Wassail 2013, a mixture of fun and fundraising for the Sudan, moves to historic Scottish Rite Theater
Austin, Texas, Nov. 16, 2013 – Wassail, the fast-paced, family-friendly variety show honoring Christmas and the winter Solstice is set for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at a brand new venue for fans of Wassail – the historic Scottish Rite Theater.
“This event features some of Austin top folk musicians, dancers, poets, actors and magicians and has always had a sense of history stretching back through the centuries,” comments producer Darrel Mayers. “What better place to hold it than within this glorious nineteenth century opera house?”
All the participants donate their time and talents to the event – and all funds from ticket sales go directly to Kids for Kids, a UK-based charity that provides villages with goats, blankets, ploughs, trees and tools to create sustainable solutions for the children living in the Darfur region of the Sudan. Last year’s Wassail 2012 raised $4,070. Visit www.kidsforkids.org.uk for more information on the charity.
Comments actor Chris Humphrey: “Wassail is a welcome respite from the holiday craziness and excess, providing a warm sense of community building and global sharing. It’s the holiday gift I give myself!” Chris recently won a B. Iden Payne award for comedy, and each year creates a mummers play and morris dance for Wassail, with help from Ben Johnston.
Three years ago Mayers met charity chairman Patricia Parker MBE in London, and was moved by her descriptions of the conditions that the children and families in the Darfur region are living in. “Patricia really made their everyday struggles vivid and real… and our goal is to really increase the levels of our fundraising this year.”
Among the performers this year are the Pratts Bottom Mummers, Krastina Krasteva Reynolds (from Bulgaria), Thom the World Poet, Aimee Bobruk, Bucolics Anonymous, the Jacobs IV, magician John Maverick, the Occasional Terpsichore Morris Dancers… and much more.
‘Wassail’ is a seasonal drink as well as a toast. In medieval Europe they would concoct drinks with spiced ale, wine or cider, and then raise glasses to each other, saying ‘Wassail!’ – which from the old English phrase ‘was hal’ means ‘be well,’ or ‘be whole.’