collated comments: favorite authors (LONG!)

Nat Case hedberg at
Tue Jan 11 12:38:15 EST 2000

The Christmas Revels was founded as a sort of pageant for the solstice by
John and Carol Langstaff in Cambridge almost 30 years ago, and is still
going strong there every December. Carol (John's daughter) started Revels
North in Hanover 25 years ago, and it too is still going strong. The
Cambridge Revels organization began branching out sometime, and there are
now Revels, Inc. sub-organizations in about 12 cities across the US. Others
(not using the trademarked Revels name) have started performances in a
similar style. In a way, John Langstaff made it his own little empire, and
the songbooks, recordings, etc are all part of that.

Susan Cooper participated heavily in the early years of the production,
writing bits and helping to organize it as a performance. The poem "The
Longest Night" which is a traditional part of the Revels, is hers as well.

Each Christmas production has a "theme." There's the original show, which is
kind of a late-medieval English thing. There's a French show, a Mexican
show, a Scandinavian show, a Russian Show, a Thomas Hardy show, a Victorian
show. This year's Revels North was an Elizabethan show. 

Local Revels organizations also sometimes put on spring and summer shows;
I've been invlolved for the last 3 years in Summer Revels here in
Vermont/New Hampshire. The Cambridge organization seems to have settled into
a spring Revels and a "Sea Revels" in the summer. 

Cooper co-wrote at least two plays with the actor Hume Cronyn (now her
husband): Foxfire and The Dollmaker. 

I haven't seen the new book yet, but I hear it's very good and look forward
to it...

Nat Case
Hedberg Maps, Inc.

>From: hallieod at (Hallie O'Donovan)
>To: dwj at
>Subject: Re: collated comments: favorite authors (LONG!)
>Date: Tue, Jan 11, 2000, 6:11 AM

>>Susan Cooper - Melissa , Nat, Sarah
>>---Nat: She has gotten better as an author the less she has to prove. I also
>>like her work in theater: The play FOXFIRE and materials for the Christmas
>For the Christmas Revels???  I wasn't sure they/that/whatever was still
>around - and didn't realize there was theatre .  Never seen it live, but
>we've almost all of the tapes, and I bought Becca the songbook for
>Christmas this year.  If we're talking about the same thing.
> Have you read Cooper's newest book,  _King of Shadows_?  I liked it a lot
>- it's time travel to Shakespearian London, and I found the "hows" a little
>scanty, but the "what it feels like" fantastic.
>hallieod at
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