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

  • Rediscovering a Family Tradition
    Rediscovering a Family Tradition
    November 27, 2019 by
    A post by Ross Wixon, Marketing & Development Director Updated November 27, 2019 What would it be like to go to a concert and feel like you truly belonged? Like the performers on stage weren’t singing to you, weren’t selling you some experience — but instead to...
    Read more
  • Meet the Artist: Shizumi Shigeto Manale
    Meet the Artist: Shizumi Shigeto Manale
    November 21, 2019 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    Born in Hiroshima and raised in Osaka Japan, Shizumi Shigeto Manale’s numerous artistic endeavors are dedicated to promoting multicultural understanding and acceptance. She is a world-renowned and highly awarded dancer, choreographer, author, director, and film producer. In 1985 she founded Shizumi Dance Theatre and, from 2000-2015, she directed the children’s dance company Shizumi Kodomo Dance Troupe, which performed for President Clinton at the White House’s Millennium Celebrations. Shizumi also served as the artistic director of the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s opening ceremonies for seven years...
    Read more
  • Meet the Musicians!
    Meet the Musicians!
    November 12, 2019 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    With so many artistic and cultural traditions on stage at once in this year's Christmas Revels, music director Elizabeth Fulford knew "Celestial Fools" needed guest musicians who were masters of many styles and who could move flexibly from one to another in quick succession. It was a tall order, but of course she found them — and Washington Revels is so glad to feature Klezmer and world music specialists Seth Kibel, Vladimir Fridman, and Bob Abbott as the onstage band in our 2019 production!...
    Read more
  • A Winter Tale with Many Layers
    A Winter Tale with Many Layers
    November 1, 2019 by
    A post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director
    Many beloved sagas come with layers of meaning that can deepen and broaden our excitement and enjoyment. The plot surprises and thrills; the characters are funny or charismatic figures that we identify with or find intriguing in their differences from the folks in our everyday lives. As books, plays, and live musical events, these sagas become visceral feasts with beauty and awe-inspiring sights and sounds that transport and inspire — or moments that startle, confront, and make us think....
    Read more
  • News Release - 2019 Christmas Revels
    News Release – 2019 Christmas Revels
    October 23, 2019 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    Washington Revels will present the 37th annual production of The Christmas Revels in eight performances from December 7-15 at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium in downtown Washington, DC.The Christmas Revels: “Celestial Fools” will transport audiences to a rustic European village nestled somewhere in the mists of time. As the winter days grow short, three wandering performers arrive from far-off lands, weaving music, dances, and stories from their cultures into an enchanting and dramatic tale of the Winter Solstice. But when the sun finally sets on the longest night — and darkness seems to stretch on without end — these “Celestial Fools” embark on a journey into the heavens to reclaim the light and restore its warmth to the world....
    Read more
  • 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

View Blog Posts Archive