The Midwinter Revels: A Solstice Celebration

The Midwinter Revels is a cherished holiday tradition for over 70,000 people throughout the country. Every December, the Cambridge Revels community gathers in Harvard University’s historic Sanders Theatre to celebrate the season through the traditional songs, dances, and stories of cultures from around the world.

The Midwinter Revels: A Solstice Celebration

It is Christmas Eve, and a delay in the processing on Ellis Island means that a number of families from Ireland, Russia, and Germany must spend some extended time together. The Irish and Old World Jewish families have many differences, but through the curiosity of their children and the insights of the Mexican nurses who are charged with their care, they find ways to celebrate their rite of passage through music, song and story.

These hard times have taken a toll on all of us. We invite you to join us during the darkest time of year for some joyful Revels alchemy.  With music and song that leaps across borders, and stories animated by creative imagery, song, and puppetry, you will be participants in the magic that transforms the shortest days into hopeful light. Take joy!

Live Performance Schedule

Friday, December 16 – 7:30 PM*
Saturday, December 17 – 3:00 PM
Saturday, December 17 – 7:30 PM
Sunday, December 18 – 1:00 PM*
Sunday, December 18 – 5:30 PM
Wednesday, December 21 – 7:30 PM
Thursday, December 22 – 7:30 PM
Friday, December 23 – 3:00 PM
Friday, December 23  – 7:30 PM
Monday, December 26 – 1:00 PM
Monday, December 26 – 5:30 PM
Tuesday, December 27 – 1:00 PM
Wednesday, December 28 – 1:00 pm

*Performances on December 16 and 18 will be accompanied by ASL interpreters

Virtual Performance

We will again offer a fully virtual Midwinter Revels experience to audiences around the world!

If you are unable to attend The Midwinter Revels live this year (or just want to see it again!), join us for a virtual extended run. Your virtual Event Pass includes unlimited access during the viewing period to a digitally enhanced version of this year’s Midwinter Revels, recorded during a live performance in Sanders Theatre. 

 

 

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Meet the Artists
We've got a great lineup of performers coming your way - check back soon to learn more!
Paddy Swanson
Director
Paddy Swanson
Director

Paddy Swanson began his career in London as an actor at the Arts Theatre in the West End. In 1969, he toured Europe with La MaMa Plexus and subsequently got his world theater education from Ellen Stewart at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York. His numerous directing projects include opera, ensemble, music theater and circus.  He was a founding stage director of Circus Flora.

Paddy taught acting and improvisation at the London Academy of Dramatic Art (L.A.M.D.A.), the London Drama Centre, and New York University. He served as artistic director of the Castle Hill Festival at Castle Hill in Ipswich, Massachusetts, directing and co-producing opera and theater works, including the premiere of Julie Taymor’s Liberty’s Taken and Peter Sellars’ production of Cosi fan Tutte. Other directing credits include Tristan and Iseult with the Boston Camerata at the Spoleto USA festival; Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell at Houston’s Alley Theatre and Boston’s Charles Playhouse;  Happy Days by Samuel Beckett, The Caretaker by Harold Pinter, and two stage premieres at Gloucester Stage Company; Talking Heads by Alan Bennett; and Fighting Over Beverley by Israel Horowitz . His Actors’ Shakespeare Project (A.S.P.) production of  Shakespeare’s King Lear with Alvin Epstein was nominated for three 2006 Elliot Norton awards. For A.S.P. he subsequently directed The Tempest, The Coveted Crown  (Henry IV Parts One and Two) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His most recent acting performance was for Gloucester Stage in their 20th anniversary production of Fighting over Beverley.

For Revels, Paddy has directed a contemporary version of the medieval mystery plays, The Mysteries by Tony Harrison, co-produced by Revels and Shakespeare & Company, and Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde. He writes and directs all Cambridge Revels scripts, and with music director George Emlen, serves as consultant to the other eight Revels production companies.

Elijah Botkin
Music Director
Elijah Botkin
Music Director

Elijah info here

David Coffin
Master of Ceremonies
David Coffin
Master of Ceremonies

David recently celebrated 40 years of performing with Revels by releasing a compilation 2 CD set David Coffin Live from the Revels Stage representing his favorite songs with various guest artists, the Revels Choruses, and most importantly, you, the Revels audience. During the pandemic he has taken to creating virtual content not only in producing the #RevelsConnects series but also on TikTok since the “Sea Chantey Craze” took the world by storm winter of 2021. As a result he has just released a 12 song digital album (The Sound of Time) of all single take performances of a variety of genres.

Widely known for his rich baritone voice, David performs on an impressive array of musical instruments, including concertinas, recorders, penny whistles, bombardes, gemshorns, shawms, rauschpfieffes, or, as he explains, “Generally anything that requires a lot of hot air”. At the heart of David’s work is his extensive collection of songs from the Maritime Tradition.

When he’s not on the Revels stage David is presenting his signature Enrichment Programs (a history of Wind Instruments and an imaginary 18th Century Whaling Program) in New England schools as the Revels-Artist-in-Residence. In the Summer he can be found on a boat in Boston Harbor taking over 10,000 inner-city kids out to a harbor island through Save the Harbor Save the Bay. www.davidcoffin.com

Rave Reviews

The colder and stormier the December, the better the Revels……the annual festival of song, dance and drama reflects feelings as old as humanity itself: fear of chill and darkness at the winter solstice, celebration as the sun begins to return.

New York Times

Thank you for still finding a way to share Revels with us; I am newer to the show, but in the last few years it has truly become a part of my holiday traditions, and I would have missed it sorely.

Amber R.

Revels exemplifies the power of good ideas not contained! By creating its own annual custom, Revels has found a unique way to celebrate the seasonal rituals of the world…To my family, the celebration has become tradition wrapped in tradition.

Yo-Yo Ma, cellist
LIVE PERFORMANCE TICKETS
The Midwinter Revels: A Solstice Celebration

Tickets go on sale to donors ($125+) at noon on Thursday, October 13

Tickets go on sale to the general public at noon on Thursday, October 27

Do you want early access to Midwinter Revels tickets? Donate to Revels today!


Ticket prices: 

Premium Adult  $105
Premium Student/Child  $80

Top Adult  $85
Top Student/Child  $60

Middle Adult  $65
Middle Student/Child  $40

Partial View Adult  $45
Partial View Student/Child  $20

Performance Schedule:

Friday December 16th - Wednesday, December 28th

13 Performances – Matinees and Evenings

Location: Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA

 

Performance Schedule

Friday, December 16 – 7:30 PM*

Saturday, December 17 – 3:00 PM

Saturday, December 17 – 7:30 PM

Sunday, December 18 – 1:00 PM*

Sunday, December 18 – 5:30 PM

Wednesday, December 21 – 7:30 PM

Thursday, December 22 – 7:30 PM

Friday, December 23 – 3:00 PM

Friday, December 23  – 7:30 PM

Monday, December 26 – 1:00 PM

Monday, December 26 – 5:30 PM

Tuesday, December 27 – 1:00 PM

Wednesday, December 28 – 1:00 pm

*Performances on December 16 and 18 will be accompanied by ASL interpreters

VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE EVENT PASSES
The Midwinter Revels: A Solstice Celebration
The Midwinter Revels: Virtual Event Pass

Event Passes on sale in November!

Join us for a virtual encore of The Midwinter Revels! Your virtual event pass includes unlimited access from December 29 – January 8 to our 52nd annual Midwinter Revels, recorded during a live performance at Sanders Theatre. 

 

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