Posts Archive