A monthly column from the desk of Artistic Director Nils Fredland, with news, musings, and more!
Summer Revels 2016 came – with amusement, fanfare, and good times for all – to the Norwich Green on June 18th. The production process confirmed for me that Revelers (volunteers, cast, crew, staff, board, audience, and YOU) are an amazing, committed, generous, creative, hard-working, and fun group of people.
When I first stepped into this position as Artistic Director of Revels North, I remember saying to the board that I believe that Revels is for everyone. I try to be guided by that spirit of inclusiveness in my daily work for this organization, creating programs that are thoughtful, artistically satisfying, and flexible enough to meet whomever walks in the door…or onto the Norwich Green.
The process of directing the 2016 Summer Revels – my first major production for Revels North – was an eye-opening, inspiring, and grounding experience. I am certain, more now than I have been in the entire 10 months that I’ve worked for Revels North, that I have landed in the right place. That certainty has everything to do with the people that I’ve met and collaborated with in my short tenure.
The number of details involved in putting on this production is staggering. I admit to feeling overwhelmed many times during the planning process. But every time my head started to spin, it seemed like there was someone by my side to pick up an important detail. I can’t say enough how supported I felt, at nearly every moment. I’m incredibly grateful.
The event itself exceeded my expectations! It was a family affair, all around. Our cast ranged in age from toddler to grandparent. That same broad age range was present – even more so – in the audience, as well as in our team of volunteers! One of my primary goals this year was to bring the audience as close as possible to the performers; I wanted the show to feel collaborative from start to finish. There was a palpable give and take of energy between audience and cast throughout, and our version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at the end was joyful, engaging, and fun for everyone. Live performances are imperfect…but there were many, many perfect moments at Summer Revels this year. I was proud to be part of it, with all of you.
It takes a village. And what a village we are!
There will be a Summer Revels Cast Reunion, and Revels North Volunteer Appreciation Day, at our next Revels Traditions event this Saturday, July 9th in East Thetford, at the East Thetford Pavilion across the road from Cedar Circle Farm. Join us from 2:30 to 5:30 pm, for workshops in singing, community band, and Mumming, then stay around for a Community Potluck at 5:30 pm, and a Family Contra Dance at 6:30 pm!