The 28th Annual Christmas Revels:
The Spirits of Haddon Hall
It's the Shortest day, and ghostly revelers gather in the chambers of venerable Haddon Hall for their annual celebration. There's a knock at the door, and in comes the family of John Manners. He is the 9th Duke of Rutland and landlord of the premises. Manners wants everybody out because the Hall is about to fall, a victim of progress and the demands of economics.
What will happen to Haddon? What will be the fate of the Spirits that inhabit it, not to mention their annual Revels? Will the joy of celebration, community and madcap revelry be enough to deter the Duke from his plan? The battle is joined and just as the outcome seems apparent, there is another knock at the door…
If there’s one thing that every reveler knows about the winter show, it is that each year, our celebration lands in a different time and place. Sometimes, we paint with a pretty wide brush, pulling together music and dances from all of Scandinavia, or Mesoamerica. Other times we set a more definite locale, e.g. Quebec or last year’s Prosecco, but even so, we draw our material from a broader temporal and geographical landscape. This year, however, we are encamped on a much smaller lot. We find ourselves reveling entirely within the confines of a single building, Haddon Hall.
It is a real place, located on the banks of the river Wye near the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire, England.Currently occupied by the family of the Duke of Rutland, the hall has witnessed a lot of history in the more than nine hundred years of its existence. The very architecture of the place reflects the influence of centuries of political and social change, while the décor dramatizes the cultural evolution of the many generations of its inhabitants.
|Director's Note||Choreographer's Note|
The 28th Annual Christmas Revels
The Spirits of Haddon Hall
December 13-15 & 20-22
Tickets priced $20-$55
Scottish Rite Theater
1547 Lakeside Dr, Oakland CA 94612
See below for parking information.
Running time 145 minutes with intermission.
No ticket sales at the theater except on performance dates.
"This year’s Revels touched my heartstrings and played them more deeply than I expected."Cari Ferraro
"The best Revels yet....and I've seen five! Wonderful story, sets, costumes, singing! Don't miss it!"Karen ***, Audience Member
"[Revels] brings the sounds and steps of the past alive, woven into a simple but heartwarming story."Bay Area Theater Review
"It was our first time attending Revel's annual event. It was absolutely wonderful."Deborah B., Audience Member
Jeff Raz explores the intersection of circus, theater and music from many different angles - as a clown, an actor, a teacher, a director and a playwright. His 35 year career has taken him from remote Alaskan villages to Broadway, across the continental United States and to Europe, Japan and China.
In 2000, Jeff founded The Clown Conservatory, the only comprehensive professional clown training program in the United States, and he directed the program until 2010.
Jeff is now the Bay Area Casting Partner for Cirque du Soleil, the Artistic Director of the Medical Clown Project and a director with the global consulting firm Stand & Deliver.A graduate of the Dell'Arte International, Jeff has performed with Cirque du Soleil, The Pickle Circus, Vaudeville Nouveau and Make*A*Circus and in such theaters as Berkeley Repertory Theater, The Goodman Theater in Chicago, Marin Theater Company, The Kennedy Center, TheaterWorks of Palo Alto, The San Francisco and Marin Shakespeare Festivals and Lincoln Center Theater in New York. Find out more about Jeff.
Robert was born and raised in Berkeley and first appeared onstage at the age of three. A product of public education, he attended UC Berkeley and then trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In his career he has performed in numerous theaters across the country, including Berkeley, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, and South Coast Repertory theaters; Denver Center Theatre Company; Sacramento Theatre Company; Actors Theatre of Louisville; the Oregon, California, Santa Fe, Lake Tahoe, and San Francisco Shakespeare festivals; The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C.; Marin Theatre Company; and, of course, A.C.T. Film and television credits include recurring roles on General Hospital and The Young and the Restless, a feature role in the Bollywood potboiler Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya, and a starring role in the sci-fi action comedy thriller Never Die Twice.
2013 marks Robert’s third appearance with California Revels. In 2009 he played Sankt Nikolaus in the Alpine Bavarian-themed Revels and in 2011 he portrayed the King in our Arthurian show.
Kathleen Tennant Manners
This is Cynthia’s debut with the Revels. It also marks her first professional acting performance in quite some time, as she’s been devoting most of her energies to teaching voice, speech, and acting (including ACT, Standford University, Berkeley Rep, Academy of Art, Seydways Acting Studio, as well as being a full-time lecturer at UC Irvine).
Her performance credits include originating the role of 'C' in the world premiere of Edward Albee's Three Tall Women directed by the playwright at Vienna's English Theatre. Local credits include work at ACT, Berkeley Rep, Marin Theatre Company, TheatreWorks, San Jose Rep, Theatre First and many more.
Cynthia received her B.A. in Drama from the University of Washington and her M.F.A. in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. She is a Master Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework and is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association).
She would like to give special thanks to her family and faculty for their support and encouragement.
Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland
For many years now, our go-to guy has been James Galileo. An accomplished performer in film and video as well as on stage, James has made Revels his performing home for the holidays.
Revels regulars have seen him as Knecht Ruprecht in the German show, Sir Gawain in our Arthurian Revels, the hero of the Irish Soul Cages, in any number of mummers' roles, and even appearing as Death! His grasp of the Revels aesthetic and variety of physical and vocal performing skills allow him to make valuable contributions to a wide range of Revels performances. We are pleased to welcome him back this year in the role of Thomas Manners.
Masters of Music
Fred has been the Musical Director for California Revels continuously since the late '80's. He brings to bear his extensive knowledge of composers and composition in researching and arranging music for the Revels choruses and the Brass ensemble as well. Fred also participates in production as a lead singer in the Adult chorus, frequently performing solos and in small ensembles. This year he will again assume his role as audience leader. teaching and leading God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen, as well as the customary Dona Nobis Pacem and Sussex Mummers' Carol.
Shira is a noted violin and vielle player and leads a number of small early music ensembles. She is very much in demand as a performer and teacher and is constantly flying around the country and the world, doing concerts and workshops. As often happens, she is once again providing original compositions for this year's Christmas Revels. We are very excited about her setting of Winter Night. It will be the musical context for the dance in which the Ladies of Haddon Hall invite Lady Rutland to join them. She has also done a choral setting of the rousing Bring the New Year In. Shira also performs on stage, and will be joining the juggling Fools for a very special number in the second act.
The Revels Chorus
Every year, California Revels puts together a chorus totaling up to 65 singers. For many chorus members, participating in Revels is the highlight of the holiday season, bringing them together in community, transporting them to another time, giving them comfort in the darkest days of the year. And, it’s a lot of fun!
Many of the Young Performers have appeared previously in the Christmas Revels children's chorus and many of them will pass into the ranks of the adult chorus, often after a time away for college. The talent and performing energy that our youngsters add to the stage is undeniable. Their participation broadens the scope of what we can do and adds yet one more ingredient to the wonderful stew that is a Revels performance.
Maintaining school work and setting aside sports and other activities can be a challenge, but the artistic and social development of children in the Revels chorus is extremely rewarding. Several members of the adult chorus can point to the children's chorus as their first experience of Revels, and the start of their performing career.
Parking at the Scottish Rite Theater
Parking is available to Revelers at the ALCO Park Garage located at 1220 Jackson Street at 13th Street; just 3 blocks from the theater. The rate is $5 per vehicle and no reservations are required.
Hours this weekend: Friday 6pm-11pm, Saturday 12pm-8pm, Sunday 12pm-8pm