hero_Cast Member’s Blog

Cast Member’s Blog

Helen Fields is a member of the 2011 Christmas Revels adult chorus.  Her posts will give you an insider’s view into this year’s show.


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A One-Hanger Year for Costumes

by December 2, 2011 » Add the first comment.
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Let me quote for you an excerpt from a conversation between me and my dear friend Cheryl, who I met through Revels but hasn’t been in the Christmas show in a few years, due to an unnatural preoccupation with such things as “raising small children” and “not failing her classes.” Read more »


In the Makeup Room

by December 1, 2011 » Add more comments.
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There are a lot of things I like about Revels. The community. The singing. The costumes. The ribbon sticks. Here’s something I don’t like: makeup. My goodness, stage makeup does not feel nice. And it doesn’t look so nice, either, up close. That’s ok, because stage makeup isn’t meant to Read more »


A Little Bit of Help on the Program

by November 30, 2011 » Add more comments.
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I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few days helping to finish the Christmas Revels program. Our program is really elaborate. It has about eight articles, some about Revels activities and some about aspects of this year’s show. There’s a section of program notes that list every song, Read more »


Secret Hiding Places for Running Orders

by November 29, 2011 » Add more comments.
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Monday night was our first night at Lisner Auditorium. We were all in costume to work on the first part of the show. This was our first time seeing the set (wow) and finding out what it’s like to do this show on that stage. Most of us carry a Read more »


Revels Across the Country

by November 28, 2011 » Add the first comment.
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The Christmas Revels you get here in Washington is wonderful and unique, but it’s not the only Christmas Revels. We’re one of 10 Revels cities across the U.S. We’re all under a national Revels organization based in Cambridge, Mass. In addition to D.C. and Massachusetts, you can see The Christmas Read more »


Dancing Around the World

by November 27, 2011 » Add the first comment.
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There are two really exciting dances in this year’s show. I’m not in either one, which means I’ve had opportunities to take blurry pictures of both. One is called “Saidi” – it’s a dance from southern Egypt with its roots in Ancient Egyptian martial arts. It involves guys dancing with Read more »


Singing in Foreign Languages

by November 26, 2011 » Add the first comment.
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Every year, The Christmas Revels has a different theme. Those themes bring different languages with them. And different languages have different levels of difficulty. Before this year, the toughest show I’d been in for languages was the Scandinavian show in 2005, when we sang in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, and Finnish. Read more »


Snap Encounters the Tarasque

by November 23, 2011 » Add more comments.
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Volunteer Leanne Wiberg has put in a lot of hours sewing scales onto the tarasque the last few days. She’s been keeping me up to date on the goings-on in the basement at the office, where this work is being done. I have to share this picture Leanne took of Read more »


The Terrible, Adorable Tarasque

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Usually our Mummers play–the play-within-a-play in the second part of The Christmas Revels–features a hero fighting some kind of terrible monster. St. George and the dragon, for example. This year instead of a dragon we have a tarasque. The tarasque is a fearsome beast that ravaged, so the story goes, Read more »


Seven Ways to Prepare Eggplant

by November 22, 2011 » Add more comments.
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Last night I was chatting with John Pomeranz, the Washington Revels board member and sometime chorus member who is making the food for the cast party in a couple of weeks. He chastised me for not having previously mentioned that we’re singing a whole song about food. It’s called “Siete Read more »