Christmas Revels 2021 

 Harvard currently has plans in place to fully reopen in the fall. Due to these glad tidings, we fully expect that The Christmas Revels will return to Sanders Theatre for in-person, live performances this December! We remain in close communication with Harvard and will keep you informed should anything change. In the meantime, we are planning our 51st annual Christmas Revels accordingly, including auditions in September.

Christmas Revels Chorus Audition Dates & Times:

Sunday, September 12, and Monday, September 13 (4-6pm children, 7-9:30pm adults), at 80 Mt. Auburn Street, Watertown.

A second location and date TBA

While Revels uses a number of professional performers in its productions, its volunteer choruses, adults and children, are at its core. There is no "standing" Revels production chorus; we audition each cast anew and encourage adults and children of diverse backgrounds to try out for the production. 


x16_chorus_280.jpgRevels cast members are people who love to sing, who sing vigorously and accurately with a good sense of rhythm and who can hold their own part in a choral context. Some are experienced choral singers, some are not. Sight-reading is not necessary, but a good ear and the ability to memorize music and text are. We also look for a variety of ages, sizes and personalities to create a realistic "village" on stage.


Performing in Revels is a big commitment. For The Christmas Revels, there are 11 weeks of rehearsals (one rehearsal per week and 3 additional all-day Saturday rehearsals). Tech Week runs four nights in the theater from 6 to 11pm (children from 5 to 9:30pm for two days, from 5 to 10:30pm for two). The Christmas Revels has a run of 15 performances, matinees & evenings, spanning a two-week period towards the end of December.

COVID Vaccine Policy

Please click here to read our COVID-19 Vaccine Policy. 


About This Year's Production 

The Christmas Revels 2021: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice 

Directed by Patrick Swanson; George Emlen, Music Director

The first Christmas Revels in Sanders Theatre in 1971 was a riot of color and voices with medieval sackbuts, shawms, rebecs and the commanding figure of Jack Langstaff exhorting the stunned Cambridge audience to “Sing!”  Every December since then audiences have gathered in their thousands in Sanders Theatre to sing and dance with us and to celebrate the solstice. Last year was a challenge with all theaters shuttered, but thanks to the intervention of Josiah Quincy and James Otis (the two marble statues on either side of Sanders stage) we managed to create an ethereal out-of-theater Revels experience. This year we are back.  

Our 51st Christmas Revels takes place in the present day at the George and Dragon, a 17th-century pub famous for its annual Christmas carol party. Sadly for the carolers, last year’s celebration, like many others, was compromised.  The regulars are looking forward to reestablishing the traditional sing-along and the younger generation are plotting a surprise contribution. But the hiccup in tradition has disturbed the space/time continuum and alerted a fussy Revels bureaucrat from the 17th century who, with his Elizabethan entourage, will be making an official visit to the 21st century to make an inspection and to put things back in order. We will unpack the elements that make up Revels and through music, dance and story discover the connections that tie the past to the present.     

In this telling of the story, old and new ways meet, and the world gets a little bigger. With music and dance from the Renaissance all the way to the present day we hope that there is something here for everyone to enjoy as we celebrate the season as only Revels can!


Our Diversity Statement

Diversity is a fundamental element in Revels’ musical and theatrical productions. Through music, dance, and storytelling, we celebrate the seasonal and cultural traditions of our world, honoring and upholding the differences that make individuals and cultures truly unique and reminding us of the universal values that connect us all. This principle guides our organizational approach with events, educational programs, performers, audience, volunteers, partners, and staff. We offer an open, creative space that welcomes every person to help shape and take part in our distinctive community experiences.


Opportunity Fund

Revels commits to diversifying all aspects of our productions. To achieve this, we have created the Revels Opportunity Fund to make it possible for any interested person to participate in our volunteer auditioned chorus for The Christmas Revels. The Opportunity Fund will help to cover the costs of transportation, childcare, and other expenses that might make it difficult to participate in our annual flagship production. We welcome every person to help shape and take part in our distinctive community experiences. More details on the Revels Opportunity Fund will be available in September.

Youth Protection 

The Revels Youth Protection Policy was adopted by the board in June 2016. If you are eighteen or older and accepted into the Christmas Revels Adult Chorus please note your acceptance will be pending a CORI check.  If you have any questions contact Production Manager Miguel Flores at

Revels Youth Protection Policies here

CORI Procedures here

CORI Form here