Revels Star Power: Volunteers! Guest Post by Christine Alexander

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A view of the CR14 Revels stage, with some of the cast, props and sets required to make it a grand event! photo by Joseph Kroupa

The average Christmas Revels takes
A LOT OF STAR POWER to produce.

Some of the teen cast in the 2013 Christmas Revels. photo by Shep Ferguson





Between the performers, production crews, and backstage crews an awe-inspiring amount of time is donated to the Washington Revels. Last year about 750 volunteers donated roughly 12,000 hours of their time.

costume vols
Volunteers packing boxes in the costume shop– it takes a lot of hands to move our operation down to Lisner.

An adult chorus member with perfect attendance gives about 164 hours within the months of September, October, November, and December. Our backstage Props Running Crew members donate 60 hours each over the course of tech and performances.

Wed night work parties
Volunteers at a Wednesday Night Work Party make beautiful crafts for the Merchandise Volunteers to sell at Lisner.

The Wednesday Night Work Party volunteers contribute about 280 hours during the rehearsal period, while the Merchandise Crew totals about 260 volunteer hours over the run of the show.

To say that we could not produce the Christmas Revels without the tremendous support of our volunteers is a massive understatement. Not only do our volunteers contribute their time, they contribute the energy that makes a Christmas Revels unique every year. Each show is powerful and possesses its own force thanks to the variety of people who contribute to it.

If you are interested in contributing to the power of the 2015 Christmas Revels, please fill out a volunteer form and email it to, or call our office at 301-587-3835.

Christine Alexander is the Volunteer Coordinator for Washington Revels

May Day! May Day!

The Foggy Bottom Morris Men bringing in the May (May 1, 2012)
The Foggy Bottom Morris Men bringing in the May (May 1, 2012). Photo by Elizabeth Miller.

Happy May 1st to all… how have you spent your May Day so far?  I was lucky enough to get up at 6:00 am, travel down the street to the Takoma Park Gazebo, and watch three morris teams do their very best to “bring in the  May.”  It was raining, but this did not prevent some very spirited dancing and waving of hankies (as shown on the right).  And, it seems that what they did this morning really worked!  The sun is now shining and the temperature is rising.

On hand were the Foggy Bottom Morris Men, the Rock Creek Morris Women, and the Arlington Northwest Morris (recently featured as part of our “Madrigals, Morris, and Maypole” event at the National Arboretum last Saturday).

Many other Washington Revels friends were playing in the band (Charlie Pilzer, Jennifer Cutting, Alan Peel, Jim Besser, and more… ) and many others (like me) were cheering on the dancing.  I held my umbrella in one hand, and Arlo’s dog leash in the other and just enjoyed the fun.

Since Jennifer Cutting and I both work at the Library of Congress, I wanted to share a link to a wonderful video (with lots of interesting links for more information) entitled, Bringing in the May, featuring Jennifer, who is a specialist at the American Folklife Center.  Check it out!

The Rock Creek Morris Women bringing in the May (May 1, 2012) at the Takoma Park Gazebo.
The Rock Creek Morris Women bringing in the May (May 1, 2012) at the Takoma Park Gazebo. Photo by Elizabeth Miller.

And, if you are interested in more May rituals and merriment… come and see the Washington Revels performing at the National Cathedral Flower Mart this Saturday (May 5, 2012).  Our show will run from Noon to 1:00pm, will feature some great May music (with a musical surprise… so you have to come to experience that), a mummer’s play,  and the wonderful Revels children, tweens and teens.  We will process to the front steps of the National Cathedral, crown our May Queen, sings songs and rounds (including audience participation) and after the show, we will process to the Maypole for some dancing!  Learn more about our May Revels at: