What Blizzard?

Blogs

02.23.2017

A New Perspective: Reflections on Revels National Producer/Directors Retreat

by Revels, Inc. music director and first-time attendee, Megan Henderson

The blizzard had just touched down in earnest and ours was the last flight to leave the Logan Airport runway that morning. The planeful of anxious passengers applauded with enthusiasm when we were clearly airborne. Off to LA we go! 

Prior to leaving for our national Producers/Directors conference earlier this month, Paddy and I had either seen the live shows or watched the DVDs of the other Revels productions from Boulder, Houston, Hanover (NH), Portland (Oregon), Puget Sound, Oakland, Santa Barbara and Washington, DC. That alone was a fascinating experience and one which put Cambridge Revels into a much a larger context for me. I was the lucky one who drew the Santa Barbara straw when it came time to travel in December to see the other productions. To see the audience gathering under palm trees on a warm winter day was somewhat disorienting, but nonetheless wonderful! Lord of the Dance, Dona Nobis Pacem, a Mummers’ Play, The Shortest Day and Sussex Mummers’ Carol were beautifully presented and the audience participated with gusto! WHAT? THIS REALLY HAPPENS IN OTHER CITIES TOO?! 

By the time I boarded the plane on February 9th, my head was spinning with the sights, sounds, plot-lines, jokes, costumes, innovations and longstanding traditions that uniquely characterize every Revels production. Three cities did a Welsh show. Two did a Scottish show. The other themes were French Canadian, Nordic and Italian Commedia. It’s incredible to consider that we are one of nine cities in the U S. that join our voices with people of all ages in our audiences to celebrate the season, honor the shortest day of the year and the return of the light through song, dance, drama and comedy. There is a purity to Revels that is so refreshing and renewing in this very accelerated and technological age we are living in. 

So, off to Malibu to meet the folks behind all of these productions! (Some people just have to make sacrifices for their art and spend the weekend in beautiful Malibu, across the street from the wild Pacific Ocean. Ah well.) As I traveled along the Pacific Coast Highway from LAX to the conference center site, I saw surfers, palm trees, cacti, pelicans, seagulls, frolicking dolphins and seals, bikers and touches of botox here and there among the locals. Southern California was lush, green and warm. The car windows were down. 

It was at first overwhelming to meet so many new people when I arrived at the the conference. Not surprisingly, everyone was friendly and very welcoming. Each city has their own unique and somewhat ineffable identity. Well deserved pride in each team’s recent production was palpable as we all viewed 20 minute clips of everyone’s show throughout the weekend.  Camaraderie and support were evident.  For me, it was fun to see clips for a second or third time.There is always something new to notice. Revels is such a unique entity and these other folks very quickly felt like family. One evening found the group breaking into spontaneous song. Washington D.C.’s Greg Lewis and Portland’s Robert Lockwood acquitted themselves very well indeed as song leaders! Our own Howard Grant spared no expense for the h’ors d’oevres and potables, by the way. 

Our days and evenings were spent in meetings with various topics. The stage directors, music directors, executive directors and marketing directors spent some time in separate  meetings discussing the challenges and delights that come with the respective territories. When these gatherings weren’t occurring, Paddy and I met with each city’s staff individually to review the past production and look ahead to the next. The days were long, but punctuated by great communal meals, walks on the lovely grounds and quick little escapes to see the ocean from a hilltop. Many new friendships were formed and common ground was easily found.

 In the end, I came away feeling part of the much larger whole that is Revels. New resources, respected colleagues and kindred spirits were discovered. I am feeling inspired and rejuvenated and ready to dive into the gems of the Venetian Renaissance with renewed vigor. Some new Portland friends are coming to visit in June. We will compare notes on our Italian projects, hit a few museums and slurp a few oysters. I am already looking forward to next year’s conference in beautiful Malibu. The view from the conference center:


View_from_the_conference_center_650.jpg


Revels development director Diane Kennedy’s did not go to the conference. This is the view of her driveway at the same time the above photo was taken:

Diane_view.jpg
share this story on social media

Related Stories
See More
Blogs
11.23.2021
Thanks Giving

Read More

Blogs
10.08.2021
Meet Arkansas Light, Christmas Revels Production Stage Manager

Read More

Blogs
09.22.2021
Artist Spotlight: Ken Field

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
01.26.2021
Volunteer Spotlight: Haley Fisher

Read More

Reviews
12.29.2020
The Sleepless Critic Review: Christmas Revels 50th virtual anniversary delivers mirth, merriment,

Read More

Reviews
12.23.2020
Review: Christmas Classics – Virtual Editions and Good as New!!

Read More

Reviews
12.19.2020
Boston Globe Review: This virtual Christmas Revels is a virtual triumph

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
11.10.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Rachel Grygorcewicz

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
10.29.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Nick Browse

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
10.01.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Ross Hall

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
08.26.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Harvey Cohen

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
08.05.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Cathie Ghorbani

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
07.07.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Mari Young

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
06.30.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Julie Smith

Read More

Blogs
05.19.2020
David Zooms to Perkins

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
05.13.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: John Recroft

Read More

Blogs
04.30.2020
MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

Read More

Reviews
12.19.2019
Review: Christmas Revels Brings Its Special Cheer to Depression Era America

Read More

Reviews
12.19.2019
BWW Review: THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: A Long Tradition of Community Forged Through

Read More

Reviews
12.17.2019
Theater Review: The Christmas Revels – American Version

Read More

Reviews
12.16.2019
REVIEW: Nearly 50, Christmas Revels is better than ever

Read More

Reviews
12.14.2019
REVIEW: This Christmas Revels goes to the American heartland

Read More

Blogs
11.21.2019
Thanksgiving

Read More

Blogs
06.21.2019
Solstice Duality

Read More

Blogs
03.19.2019
Happy Spring!

Read More

Reviews
12.20.2018
REVIEW: Christmas Revels Celebrates the ‘Other’ Great White North

Read More

Reviews
12.18.2018
REVIEW: ‘The Christmas Revels’ points north

Read More

Reviews
12.18.2018
Theater Review: The Christmas Revels – A Wonderful Nordic Celebration

Read More

Blogs
11.12.2018
Just Add Audience

Read More

Blogs
06.21.2018
The Longest Day

Read More

Blogs
05.16.2018
A Magical Experience: The Making of a CD

Read More

Blogs
02.14.2018
Malibu 2018

Read More

Reviews
12.27.2017
REVIEW: Revels’ ‘Venetian Celebration’ glitters

Read More

Reviews
12.13.2017
REVIEW: Old World Music, Comedy from Renaissance Era Lights Up Christmas Revels

Read More

Blogs
12.12.2017
St. Nicholas in Bohemia: Mikulas Eve

Read More

Reviews
12.10.2017
REVIEW: A handsome ‘Christmas Revels’ brings the party to Venice

Read More

Reviews
12.01.2017
A liberating holiday performance

Read More

Blogs
11.30.2017
The Master of the Revels

Read More

Blogs
06.21.2017
The Solstice Stands Revealed

Read More

Announcements
06.15.2017
Revels is here! Revels is here!

Read More

Blogs
05.24.2017
Striding Arches

Read More

Blogs
04.18.2017
Moonlighting with Shakespeare

Read More

Blogs
02.23.2017
What Blizzard?

Read More

Reviews
12.14.2016
Christmas Revels Enchants with Celebration of Acadian, Cajun Cultures

Read More

Announcements
12.12.2016
The Holy and the Broken Hallelujah Or How I learned to stop

Read More

Reviews
12.12.2016
This Acadian-Cajun Christmas Revels lets the good times roll

Read More

Reviews
12.04.2016
Annual Christmas Revels’ production fills the stage with delight

Read More

Blogs
06.06.2016
A Music Director Reflects

Read More

Blogs
04.11.2016
Fenway’s Ritual Earth

Read More

Announcements
03.08.2016
Welcome to Our New Music Director

Read More

Blogs
02.17.2016
Reflections on Malibu

Read More

Reviews
12.14.2015
‘Christmas Revels’ finally makes it to Wales

Read More

Blogs
12.10.2015
Christmas Revels – Looking Back and Looking Forward

Read More

Blogs
10.26.2015
Dylan Thomas: the intersection where poetry and drama meet

Read More

Announcements
09.16.2015
Revels Music Director George Emlen Announces His Retirement

Read More

Blogs
08.24.2015
Giving Voice

Read More

Blogs
07.17.2015
A Revels Director in Wales

Read More

Blogs
06.19.2015
Summer solstice: the year’s circus act

Read More

Reviews
06.12.2015
The Boston Globe profiles harpist Maeve Gilchrist and Revels FRINGE

Read More

Announcements
05.27.2015
Reporting on Education at Revels

Read More

Blogs
05.11.2015
The Great Flying Machine Race

Read More

Blogs
05.01.2015
The Wheel of the World

Read More

Blogs
04.13.2015
What’s Your Version of the Revels Elephant?

Read More

Announcements
01.26.2015
Farewell from Steve

Read More

Announcements
01.14.2015
Summer Camp

Read More

Reviews
12.17.2014
Fuse Theater Review: The Christmas Revels – Charming English Music Hall Edition

Read More

Reviews
12.17.2014
The Boston Globe Review: For Christmas Revels, a welcome return to Victorian

Read More

Reviews
12.16.2014
Events Insider Review: Christmas Revels Brings Victorian Dance Hall Celebration to Sanders

Read More

Reviews
12.15.2014
TAB Newspapers Theater Review: Revels transports audiences to Victorian England

Read More

Blogs
12.11.2014
The Crystal Palace

Read More

Blogs
09.16.2014
Don’t Blame Persephone

Read More

Blogs
07.07.2014
From the FRINGE: Who’s Maeve Listening to?

Read More

Blogs
06.20.2014
Solstice Fires

Read More

Blogs
04.25.2014
Patriot’s Day – My Favorite Holiday

Read More

Announcements
04.14.2014
A Forum on Arts Funding

Read More

Blogs
03.18.2014
Spring Forward

Read More

Blogs
03.03.2014
The Itinerant Musician

Read More

Announcements
02.05.2014
Welcome to the Revels blog

Read More

Stay up to date
with Revels.
Sign up to receive email updates on performances, events, and news coming from Revels.