Puget Sound Revels®
ABOUT THE REVELS
"WHAT IS THE CHRISTMAS REVELS?"
The National Endowment for the Arts calls it a new form of musical
theater. It is dance, drama and storytelling rooted in ancient seasonal ritual and
traditions. It is seasonal, celebratory, and participatory -- long on
theme, short on plot, not a concert, not a play. The Christmas Revels revives
the ancient connection between the community and the arts, between
celebration and the seasons as we create a celebrating village onstage that ends up
encompassing the whole theater. Unique in its intentional blending of community and professional
theater and its blending of folk and more formal forms of song and dance, the
material is ancient, beautiful, funny and strong and has an unusual way of
touching the players and our large, multi-age audiences.
The Christmas Revels involves 60 to 90 people on-stage, the heart of
which is a large chorus of adults and children (auditioned from the
community) to which we add professional actors, storytellers, singers, dancers and
instrumentalists. The volunteers' enthusiasm energizes performances as
their abilities are stretched to their maximum potential by the opportunity to work with
seasoned performers. Each show is professionally lit and costumed and
supported by professional instrumentalists.
EVERY YEAR A NEW THEME!
Audiences expect a similar experience from year to year that revolves
around the mid-winter themes of light and dark. Our challenge is to give the
audience that experience while exposing them each year to a different
time and place (i.e. Italian, Nordic, Celtic, American, Victorian, Medieval,
etc). Revels'® success is that, while it refers to ancient tradition, it has
become a living tradition for the community. Some elements in the productions remain
constant from year to year, whatever the theme. These have become the Revels rituals and include: the Abbots
Bromley horn dance; the Shortest Day poem by Susan Cooper; the Lord of
the Dance to end the first act and the Sussex Mummers Carol to end the show.
HISTORY OF PUGET SOUND Revels
The Puget Sound Revels incorporated in 1992 and produced its first
show, a Spring Revels, at the Scottish Rite Temple in Seattle in May 1993
followed by a Sea Revels at the same location in May 1994. The first Christmas Revels
followed the same year in December 1994 at the Rialto Theater in
Tacoma. There has been a Christmas Revels every year at the Rialto since 1994.
Revels ACROSS THE CONTINENT
We license the Revels name and logo from Revels, Inc. in Cambridge, MA,
although we and other Revels organizations (Hanover, NH; Philadelphia;
New York; Washington; Houston; Chicago, Boulder, CO; California; Portland) are
separately incorporated each with its own local mission and character.
Revels, Inc. was founded in 1971 by John Langstaff, concert-trained baritone and music
educator, to promote public understanding and appreciation of
traditional dance, music, drama and poetry through the medium of participatory theater and
communal celebration. It presents 18 sell-out performances in the Boston area
every December. Across the country over 60,000 people attend a Revels
The names Revels, The Christmas Revels, The Spring Revels, Summer Revels, Sea Revels, Harvest Revels, and Country Revels are all registered trademarks of Revels, Inc. All productions inspired by Revels workshops, products, and shows must be entitled differently, unless authorized to do so by Revels, Inc. No productions may be called by a name using the word "Revels" or any form of the word, other than those directly licensed by Revels, Inc.
"The colder and stormier the December, the better the Revels. The annual festival of song, dance and drama . . . reflects feelings as old as humanity itself: fear of chill and darkness at the winter solstice, celebration as the sun begins to return." - New York Times