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Creating Community Through Celebration

California Revels Newsletter



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Oakland, CA
October 2012
in this issue...
The Christmas Revels
Gift Certificates on Sale
Revels Calendar
A Period of Adjustment
Join us for a village worth of Merriment at The Christmas Revels: The Celestial Fools

The Celestial Fools take to the sea on their quest for the new year. (From the 2011 production in Cambridge, MA.)  

This holiday season, Revels finds travelers from all over Europe streaming through the small Adriatic sea town of Prosecco, in what is now Italy. It's the 16th century and, led by their local Guild of Fools, villagers are preparing for a great annual feast and holiday pageant that will mark the end of the old year and the birth of the new.


Soon the stars will come out, the moon will rise and the music and singing will start.  Mysterious visitors will arrive from the East. With the sun, moon and stars in delicate balance, and three Fools in charge of the transition to the New Year, what could possibly go wrong?


Featured as the three celestial fools are Jeff Raz, Mahsa Matin and Tristan Cunningham. Filled with music and dance from Italy, England, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans, comedy, winter rituals and participatory carols along with familiar Revels touchstones like The Shortest Day, the Sussex Mummers Carol, and the joyous Lord of the Dance, this year's production will be a truly celestial celebration!

Performance Schedule
Friday, Dec 7 8pm
 Saturday, Dec 8 1pm & 5pm
Sunday, Dec 9 1pm & 5pm

Friday, Dec 14 8pm
Saturday Dec 15 1pm & 5pm
Sunday Dec 16 1pm & 5pm

Tickets are $20-$55
(with discounts for seniors and youth)

Buy Tickets
Tickets are now on sale on the Revels website or by calling the box office at 510-452-8800, 12-5 weekdays.

Be sure to ask about parking behind the theater; $15 and spots are very limited. Or purchase through our mercantile. Parking will also be available at the ALCO Park Garage, three blocks away for $5. No reservations necessary for the ALCO Garage.

Give the Gift of Joy


Looking for an unusual and meaningful present that is guaranteed to please? 
Give the gift of joy: certificates good towards the purchase of tickets to the 2012 Christmas Revels or any future show.


Purchase online or call us at 510-452-8800 (M-F 12-5pm).  We will  mail the recipient a colorful certificate with instructions on how to redeem it and information about the show. Certificates can be purchased in any dollar amount.  

Reveling  Through the Seasons.

 2012 Calendar of Events (See our website for updates.)
December 1 - Yule at the Zoo, Oakland Zoo. 1pm

December 7-9 & 16-14 The 27th  Annual Christmas Revels: A Celebration of the Winter Solstice at the Oakland Scottish Rite Theater. See above. 

December 21 - Winter Solstice welcomed at Muir Woods.  Join the California Revels choristers and the Muir Woods staff as they carol and dance the mysterious Abbots-Bromley Stag Horn Dance amid the ageless Redwoods. 3pm-8pm. Arrive early. Parking is limited. 


The Christmas Revels ticket and merchandise sales cover only 65% of the costs required to present this unique experience. Your tax-deductible contribution helps fund the joyous pageantry of Revels - the theater, music, dance and featured performers who bring each show to life.
Help Revels celebrate the seasons year round with your tax-deductible gift.
Thank you for your continuing support!   

 From the Artistic Director

Artistic Director's Report

 A Period of Adjustment 



The year does not turn evenly. I don't mean this in an astronomical sense.  I know that there are little fluctuations due to planetary gravity, cosmic wobble or whatever, but these are too small to register on the casual observer. What I'm noticing is that the year seems to proceed in fits and starts.  Sometimes the days and weeks will hang on some unseen shoal of time, and then they will suddenly dislodge and rush giddily forward. There's no logic to it.


For example September, one of the shorter months of the year, seems to linger forever. I often recite to myself the trope, "It is September; it has always been September; it will always be September" (for the record, I also recite this for January). Some months just seem to hang around forever.


Not so for October. Despite the room it takes up on the calendar, October is a month of acceleration. It is a sprint that builds momentum to launch us all through the eye blink that is November and on through the end of the year. But October is over quickly, and I think this is a good thing.



Where I live, October is our time of trouble. It is the month that has hosted firestorms and temblors. What people elsewhere might welcome as "Indian Summer", a brief reprise of the glories of warmth and sunshine, we view with apprehension.  Sunny, windless, preternaturally quiet days in October we call "earthquake weather". There is a lot about this time of year that is disquieting. The sun, ignoring the dictums of artificially decreed daylight savings time, sets at busy, active times of day.  And it does so in the wrong places and at crazily blinding angles. This does not seem like a prolongation of summer.  It feels ominous and out of whack. It will actually come as a relief when we can eat supper after dark.


It does not surprise me that Halloween, Samhain and Dia de Los Muertos all fall at this time of the year. Holidays that focus on mortality fit perfectly with that part of my spirit that is already feeling edgy about the allocation of light and dark.


And rain.  We haven't had any for six months. Of course, we never have any for six months- light sprinkles and heavy fog excepted - but every year at this time, we have to wonder when it will come and when it does, will it be too much or too little. Paradoxically, as I write this, heavy weather is looming, both metaphorical and real. A furious storm is stalking the East Coast and may make landfall at Halloween, emphatically settling the question of "when will the rains come?" for those in its path. On another level, evenly contested elections next week will settle leaders and policies of many kinds onto a populace half of whom are bound to view the results with dismay.


And so I will be happy to leave October behind and forge ahead toward the shortest day. Mind you, I will be among the first to complain when the rains come and the basement floods, and I'm already grumbling that the darn rooster is going to start crowing an hour earlier by the clock. Yet that's the way winter is supposed to be, slightly gruff and unpleasant, like an unwelcome visitor. But we know that all visits must end. We all know that just beyond the shortest day comes the gradual lengthening of the light, and this gives us hope.


We live in two universes, the one whose rules of operation we know about and accept and also the one that reflects our fears and desires. As people throughout history have done, we gather each year to observe the Solstice because doing so speaks of our fundamental optimism.  It is a way of reaffirming our faith in possibility and the eventual return of blessings.


No, the year does not turn evenly, but it does ultimately parcel out darkness and light in the same measure. That is important to remember.  


 - David Parr, Artistic Director


Read all of David's blog on our website

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