Portland Revels History

John Langstaff
John Langstaff

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. The set was a stage full of Christmas trees, borrowed and begged from local tree lots.

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.

Click Here to Learn About Revels Traditions

Timeline:

1995: A Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Produced by Richard Lewis, Directed by Gayle Behrman Jaster, Music Director: Robert Luoma, Artistic Director: John Langstaff, Children’s Director: Molly Beiningen.

1996: A Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Produced by Richard Lewis, Directed by Pamela Livingstone, Choral Director: Tony Bump, Instrumental Director: Ronald Babcock, Children’s Director: Molly Beiningen.

1997: A Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Co-Producers: Richard Lewis and Katie Sokoloff, Directed by Pam Livingstone , Music Director: Karl Mansfield, Children’s Director: Molly Beiningen. Guest artists The Karelian Folk Music Ensemble and the Karin Brennesvik Dance Troupe.

1998: A Celtic Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Produced by Richard Lewis, Directed by Pamela Livingstone, Music Director: Karl Mansfield, Children’s Director: Molly Beiningen. Guest artists The Karelian Folk Music Ensemble and the Karin Brennesvik Dance Troupe.

Rev06French1999: A French Medieval Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Produced by Richard Lewis, Directed by Pamela Livingstone, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Director: Molly Beiningen.

2000: A Victorian Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Produced by Richard Lewis, Directed by Stepan Simek, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Steve Moebs.

2001: The Celestial Fools: A Medieval Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Produced by Richard Lewis, Directed by John Anderberg, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Steve Moebs.

2002: The King and the Fool: Producing Director: Kate Sokoloff, Directed by Stepan Simek, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Steve Moebs

2003: An Italian Renaissance Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Stepan Simek, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Steve Moebs

2004: An Elizabethan Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Gray Eubank, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Steve Moebs

2005: A Scottish Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Gray Eubank, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Steve Moebs

2006: A French Medieval Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Diane Englert, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Steve Moebs

2007: An English Celebration of the Winter Solstice:  Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Gray Eubank, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Hillarie McKenna

2008: A Visit to the Scandinavian Northlands: Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Gray Eubank, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Hillarie McKenna

2009: An Irish Mummers Village Celebration:  Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Meg Chamberlain, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Hillarie McKenna. Guest Artist: Kevin Burke

2010: Spanish Treasure: Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Gray Eubank, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Hillarie McKenna, Guest Artists: Al-Andalus Ensemble with Tarik and Julia Banzi

2011: The King and the Fool:  Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Bruce Hostetler, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Muisc Director: Hillarie McKenna

2012: An Appalachian Christmas:  Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Bruce Hostetler, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Hillarie McKenna, Guest Artist: Suzannah Park, Actor: Ithica Tell.

2013: Christmas in Old Europe: Produced by Deborah Garman, Directed by Bruce Hostetler, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Children’s Music Director: Hillarie Hunt, Guest Artist: Eric Stern, Actor: Ithica Tell.

2014: Keep Magic: Produced and Directed by Bruce Hostetler, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Associate Music Director: Betsy Branch, Children’s Music Director: Regina Pirruccello, Guest Artist: Tobias Anderson

2015: Celtic Crossing: Produced and Directed by Bruce Hostetler, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Associate Music Director: Betsy Branch, Children’s Music Director: Regina Pirruccello, Guest Artists: Maldon Meehan, Kevin Carr, Dan Compton. Actors: Jeb Berrier, Murren Kennedy, Jess Gibson

2016: Commedia Italiana: Produced and Directed by Bruce Hostetler, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Associate Music Director: Betsy Branch, Children’s Music Director: Regina Pirruccello, Guest Artists: Katie Palka, Alexander Wilde, Laura Kuhlman, and Hideki Yamaya, Actors: Jeb Berrier, Michael O’Neill. Sara Fay Goldman, Noah Fassell, Jack Wells, and Murren Kennedy

2017: Nordic Lights: Produced and Directed by Bruce Hostetler, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Associate Music Director: Betsy Branch, Children’s Music Director: Regina Pirruccello, Guest Artists: Dan Compton, Amy Hakanson, Peter Michaelson, and Kim Majors, Actors: Bronwyn Jones and Burl Ross

Christmas Revels 2018 Highland Voyage, A Scottish Celebration fo the Winter Solstice2018: Highland Voyage: Produced and Directed by Bruce Hostetler, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Associate Music Director: Betsy Branch, Children’s Music Director: Regina Pirruccello, Guest Artists: Chase Garber, Owen Hoffman-Smith, and Elias Alexander, Actors: Jeb Berrier, Kevin Carr, Allison Menzimer, and Summer Olsson,

2019: Ghosts of Haddon Hall: Produced and Directed by Bruce Hostetler, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Associate Music Director: Betsy Branch, Children’s Music Director: Regina Pirruccello, Guest Artists: Gayle Stuwe Neuman, Phil Neuman, Laura Kuhlman, and Esther Saulle, Actors: Burl Ross, Matthew D. Pavik, Mike Dederian, Margo Schembre, Dash Fitzgerald Hartman, and Beatrice Danforth

2020: Christmas Revels: Produced by Bruce Hostetler and Sara Hennessy, Directed by Bruce Hostetler and Gary Lundgren, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Associate Music Director: Betsy Branch, Children’s Director: Regina Pirruccello, Guest Artist: Suzannah Park, Actors: Kisha Jarrett and Burl Ross, Cranky Design: Summer Olsson.

2021: Portland Jam: Produced by Chelsea Unsbee and Sara Hennessy, Directed by Bruce Hostetler, Music Director: Robert Lockwood, Associate Music Director: Betsy Branch, Children’s Director: Regina Pirruccello, Cinematographer: Adam Cornelius, Guest Artists: Elias Alexander, Leela Grace, Owen Hofmann-Smith, Actors: Samson Syharath, Summer Olsson, Shuhe Hawkins, Eric Island, Anne Castleton, Dancer: Jeff George