Revels Job Opportunities

September 19, 2018


Revels, Inc.

Position Announcement

Executive Director

Revels, Inc., a nationally recognized nonprofit performing arts organization based in Watertown, Massachusetts, is seeking a dynamic Executive Director. Best known for its annual production of The Christmas Revels, Revels engages today’s audiences in theatrical and musical experiences that bring the world’s cultural traditions and celebrations to life. Please visit our website at


The Organization

The birth of Revels dates to 1957, when founder John Langstaff created a Christmas Revels production for New York City’s Town Hall. The show was an exciting new form of celebration-performance that wove together the music, dance and storytelling of communities and cultures from around the world and across the centuries. Ten years later, NBC engaged Langstaff to create a similar production for a nationally televised Christmas special that ran for two years. In 1971, the first Christmas Revels production was staged at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, where it has grown to attract 18 sold-out audiences annually. As we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary in 2021, we are also planning the organization’s next 50 years.

As in the very first year, all Christmas Revels productions include traditional and ritual dances, processionals, carols and drama. Certain touchstone elements remain the same from year to year while the setting, place and time change annually. Originally celebrating the traditions of the British Isles, productions encompass an ever-growing range of cultures from Victorian England, Renaissance Italy, Armenia and Georgia to a Mexican village and the Underground Railroad of 19th -century America. As in the very first year, Revels brings together auditioned, amateur choral singers – both adults and children – with professional actors, singers, instrumentalists, dancers and storytellers. At the heart of this magical experience is audience participation, drawing everyone into the life of the show in moving and powerful ways.

In addition, throughout the year Revels also produces unique seasonal celebrations and collaborative performances, provides a variety of education programs, and creates recordings and songbooks of traditional music.

  •  We practice the art of participation, We welcome and guide new and old friends on a journey of discovery and fun. We believe all people can sing, dance, and be part of the Revels experience together.
  • We foster cultural exploration. We bring together different cultures and genres in fresh and unexpected ways with respect and curiosity in our search for diverse cultural expressions from around the world.
  • We create connection. By weaving personal connections between people, we build a shared sense of community. By connecting common strands of diverse cultures, we build understanding. By celebrating the differences that make people and cultures unique and interesting, we help create a society that values harmony.
  • We are stewards of tradition. The music, dances and stories passed down embody a collected wisdom that can illuminate the past and inform the future, grounding us in what it means to be human.
  • We fulfill the human need for celebration. The annual progression of the calendar provides a springboard to spread joy in every season. We turn music, dance and folktales from around the world into magical experiences brimming with spirit, optimism, irreverence, fellowship, and revelry.

Revels Inc. has a ten-member Board of Directors, an Advisory Council of seven members, hundreds of volunteers, and a talented staff of eleven. Annual revenue totals approximately $1.6 million from performance and program revenue and contributions. Revels Inc. of Cambridge has grown to include eight other Revels companies nationwide (in Boulder, CO; Hanover, NH; Houston, TX; Oakland, CA; Portland, OR; Santa Barbara, CA; Washington DC; and Tacoma, WA). Over two million tickets to The Christmas Revels have been sold nationally since the first performance. Revels, while successfully promoting the traditional arts and the value of ritual to society, has become an important tradition itself for audiences nationally.


Responsibilities of the Executive Director

Vision and Strategy

  • Guide and direct the process to create a new Strategic Plan that will sustain and secure the future of Revels
  • Work closely with the Board to facilitate transitioning organizational leadership
  • Craft and execute a multi-year Plan of Action for program delivery and sustainability
  • Maintain and deepen Revels’ organizational culture and values


Fundraising and Marketing

  • Lead the overall fundraising strategy, developing and executing plans to ensure a sustainable and diverse funding stream. This includes cultivating and stewarding individual, corporate and foundation funders
  • Develop and broaden existing community partnerships and cultivate new partners
  • Build on Revels’ local and national reputation to maximize participation in and support for events and performances


Organizational Leadership

  • Inspire and lead a highly skilled, diverse, and committed Board, staff and volunteers
  • Provide strong fiscal management and professional organizational leadership
  • Collaborate actively with staff in developing and executing annual plans
  • Provide clear expectations for individual roles and ensure inclusive, transparent and regular communication
  • Hire, train, supervise, mentor, evaluate and coach staff
  • Foster collaboration with the eight Revels companies in our sister cities through visits and annual conferences


Collaboration with the Board of Directors

  • Partner with Board leadership to continually strengthen the Board
  • Provide regular updates to the Board on operations and finance and present recommendations
  • Work with the Board to ensure compliance with bylaws, policies, and Board directions


Qualifications Desired

Passion for Revels’ mission

  • Significant organizational management experience; experience in performing arts organization strongly preferred
  • Strong operational and financial management skills
  • Successful corporate, foundation and individual fundraising experience
  • Sincere commitment to inclusion and diversity
  • Collaborative leadership style
  • Excellent communication skills in public speaking, writing, and personal interaction
  • Desire and ability to work with highly dedicated colleagues
  • Interest in music, dance, drama, world cultures, performance and education


To apply:

Please send cover letter and resume or nominations to Susan Egmont at Egmont Associates,