The Christmas Revels Student Dress Rehearsal
An Invitation to The Christmas Revels

Revels would like to invite you and your students to be our guests for the dress rehearsal performance of the 51st annual Christmas Revels at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge on Thursday, December 16, 2021 at 7:30pm.

The “Christmas” Revels production is based on the long-established traditions of the northern hemisphere surrounding the dying of the light on the “shortest day” of the year and the subsequent return of light and hope. In our performance, it’s “christmas with a small “c,”” where elements of Christian narrative are tangled with world traditions around the Solstice represented as folktale.

Education is one of the major pillars of our work at Revels, and we firmly believe that cultural learning facilitates the building of a better, more inclusive society. We are thrilled to offer FREE general admission tickets to school groups for the December 16 dress rehearsal. We are also happy to provide an optional 30-minute, curriculum-based pre-performance presentation delivered in-person or virtually in the classroom and uniquely designed for your students, at no cost to you.

Note: Run-time for the performance is 90 minutes with no intermission. Though billed as a dress rehearsal, the production quality will be at the professional performance level. Although unlikely, please keep in mind that the performance might be stopped to address any major issues.

We look forward to having you in our audience!


What is Revels?

Revels engages today’s audiences in theatrical and musical experiences that bring the world’s cultural traditions and celebrations to life. Since our founding in 1971, nearly two million people nationwide have joined in the song and dance of Revels’ seasonal celebrations.

Revels creates a truly unique blend of music, dance and storytelling in our staged celebrations of the winter solstice and other seasons. Our creativity stems from a rich heritage of cultural celebrations and from the tradition bearers from the communities we celebrate. The Revels theatrical vision encourages participation by all, builds connection between diverse people and cultures, and helps fulfill the human need for celebration


About the 51st Annual Christmas Revels

This year takes place in the present day at the George and Dragon, a 17th-century English pub famous for its annual Christmas carol party. Sadly for the carolers, last year’s celebration had to be canceled due to the pandemic. The regulars are looking forward to reestablishing the traditional sing-along but the hiccup in tradition has disturbed the space/time continuum and triggered an audit by a fussy Revels bureaucrat from the 17th century. Will the current managers of the George and Dragon be able to regain their license for revelry? What will Elizabethans think of the modern song list? What happens when music and dance from the Renaissance collides with the horn section of a pub band and the street-wise locals from the 21st century?

This year, The Christmas Revels is delighted to join forces with another beloved holiday tradition to celebrate music and dance throughout the ages – City Ballet of Boston’s “Urban Nutcracker”! As part of a new collaboration between the two organizations, Tony Tucker, a choreographer from “Urban Nutcracker,” and Revels choreographer Gillian Stewart, will stage new dances for this year’s Christmas Revels performances in Cambridge, merging street dance with traditional English dance with surprising results.


Pre-performance Curriculum 

To round out your educational experience with The Christmas Revels performance, Revels has designed an optional pre-performance curriculum to prepare your students for what they will see on stage. Revels will come to your class to present song, dance, fun theatrical exercises – all related to what they will experience first hand. Students will be able to learn about the process of creating this performance, the elements of the cultures we are celebrating on stage this year, and become familiar with songs that are a major part of our traditional audience all-sing. This engaging presentation can be offered online or in person.

December 16, 2021

Date, Time, and Location

This special General Admission performance will be held on Thursday, December 16, 2021 – 7:30 (house opens at 7:00pm) at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 


This special rehearsal is free for you, your students, and your colleagues. Tickets are limited and are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

How to Join Us

We are limiting our free offer to 30 tickets per school. To reserve your tickets, please email with the following information:

  • School Name
  • School Principal
  • School Principal’s Email
  • Trip Coordinator’s Name
  • Trip Coordinator’s Email
  • Number of Tickets
  • Arrival Method
  • Pre-performance Curriculum
    • Opt-in or Opt-out
    • Online or In-person


Please return your request for tickets no later than December 1, 2021.

COVID-19 Attendance Policy

This year, The Christmas Revels will run differently than in years past. As COVID-19 continues to be a concern for our community, we are taking steps to ensure safety for all Revelers.

Patron Protocols 

With the aim of protecting the health and safety of all Christmas Revels audience members, performers, and staff, we welcome you to our in-person performances at Sanders Theatre with the following COVID-19 policies:

  • Patrons must be masked at all times
  • Patrons must attest to their current health status (e.g., no symptoms or recent exposure to others with COVID-19)
  • Patrons must provide
    • Proof of full vaccination against COVID-19
      • Proof may be provided by showing one’s physical CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, a photo of one’s card, or a digital vaccine record


    • A negative COVID-19 test
      • All patrons, including those under 12 years old, who are NOT able to provide proof of full vaccination must provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test taken within the last 72 hours


    • A valid photo ID
      • Examples include a driver’s license, passport, state-issued ID, or school ID
      • Children without a photo ID may enter accompanied by an adult who has satisfied the above requirements and can verify the test results

Patrons are asked to ARRIVE EARLY to allow enough time for documentation verification prior to the start of the performance.

Please be advised that the trip coordinator is responsible for informing all members of their party about these requirements.

A full list of our COVID Performance Protocols can be found here. Updated October 19, 2021

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