What is Revels?
Revels is a one-of-a-kind experience, a little bit classical, a little bit historical, and a little bit farcical. It harkens back to the old days of community and family, when a night out meant singing around the fireplace. Our seasonal celebrations invite everyone to participate in joyful traditions old and new!
The History of Portland Revels
In December of 1994, in the Mago Hunt Theatre at the University of Portland, a newly-minted “Rose City Revels” boldly put on a “sampler” show of songs and dances from the original Christmas Revels. This rousing, ambitious test of local interest featured John Langstaff (founder of The Revels in Cambridge), the Bridgetown Morris Men, the Rose City Gay Freedom Band, an enthusiastic group of barely-rehearsed-enough children, and a wonderful, if small, chorus of ready singers under the direction of Russ Oelheim.
A small crowd of 200 loved it, sang along, and danced all over the theater with the cast-the first “Lord of the Dance” in Portland! It was an auspicious start, full of enthusiasm and ready talent. The following year, 1995, at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall, the first fully-staged Christmas Revels drew 1,500 people to five performances. Since then, Portland Revels has grown; the Midwinter Revels now draws over 5000 patrons yearly.
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Midwinter Revels Traditions
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